What you need to know
- iMessage can be set to send read receipts for incoming messages, but the feature can also be disabled.
- Some users are finding that their devices are sending read receipts even when they are turned off.
- Some people have found a temporary fix by restarting their devices.
One of the unsung features of iMessage is the way it can notify people when a message has been read and while some people might not like that feature, Apple offers a way for it to be disabled to ensure the option is there should it be needed. Unfortunately, it appears that a new bug might mean that you're sending read receipts even when you don't want to.
According to a new Macworld report, some people are finding that even with read receipts disabled, the people that send them messages can still see when they have been read. The issue seems to impact multiple platforms and is definitely happening with iOS 15 devices, according to the report. Unfortunately, at the time of writing at least, there doesn't seem to be a way to prevent this from happening. Some have had luck by restarting all the things, but there is no guarantee that the problem won't rear its head once more.
I've always found iMessage read receipts to be one of the best iPhone features, albeit one that we often take for granted. But there are legitimate reasons why some people might not want others to know when they've read a message — and it's those people that will be caught out by this bug. They'll think they have the feature disabled when their device is selling them out.
Hopefully, this is one bug that gets fixed sooner rather than later, and who knows, maybe it's a fix Apple can make server-side — at least as some sort of workaround in the short term.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.