How to Mute message threads on Windows Phone 8.1 to get some quiet time

While I totally love the messaging app on Windows Phone, sometimes long, meandering conversations can be annoying with their constant alerts. I’d rather text passively when I choose to, rather then get distracted by a ping every second.

Apart from the plethora of big feature additions that you’ve been reading about at Windows Phone Central, Windows Phone 8.1 has also introduced a nifty feature that allows you to mute text message threads. As far as we know, no other smartphone platforms has this useful feature, making it quite interesting for Windows Phone users.

Let's take a look at how it works!

We wrote about this feature a couple of months ago, and how it is different from blocking an individual. Once you mute a thread, you will not receive notification alerts for a new message in this thread and the Live Tile for messaging app won’t take the messages into account for the unread message count it displays. You will though, continue to receive the messages. 

Blocking rejects; muting just hides. Here's how to enable it:

How to Mute a thread

All you need to do is, go into the message thread you want to mute, check out more options at the bottom of the screen, and tap on mute thread. You’ll get a confirmation prompt warning you that you’d not receive notifications and Live Tile updates for the particular thread. That’s the intention, so hit mute, and you’re done! To unmute a thread that you’ve muted before, just tap on the unmute thread option.

I think it’s a pretty useful, yet seamless, feature in Windows Phone 8.1. Check it out and tell us if you like it, and if you would mute a few threads in your list? Also, would you mute when your girlfriend/spouse/partner if they're being less than agreeable? (Asking for a friend, ahem)

  • I really find this to be a neat feature. :)
  • I've noticed that if you swipe away an SMS notification in the action centre without reading the message, it automatically mutes it for you. Future messages have no alert and just go to the action centre until you open the conversation again. Edit: My bad, it was quiet hours activated by a meeting.
  • LMAO
  • Quiet hours activated by a meeting is another completely awesome feature though!
  • Too bad it's not working for me my apps will show in the center like Facebook WPcentral and so on
  • How is that related to muting messaging threads?
  • You do realize the article is about SMS threads, right?
  • Do you even lift?
  • Does anyone have a fix
  • For?
  • Constipation
  • Could've used this feature a while back. Lol. Anyway, glad it is here
  • VERY useful. But, the Google Hangouts SMS app on Android has this feature. My brother has it on his Galaxy S4.
  • That "but" was unnecessary. This article is not highlighting its uniqueness amongst OSes, it's just pointing out a new feature on WP and how to do it. The fact that other platforms can do the same, don't make it less important or relevant to WP users.
  • Except that the article states that no other OS's have the feature....
    So he is perfectly justified for saying that Google hangouts has the feature.
  • Except that Google Hangouts is not an OS but an application. Obviously, you guys didn't understand what the author meant.
  • Exactly, its an app, not the built in SMS messages. There's a difference. So its still unique to WP in that sense.
  • lol you guys are way too sensitive.  the article states that "no other smartphone platform has this feature" and i was simply stating that Android is a smartphone platform that has this feature.  Who cares how they acheive it.  If WP supported third party sms apps and one of them had this feature, then a WP user would be able to mute sms threads if they wanted before WP 8.1, which would make it an available feature.  iPhone on the other hand doesn't have this feature, and they don't support third party sms apps, so that smartphone platform does not have this feature.  but Android does, simply stated.  I was really just pointing out that the article was slightly misleading, but i too assumed WP was first, until i asked my brother and he showed me how it works on his Adnroid phone.  It would've been nice to be first but oh well, it doesn't make the feature any less convenient.  i love it, arguably my favorite new feature
  • That's a WP as well, right? Just checking.....
  • What's your point? Androids have radios, processors, and memory too: Why didn't you mention that?
  • I need it this about two weeks ago.
  • finally get a way out of those group texts.
  • How about a message preview disabling guide
  • Disable toast alerts?
  • No, not the alert completely. Just the SMS preview that shows when a message is received. Sometimes it reveals TMI at the wrong moments
  • It does.. lol. One small help,that I discovered by accident after having my phone for so long.. Is to quickly swipe it out of the way. Though you might have already known that.. lol While it won't help if someone has your phone. It will help to clear out a message preview notification l,before you hand someone the phone.. lol
  • You can disable the banner but still have it alert and vibrate
  • Too many girls texting you boy! I was to asking the same thing as I can do on whatsapp and viber, just come the banner with the name, no the preview message!
  • so its like a "private"   toast? correct? it shows that you have a messsage by someone on a specific app, but the contents of it are not shown...
  • Wait, we're the first worth thread muting? Woot!!! Granted, you could already grey this kinda with Nokia's SMS blocking app, and/or quiet hours. Still, it's nice you can do this to keep only certain threads quiet, without boxing them, so that you may reply at your leisure, and with our completely turning off notifications like quiet hours would.
  • I really really love the quite hours feature.
  • I love the Cortana SMS auto reply during quiet hours
  • Think I'll use this on my 'delivery report' thread.
  • Exactly
  • How to screen capture? I've noticed that the setting had been changed by using the volume and power button but failed. Please help..
  • vol up + power button
  • You have to press them at the same time. I am also finding that a little hard to get used to, as I am used to holding Start before pressing power (rather than pressing both simultaneously).
  • Features like this are small but add up to WP being a platform that people will love to use. This really isn't something that can be marketed to win new customers but the every day user will love it. Is this an option in Skype as well? That would be nice!
  • You can also press and hold a thread you would like to mute in the thread list. The mute/unmute option is in the dropdown menu along with the delete and block number options (when the thread only includes one person beside yourself).
  • Still can't turn off the got dang vibrate on the back button for my 8X
  • I think it may be a Nokia phone exclusive,but to do it go to settings>touch >Windows Phone keys vibrate and select off. Hope your phone has this option to. I just turned mine off earlier. I hate that key vibration. In fact I was just talking about it to my girlfriend earlier..
  • Yeah I also have a 925, I tried installing nokia settings features to my 8X and it actually shows up in settings but you can't do anything lol
  • Lol.. That's a bummer.. Hopefully HTC will bring over that option.
  • I really can't imagine how much you should SMS to need this feature since they removed Messenger support from the messaging hub. Damn this decision BTW, I even started considering rolling back option when I realized all the messages I've sent after the update have cost me much because they were SMSs. And Skype starts too long, can't compete with native hub.
  • I agree. I am furious about messenger being pulled out of the messaging hub. I have been going through settings for hours hoping I missed it somewhere. I am so disappointed by this.
  • So have I. We've been told a long ago, they gonna merge messenger and Skype but I've been hoping they will integrate Skype messaging into messaging hub (what other reason there is in cutting out Facebook from it other than moving their own service in front?) instead of shutting it down. No luck for us for now, man, there is really no hidden option for the good old messenger.
  • Disappointed in that aspect, texting on facebook by message hub was really quick, hope Fb messenger optimized for wp8.1 and get faster!
  • Very useful feature for people who regularly use sms.
  • YES!!!!!! Such a small thing with such a big impact when you need it!
  • Off topic but did they REALLY remove the ability to quickly silence the phone?!?!? Do I really need to click the volume rocker, tap on the down arrow and then tap ringer, notifications sounds and vibrate icons all separately to get the phone completely silent?
  • Hmm. Perhaps (a highly unsatisfying) work around is to add quiet hours as one of the toggles in the action center.
  • To add to it, silent hours is not even available for those on countries that don't have Cortana yet... Ouch. Fix this, Joe. Unless I am missing something here, f course.
  • Wow. Seems like its now also missing pres and hold to get the hovering cursor that can be placed accurately. Wtf?
  • I thought the same thing earlier but with 8.1, you just tap anywhere inside the text box and it puts a line in the box with a circle at the bottom of the can move the line by sliding the circle.
  • Dude, just touch the rings icons for both, media and phobe and it'll automatically turn on vibration!
  • Yes. So I need to do four to five steps instead of the old two to three to completely silence the phone?
  • Well, you have separate volumen control! I'm glad with the change even if I add one step more!
  • its not an either or. they could easily implement both.
  • Ok..thank! the thing is that very frequently in ends up selecting a full word instead of getting the cursor places between two words. But perhaps it gets easier with practice.
  • If I create a group can I mute the whole group?
  • How can I mute a thread in WhatsApp ??
  • No can can't. That watsapp has to provide the features. Waiting for their update now
  • It's in the message info or group info(for group msgs) for each conversation. Look for it. It's there..
  • Awesome, thanks for the tip! This might be the best of all the new features.
  • this would have been really useful if they didn't take out the FB chat in messaging!!!
  • Cortana is sucking the bejeesus out of my battery. nl920. finally turned it off from running in the bkground..under battery saver.
  • Post an article for the improved dialer and call function like call duration, speed dial, no. Of times called.... And so on.
  • Anyone know the type of case being used in the title image?
  • Has anyone noticed that in these screenshots, it shows Facebook as being the message source? O.o
  • Lol. I LOVE THIS UPDATE UGGH!!! finally. Thank you wpc. Freaking thank you
  • Just realized you can turn "photos" tile "transparent" by selecting single pic then enter selection and then (without selecting any) exiting to desktop
  • That's a great tip...Looking forward to the day when all my tiles can be made transparent.
  • Wasn't the back key supposed to suspend the apps instead of exiting them?
  • I wonder the same, back button still closes apps.
  • Only works on new apps or recompiled apps.
  • Use full feature
  • That's interesting. Need it more for whatsapp groups
  • Honestly had someone today who made me want this feature. Just updated to 8.1 and will definitely be using it
  • Great if you don't want to block someone but you dont want to be bothered by their texts. Exactly what I wanted to do today and is now a great feature to use.
  • I used to send IM to my facebook contact thought the messenger now I can't
  • Because the built in facebook messenger was terrible and outdated, and facebook have released their own messaging app finally.
  • Except .. with the Facebook messaging app you can't have the phone read you messages out loud or reply using voice only.
  • Why couldnt open the install, I download the update and when i install he said couldnt open ( 8007000d ) please help me, is the problem in my phone or is the problem from microsoft, thnks
  • I'm a big fan of getting news and alerts from twitter through texts. This helps me mute the thread when necessary :)
  • Great feature, thank you.
  • What's that triangle icon on the main picture? I get that sometimes!
  • unchecking 'show notification banners' in action centre settings disables toast notification right?
  • Hmmm.. It kinda.. looks like a feature for cheaters... just sayin'..
  • That's awesome! I need this for Whatsapp threads!
  • Neat feature.. Hope it works on whatsapp! Some times some contacts can't stop chatting. " Talk to the hand"
    When will be Here Drive+ aviable? 
  • This feature is Glorious, my telco, Telstra, have some glitch that keeps sending me between 1-30 SMS's telling me either my account balance or that their service is down per day. They have absolutely no idea how to fix it, and keep trying the same stupid fix of an unrelated product.   Now I can mute the thread! I couldn't block the number previously as technically it's a withheld number, so the only way to block it was to block all calls and messages from withheld.
  • sorry for going of the topic .... can anyone confirm whether CLASS 10 memory card being supported by kumia 820 ...??
  • Not to cross-thread here, but...Abhishek, I can't help but notice in the screen shot that you are chatting via *Facebook* but through messaging...a feature which was yanked in the WP8.1 developer preview, or so I thought!  I am hoping this means in a later update the in-line/all-in-one texting/FB-chat/messaging is coming back.  Yes??? Can you confirm?  I was VERY disappointed to realize I had lost this great feature upon upgrading yesterday.
  • Is there an mute option for Skype Threat ?