How to Turn Off Read Receipts
Many applications, most notably Facebook Messenger, have had built-in “Read” (or “Seen”) receipts for quite some time now. This option lets the sender of a message know that the recipient has read the message. While many people consider this a useful feature, there are others who think otherwise. If you belong to the latter group, you’ll likely be happy to hear that these receipts can be disabled on certain apps.
Twitter, WhatsApp, iMessage, and Outlook all offer their users a chance to disable this option altogether, and there’s a way to do this even on Facebook. Keep reading to see how to get rid of this option for each of the above websites/apps.
Twitter lets you disable read receipts within its webpage or app (both iOS and Android). However, if you disable your read receipts, you won’t be able to see other people’s read receipts neither. Here’s how to do this on www.twitter.com:
- Click on the icon that represents your profile.
- Click on “Settings and privacy.”
- Select “Privacy and safety.”
- Find the “Privacy” tab, then look for the “Send/Receive read receipts” option. Click the checkbox next to it to turn it off. You can do the same to turn it back on.
On the Android Twitter app:
- Depending on your phone model, you’ll see a profile icon or an icon that shows the navigation menu at the top of your screen. Whichever it is, tap it.
- Tap the “Settings and privacy” option.
- Go to “Privacy and safety.”
- Locate the “Direct Messages” tab. There will be a “Show read receipts” option with a checkbox next to it. If the box is checked, uncheck it to turn off read receipts. Check it back on to enable these receipts.
On the iOS Twitter app:
- At the top of your screen, there should be a profile icon. Tap it.
- Enter the “Settings and privacy” menu.
- While there, proceed to “Privacy and safety.”
- Look for “Direct Messages,” then find the “Show read receipts” slider. Toggle it, either way, to turn this option off or on.
You can also disable read receipts in this well-known instant messaging app by following these steps:
- Find “Settings.” It’s usually located in the top-right corner of your smartphone and presented by three vertical dots.
- Go to “Account.”
- Tap on “Privacy.”
- Find the “Read Receipts” option and disable it.
While you can do this for private messages, it’s not available for voice messages and group chats. Once you’ve played a voice message or displayed a message in a group chat, your play and read receipts will stay.
Besides letting you turn off Read Receipts for all message threads, Apple’s messaging service also lets you turn those on for certain contacts only. Here’s how to turn them all off at once:
- On the Home screen, find the “Settings” app and open it.
- In settings, locate “Messages.”
- Make sure that the “Send Read Receipts” slider is grayed, meaning this option is turned off.
Now, if you want to turn Read receipts back on for some contacts only, here’s what you should do:
- Open the message thread that you want to turn the receipts back on for.
- Tap the “Details” button, which is symbolized with a blue letter “i” in a blue circle. It’s located at the top-right corner of the screen.
- Turn the “Send Read Receipts” option for this contact on by moving the slider to the right.
Note: This method turns the receipts on for a certain message thread only, not for all the messages you exchange with the person you share this thread with. This further means that, should you start a new message thread with the same person, you will have to enable the Read receipts again. Additionally, you cannot turn these receipts on for group chats.
Microsoft’s email service has options that are similar to iMessage when it comes to disabling receipts. Here’s how to turn them on or off for all messages at once:
- Go to the “File” menu.
- Click on “Options.”
- Select “Mail.”
- In the “Mail” options, find the “Tracking” tab. The options you’re looking for are the first two, the checkboxes that say (request) “Delivery receipt confirming the message was delivered to the recipient’s e-mail server” and “Read receipt confirming the recipient viewed the message.” Turn these on or off at will.
- Click on the “OK” button to save changes.
Outlook also offers you a way to disable receipts for just a single email. While you’re typing an email, do the following:
- Head to the “Options” menu.
- The “Tracking” tab has two checkboxes, “Request a Delivery Receipt” and “Request a Read Receipt.” Uncheck the ones you don’t need.
- Since you’re still typing an email at this point, there’s no way to save the changes. All you need to do is send the email when you’re done.
If you’re using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on your computer, you can also disable Seen receipts on Facebook. These browsers may not have the exact same add-ons, but they are capable of the same things. Besides turning off these receipts, you can also block delivery as well as the “last active” receipts.
Disabling your Read receipts may turn other people’s read receipts to you off as well, so keep that in mind. Besides that, it’s quite easy to see if somebody has their receipts off. Be wary, as you’re never truly offline.
What do you think are the top reasons for keeping Read (or Seen) receipts off? We’ll pretend that they are other people’s reasons and not your personal reason, so feel free to share with the community in the comments below.