How to increase the privacy of iMessage previews and alerts

How to increase the privacy of iMessage previews and alerts on your iPhone and iPad

By default, iMessage shows previews and alerts on the Lock screen and Home screen of your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Some people may not like that behavior and prefer more privacy — be they big business dealings or super secret sextings, we don't judge! Here's how to keep your iMessages away from prying eyes!

How to turn off message previews on your iPhone and iPad

By default iOS will show a short preview of your iMessage (or SMS) on both the Lock screen and Home screen. If you'd rather have your notification only show the sender's name, however, you can easily adjust the settings of the Messages app to do so.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Notification Center.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Messages.
  4. Scroll down once more and turn Off the option for Show Previews.

That's all there is to it. Now when your iPhone or iPad receives messages, no notification will pop up. You'll still hear an audible tone and get an alert but only the sender's name appears on the Lock screen or in the top banner notification. You can customize this further in the same section to disable alerts altogether if you prefer.

How to get more help with iMessage

If you're having issues getting iMessage to activate, get more help at the iMore forums, and for more tips, check out:

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to increase the privacy of iMessage previews and alerts


Great tip, I use it myself. It's worth mentioning that if you choose to do this on your iPhone, Siri can't read the text message when you ask her to do so. Or at least it wasn't working when I tried in originally.

I'm not going to lie, when iMessage first came out I was NOT a fan and I wanted to convince everyone otherwise but turns out I got convinced to love iMessage and i actually get upset when people with iPhones don't have their iMessage on!