How To Turn iPhone Read Receipts On And Off



iOS’s Messages lets you choose to enable or disable read receipts.


Wondering how to turn iPhone read receipts on and off? It’s one of the most frequent questions iPhone users have. We’ll dive into the steps below and tell you why you should and shouldn’t disable iPhone read receipts on.

What Are Read Receipts?

Read receipts are the tiny status indicators next to a message you send in a messaging app. Depending on the messaging app, these read receipts may be visualized as words, icons, or even images.

Read receipts are a critical part of any messaging app as they can notify you of a few different things. The most common read receipts indicators show you when:

A message has been sent successfully: this means the message you texted has in fact been delivered to the recipient’s phone.

A message has been read by the recipient: this means the message you text has actually been read by the recipient.

How To Turn iPhone Read Receipts On And Off
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How Do Read Recipes Work?

Read receipts are automatic for the most part. Shortly after you send a message the read receipt indicator will show you the text message has been received. This is usually done by a checkmark or a “delivered” notification.

In other words, the app has a few lines of code in it that tell it to send you a “delivered message” when your text lands on the other person’s phone.

Then the app also has another few lines of code that sends you another message when the recipient of your message actually has read the message. This is triggered when the recipient opens the message you just sent.

What Are Read Receipts Good For?

The best thing about read receipts are that they can alleviate any anxiety that your message did not go through for some reason. If your message’s read receipt shows it has been delivered, you can rest assured the message actually landed on the other person’s phone.

Some people also love read receipts that show not only when your message was delivered, but when it was actually read. This lets the sender know the recipient got the message even if they haven’t replied yet.

How To Turn iPhone Read Receipts On And Off
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Why Do Some People Hate Read Receipts?

Many people dislike the “read” read receipt because they don’t want the sender to know that they’ve read their message. This “read” read receipt can cause anxiety in the user and thus compel them to reply before they are ready in fear of looking like they are ignoring the person who sent the message.

Some people also consider “read” read receipts a violation of user privacy because they notify another person about what you are doing on your phone (reading their message).

How To Turn iPhone Read Receipts On

By default, iPhone’s Message app read receipts are on. If yours are shut off for some reason, you can quickly turn them on. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Toggle the “Send Read Receipts” switch to ON (green).

How To Turn iPhone Read Receipts Off

If you want to disable iPhone Messages read receipts, it’s very simple to do. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Toggle the “Send Read Receipts” switch to ON (green).

Of course, these settings aren’t permanent and you can change them at any time. Also, if you turn off read receipts on iPhone, you can still get notified when other Messages users have read your message unless they’ve disabled read receipts too. 

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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