Messages, Apple’s text messaging app, lets you see when others have viewed your text messages. This is a handy feature in some cases, like when you’re waiting for a response to something important. It can also be one of the worst features if you have a chat-happy friend or someone who expects instant texts back no matter how busy you are.
If read receipts in iOS are bugging you, here’s how to turn them off.
How read receipts work on the iPhone
In much the same way that old school read receipt messages for email alerted you to the fact that the recipient has opened and read your email, Messages read receipts tell when someone has looked at your text message. This only works between iDevices, though. In other words, you and the person you’re texting both need to be using iPhones, iPads or Mac in order to view read receipts.
Why would you want to turn off this feature?
In our ever-connected world we’ve become accustomed to expecting instant responses to texts, chats, emails and so forth. That doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to protect your privacy and time, though. If you’re on vacation, you certainly shouldn’t feel obligated to respond to your boss’s work-related text message, so turning off read receipts will keep him in the dark about whether or not you’ve seen his text.
It’s not always convenient to respond to a message the moment you receive it, nor should you ever feel like you have to. If your time and privacy are important to you, you’re probably one of those people who wants to at least experiment with turning off read receipts. If it doesn’t work out, you can always revert back.
How to turn off read receipts
Disabling read receipts in Messages is simple. Here’s the step-by-step process.
Step one: Open settings
Step two: Scroll down and tap Messages
Step three: Toggle the Send Read Receipts switch to off
The image above shows read receipts as being on. You’ll want to move the slider to the left, so that the green highlight button is no longer visible, to turn read receipts off.
If you want to stay consistent across all your devices, turn this feature off on your iPad and Mac, too.