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How to Turn off Text Message Previews on Your iPhone or iPad

Posted by Melissa Holt on August 7, 2017
iphone text message lock screen

You know what’s less than ideal? This. This is less than ideal.
text message preview iphone
If you’re like me, and the people you text with tend to have a, well…a less than perfectly professional sense of humor, then you may not want your lock screen to show what texts you’ve received. But you might still want to know when you’ve gotten one! Just without revealing the embarrassing stuff, maybe. Luckily, there is just such a setting in iOS, and that’s what I’m covering today. Let’s go over how to hide text message previews on your iPhone or iPad!
All of the privacy goodness you’re looking for will start with you opening your Settings app.
iphone settings app
Next, tap “Notifications.”
iphone settings notifications
Under that, find “Messages,” and tap to go there.
iphone notifications messages
Within “Messages,” scroll down to the bottom to reveal the “Messages Options” section. You’ll choose “Show Previews” there.
iphone messages preview
And here’s where the magic happens. You’ve got three choices: “Always,” “When Unlocked,” and “Off.”
iphone messages preview settings
If you choose “Off” or “When Unlocked,” then your Lock Screen will never again reveal your secrets:
iphone text message preview
As you can tell, this means that any texts you get will show who they’re from but will hide the contents of the message until you unlock your device. Nifty!
At this point, you could also decide whether it’s important to you to hide these previews of your texts when your device is unlocked, as well. After all, if you tend to hand your iPhone to other people, say, this is also less than ideal:
iphone text message preview unlocked
If you make sure that your “Show Previews” setting is toggled to “Off,” then your device will never again show you the contents of a message…
text message preview hidden iphone
…until you visit the app itself or drag down on the notification to reveal the conversation, that is.
imessage preview iphone
I may have needed to send a lot of texts for this article. Maybe.
One last note, though. If you’re really concerned about the privacy of your texts, you could consider keeping them off the Lock Screen altogether. If you look under that same Settings > Notifications > Messages screen, there’s a toggle for “Show on Lock Screen.” Turn that off, and then no one will be able to tell whom your texts are even coming from, for goodness’ sake. Maybe you don’t need to be that paranoid, but how should I know? If you’re a super-secret international spy, this may just make perfect sense.

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