Image for the article titled How to Block RCS Message Ads on Google Messages and Samsung Messages

Google’s RCS Chat text messaging protocol is replace quickly the outdated text messages we’ve been stuck with for decades. RCS enables tons of user-friendly features on Android such as read receipts, real-time notifications when the other person is typing, and End-to-end encryption. You know, the stuff iMessage and WhatsApp users have had for years.

RCS also appears to make it easier for companies to advertise to Android users, as companies can be “verified”, which grants them a number of privileges, including the ability to send massive RCS message ads.

Accordingly Android police, such ads appear more frequently in Google Messages and Samsung Messages, the standard messaging apps for most Android smartphones in circulation. So far, the ads only appear to selected users and only in certain regions, but it is probably only a matter of time before more companies start using RCS Messages – after that, ads for everyone will be a regular part of Google Messages and Samsung Messages.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep annoying ads from cluttering your Android messaging apps.

Method 1: Block the Contacts and Conversations (Google Messages and Samsung Messages)

In some cases, you can unsubscribe from the company’s ads upon receipt. The option should appear in the conversation itself. If you don’t see the option to sign out, you can also block a company from the Google Messages Contacts menu.

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  1. Open the company’s contact information in Google Messages and open that “Options” Tab.
  2. To choose “Block and Report Spam.”
  3. Likewise, in your Google Messages inbox, you can long-press a conversation to highlight it, then tap and select the three-dot overflow menu “Block.” This method will help if you are getting spam from unverified sources and random numbers.

Samsung Messages allows you to add blacklist numbers to. Add Settings> Block numbers and messages> Block numbers.

Method 2: disable RCS (Google Messages) features

Image for the article titled How to Block RCS Message Ads on Google Messages and Samsung Messages

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Blocking the ads and spam requires you to actually receive and interact with the unwanted messages, but there is one way Google Message users can prevent them from appearing in the first place: turn off RCS.

With Google Messages, users can turn off RCS Chat in the app’s settings menu:

  1. Open Google News
  2. Tap the three-dot overflow menu icon and select Settings> Chat Features.
  3. Turn the “Activate chat functions” Option, then tap “Turn off” in the confirmation pop-up window.

This disables RCS-dependent features such as read receipts, real-time input display and the increased message security through end-to-end encryption, but it is (currently) the only way to prevent RCS-based advertising.

And don’t worry – Google Messages will still work when RCS is turned off. The app will automatically convert everything to SMS texts instead (note that companies can still send you SMS ads even if your device’s RCS features are disabled).

Method 3: use a different app

Another option is to switch to a different standard messaging app. Some apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Signal even include RCS-like features and other features beyond what most Android text messaging apps can. Other solid options are SMS Organizer, Telegram, Viber, and GroupMe.

While many of these apps have problems of their own– including spam, shoddy privacy policies, and security issues – could at least help you avoid RCS spam sneaking into Google Messages and Samsung Messages.