The difference between blocking and muting Google+ users, and how to do it

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 23, 2013
Updated • Nov 23, 2013

Google+, just like any other social networking site with messaging and notification options, has its fair share of annoying users.

Maybe someone is sending private messages that bother you, or mentioning you explicitly in public posts, or maybe you are are annoyed by page update notifications that you receive, or comments that are left on posts that you make.

The Google+ network provides you with two options to deal with these situations: block or mute.

Muting a profile is not as strict as blocking someone. When you mute a profile or page on Google+ you stop receiving update notifications. What this means is that you won't be notified if you are +mentioned, and that they won't be able to push post notifications either.

Note that you can also mute individual posts and entire circles as well. If you mute a post, you won't receive notifications about new comments anymore, while muting a circle prevents that its post are published on your stream's home page.

A muted user can still see posts that you make and post comments on them as well.

Blocking on the other hand is more severe. When you block someone, the following restrictions take effect:

  • A blocked user's or page's contents are no longer displayed in your stream.
  • They are removed from any circles they are listed in.
  • They are removed from your extended circles as well.
  • Blocked users cannot add new comments, see your comments on your own or other people's posts, see your posts that you share after you have blocked them, and won't be able to mention you in posts or in comments.

How to mute or block people or pages on Google Plus

Once you have made up your mind whether you want to block or mute a user or profile on Google+,  it is just a matter of knowing how to do it.

Good news is, you can mute or block a user in the same location. Here is how you mute or block a user:

  1. Open the user's profile page on Google+.
  2. You find the profile photo and basic information at the top left in the most recent design.
  3. There you find a down arrow icon next to the hangout symbol underneath the "have him in circles" or "have her in circles" information.
  4. Click on the arrow icon and select the Mute or Report/Block option from the context menu.
mute block google plus users
Sorry Karl ;)

The options are very similar when it comes to pages.

mute block pages
Sorry Caschy :)

If you select report/block here, a small overlay window is displayed on the screen that informs you about the consequences of your action:

report or block
blocking users on Google+


Blocking or muting users has consequences that have not been mentioned yet:

  • Blocked or muted users are not notified about it.
  • You cannot join a hangout with a user that you have blocked, and blocked users cannot join a hangout that you are already in either.
  • If you post publicly, those posts are still accessible by blocked users when they sign out of their Google account or use private browsing or another way to access the contents.

Managing the block and mute list

blocked list google plus
blocked list

You can manage the block and mute list easily on Google Plus as well. You need to do the following for this:

  1. Open the Google Plus website.
  2. Locate the Home button, move the mouse over it, and select People from the menu that opens up.
  3. Locate the More link at the top, and select Your Circles from the menu.
  4. Click on Actions here and select View Blocked or View Ignored.
  5. There does not appear to be a way right now to manage a list of muted users.

A list with all users and pages that you have blocked or muted appears. The lists are not sorted alphabetically unfortunately, which may make it difficult to find a particular user. The easiest way to locate a user or page is to open the on-page search of your browser -- usually with the shortcut Ctrl-F -- and enter part of the user's or page's name.

Here you can also unblock any user that you have previously blocked or muted.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. A.N. said on January 26, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    How do you block a harassing YouTube user from responding to or seeing your comments on someone else’s YouTube channel if that person only has a YouTube account but does not have a Google+ account?

  2. John said on February 16, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    if you received a notification email about a comment on a photo a while ago. You then get blocked, you then delete your account but later re activate it. And some time later you reply to the notification email that you received when you weren’t blocked, does the person receive your reply? a bit confusing i know but basically the email went I just don’t know where or if the person received it an hoping not!!

  3. Ron said on March 11, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Too bad that technique doesn’t work anymore.

    (EDIT: it works, but you first have to disable ad blocking.)

  4. Charlotte said on January 30, 2015 at 4:20 am

    This question isn’t related to this article but how do you prevent others from tagging you in Youtube comments without blocking them? Thanks!

  5. Jax said on November 24, 2013 at 4:36 am

    Why would anyone want to use google+? Don’t you know that it exists only so google can collect personal information about you. I left facebook for Ravetree because they offer great privacy, not google+. I know a lot of people who are leaving facebook, but they definitely are not joining google+ (unless they are forced to).

    1. Kevin Gilles said on May 16, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Do you really think that Google needs any of your help to collect your personnal data ?

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