Beginner tip: How to make text messages more private

Wondering how to protect your privacy and stop iPhone SMS popups from revealing the contents of your text message? It's not set that way by default, which is pretty annoying, but it can be changed. We'll show you how, after the break!

Special thanks to Freiteez from the forums for this tip!

Here's how to make your iPhone text messages more discreet:

  • From the home screen, tap on the Settings app
  • Tap on Messages
  • Find where it says "show preview"
  • Switch to off.

Now when you get a text message, instead of showing the actual contents of the message, it will only say "text message". (Note: the name of the sender will still be displayed.)

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)

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


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

More Posts



← Previously

Vote now for your favorite social iPhone/iPad game! – TiPb Awards

Next up →

New Facebook Messages isn't an email killer, but will you use it?

Reader comments

Beginner tip: How to make text messages more private


I would think of myself as an iPhone aficionado, but I never knew about this - thanks!

Thanks for putting this up Georgia. It becomes even more valuable if you send your friends random photos and then send you random ones back(if they are inappropriate) and say your parents are checking out your phone, instead of showing the image it will still just show "text message" :)

Why are others looking at people's phones?
Since the very first model, I've had countless people ask me if they can check it out. I say "Sure, let me check out your wallet or purse."
Conversation ends.

How do you people not know these small features? Do none of you just go through your phone and see what it has? How lazy.

In addition to this, I don't have Facebook and Twitter messages popup either. Just a badge icon.
When my phone rings\vibrates at my desk, people always seem to want to look down, and read said message...

How do you turn off preview for Facebook and Twitter? I've looked all over to find a way and haven't been able to find it. I used the tip to shut it off for texts and I love it. Thanks for any help anyone can give.

Thanks so much for sharing!!! I've been wrecking my brain trying to figure this out!! Tried everything but the right thing!! Thanks!!