Group messages can be a great way to organise a trip with your friends or spring a surprise party. But they can also be a source of annoyance if your iPhone keeps lighting up with notifications for conversations in which you no longer have any interest.

Help is at hand, though, as it's actually very easy to take a break from the nattering. Read on and we'll show you how to leave or mute a group message chat on iPhone.

For more insight into the various features offered by Messages, check out our How to use Messages on the iPhone guide. If you were hoping to be able to hide a conversation from prying eyes read this: How to hide text messages on an iPhone

Make sure the group is on Messages

We know this may sound like an obvious thing to say, but with so many group messaging apps now in frequent use - WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, and many more - it's a good idea to double-check that the conversation you want to leave is actually on Messages and none of the other services before you begin.

This will avoid any confusion over why the steps listed below don't seem to work on your iPhone.

Leave a group chat

First of all, here's how to leave a group iMessage entirely. You'll no longer receive any messages sent to that conversation.

Open the Messages app and tap on the conversation you wish to exit.

How to leave or mute an iMessage group chat on iPhone

In the top righthand corner you should see a circle with an i inside. This is the Information icon. Tap this and you'll see a range of details and options.

Scroll down to the bottom of the list and tap 'Leave this Conversation', then Done.

How to leave or mute a group text or iMessage chat on iPhone: Mute notifications

I can't leave the group chat!

If you don't see the 'Leave this Conversation' option, it's probably because one or more of the members is not on iOS/iMessage, and Apple therefore doesn't have control of the conversation. It's not possible to leave a non-iMessage group text chat in this way.

(We understand that you also can't leave a group message if there are fewer than four members.)

Fortunately, even if you're unable to leave a group chat, it's still possible to mute the notifications, as we'll discuss next.

Mute the notifications for a group chat

If you're not able to leave the conversation (or maybe you don't want people to know that you've had enough), you can always mute its notifications instead.

This can be a temporary measure, say when your phone is low on battery, or you want to avoid the gossip of who died this week on Game of Thrones, and can easily be switched off again at any time.

To find the setting just repeat the steps above and instead of tapping 'Leave the Conversation', tap Do Not Disturb just above it, then Done. Once more your life will be filled with the sweet bliss of serenity.