By default, iMessages allow the sender to know when you read their message. You can disable this feature for specific contacts.
Note that this is an iPhone feature, and it only works with contacts who have an iPhone. It does not work with SMS (short message service) or other mobile phone messaging services.
- Open the Messages app
When people text you on an iPhone, the other person can see a timestamp of when you read their message. While it can be helpful when you’re communicating with coworkers and clients in a business context, it can also feel like an invasion of privacy. You can disable read receipts in iMessage to keep your conversations private.
To turn off read receipts in iMessage, open the Messages app on your iPhone and tap a conversation with the person you want to edit. Then, tap the i button in the upper right corner of the conversation and then slide the Send Read Receipts switch to the Off position.
If you change your mind, you can always turn read receipts back on by launching the Messages app and tapping a conversation. Then, tap the i button and then slide the Send Read Receipts slider back to the On position.
Note that you can only turn off read receipts for iMessage messages and not basic SMS text messages. Changing the read receipt setting in the Messages settings will apply to all future iMessage conversations, regardless of which device you use to make them.
Similarly, you can only turn off read receipts for one specific contact at a time; to enable them again, launch the Messages app and tap a conversation with that person. Then, tap the i button or the person’s avatar and then tap the Send Read Receipts option in the iMessage settings. Note that you can’t turn off read receipts for group iMessage conversations. If you want to disable read receipts for an entire group, you need to turn them off in the group iMessage settings.
- Tap the Settings button
Many iPhone users may not realize that the phone’s back panel is adorned with a hidden button that can be used to perform a variety of different functions. Whether you want to turn on airplane mode, start a timer or read text messages without the sender knowing, this feature can be very useful. All it takes is a couple of taps and some configurations in the Settings app.
When you enable the Back Tap button in the Settings app under ‘Accessibility,’ your device will allow you to customize what happens when you double-tap or triple-tap the Apple logo on the back of the phone. You can choose from a variety of actions that include opening apps, running a screen recorder or turning on flashlight. You can even adjust the ‘Idle Opacity,’ which allows you to control how transparent the button becomes when it is not being used.
To disable read receipts in the Messages app, open the Settings app and scroll down to the “Messages” row. Here you’ll find the green toggle to the right of “Send Read Receipts”; simply switch this to the off position, and your contact will no longer receive a timestamp when their message is read on your device. Note that this only applies to new iMessages sent; existing conversations will continue to show when you’ve read them.
Having read receipts turned on can be annoying for some people, especially when you don’t want to give your location or other information to someone. Luckily, disabling this feature is simple and doesn’t affect existing texts or iMessage conversations. To turn them on again, follow these steps:
- Tap Messages
Raise your hand if you’ve ever received a text message from a friend or family member and intentionally decided not to read it right away. You plan to respond at a later time, and then that one slip of the finger that opens the message lets them know you’ve already seen it. This is what happens with read receipts on the iPhone 13 and other Apple devices, and while it can be a handy tool for important conversations, it can also backfire.
Luckily, if you’re not feeling the love for read receipts, there are a few simple steps you can take to disable them on a conversation-by-conversation basis. You can do this on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS by opening the Messages app and selecting a conversation with the person you wish to edit. Then, tap the i icon to bring up a menu and then select the Send Read Receipts switch to the off position.
This will stop your contact from seeing that you have read their text or iMessage and will prevent them from sending you their own read receipts, as well. However, they will still be able to see the timestamp of when they sent the text to you and can tell if you’ve read it at a later date or not.
It should be noted that this setting only applies to iMessages and not SMS texts, which are governed by their own privacy settings. If you want to completely disable read receipts on your iPhone, you will need to reset your network settings. This will wipe all of your information, including Wi-Fi passwords, and will reset all settings to the default. It should be considered a last resort.
- Tap Send Read Receipts
The read receipts feature in iMessage on an iPhone allows the sender to know when a message has been opened. This can come in handy for some people, but can also be distracting or stressful. If you don’t want your contacts to be able to see when you’ve read their messages, here’s how to turn it off in iOS.
The iMessage service works over your data connection or Wi-Fi and is used to send text messages and instant messages between Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches. It is different from regular SMS (Short Message Service) text messages that are sent over the phone network and are charged according to your plan. iMessages are represented by blue text bubbles while SMS messages are displayed as green text bubbles.
By default, iMessages on an iPhone will display when a recipient has read the message by sending the sender a timestamp when the message is opened. This can be helpful, especially in conversations that require prompt responses. But it can also cause annoyance or stress, particularly for those who are receiving messages from a demanding boss or coworker.
To disable read receipts on iMessage, you’ll need to open the iMessage app and tap the chat with the person you want to stop seeing the timestamp. If you don’t have a conversation with that person, you can select their contact in the list and tap the profile icon to open their iMessage settings.
Tap the toggle switch next to Send Read Receipts to turn it off. This will prevent that person from knowing when you’ve read their message. The setting is specific to a single chat conversation and will remain turned off until you turn it back on.
- Tap Off
Raise your hand if you’ve ever received a text message that alerted the sender that you’ve read it. It can be a helpful tool to make sure you respond in time for a time-sensitive conversation, but it can also backfire if you accidentally read and don’t immediately reply (it’s happened to the best of us).
The good news is that you can disable read receipts on your iPhone so other people cannot see when you have opened their iMessages or text messages. The steps in this wikiHow will disable read receipts for all threads on your iPhone, meaning that it will no longer be possible for other people to know whether or not you’ve read their texts.
To turn off read receipts, tap the Settings app on your iPhone. Scroll down and tap Messages. Then, slide the Send Read Receipts switch to off position. To turn them back on, slide the switch to the on position.
You can also set the double-tap and triple-tap options on your iPhone to act as shortcuts for specific tasks. The feature is available in the Accessibility settings and lets you choose what happens when you double-tap or triple-tap on the Apple logo located on the back of your iPhone.
Did you find this tip useful? If so, check out our other helpful guides, including how to unfollow someone on Instagram, how to take a screenshot on an iPhone, and how to master your iPhone in one minute a day. Or subscribe to our free newsletter for more iPhone tips and tricks.