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How to Turn On or Disable Apple iMessage Read Receipts

When you receive a text message on your iPhone or iPad, read receipts will let your fellow texters know when you’ve read their latest messages. That can prove helpful when you don’t want to keep the other person in suspense wondering if you’ve seen their message. 

Read receipts are only available through Apple’s iMessage-enabled messages, not regular SMS texts. You can tell the difference by color: a blue text bubble means iMessage, a green text bubble means SMS. Group messages don’t support read receipts either.

Unfortunately, this feature can become a source of anxiety or concern for all parties, especially when you see someone view your message but not respond in a timely manner. You can stop stressing today; just as you can enable read receipts, you can also turn them off completely or just for specific individuals. 

Enable All Read Receipts 

You can enable read receipts for everyone who texts you under Settings > Messages. Turn on the switch for Send Read Receipts.

read receipts

Now when someone sends you a text, you can view the message and a small Read note should appear in the other person’s text indicating the time you read the message.

apple messages

Turn Off Read Receipts for Specific Contacts

You may want to leave read receipts turned on by default but turn them off for select people, a capability introduced in iOS 10. Open Messages and tap on a conversation with the person for which you want to disable read receipts. Tap the person’s profile icon at the top and then select the Info icon. Turn off the switch for Send Read Receipts.

contact settings

You can also disable read receipts through the Contacts app. Launch the app and open their contact page. Tap the message icon, then tap the person’s profile icon and select Info. Turn off the switch for Send Read Receipts.

contacts app

Disable All Read Receipts With Exceptions

Let’s say you want to disable read receipts for everyone except a few select people. Open Settings > Messages and turn off the switch for Send Read Receipts. Now messages will only show up as “Delivered” and not Read.

disable read receipts

Now open the Messages or Contacts app and pick a conversation or contact to enable read receipts. Tap the Info icon and turn on the switch for Send Read Receipts. Now when you receive a text and read it, they will see that you read the message.

enable read receipts

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