Can I turn off Message Read Receipts for only some users? | iLounge Article


Can I turn off Message Read Receipts for only some users?

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: Is there a way I can turn off those little “Read” status notifications that my iPhone sends out for only certain people? I know I can turn the setting off for everybody, but I do like my close friends to know when I’ve read their messages — it lets them know I’m alive and I’ve got their message without responding to type “OK” back to them. However, I’m not so fond of the receipts being on for other people who might be texting me, as then they get on my case about responding right away, or they try to call me because they know I’m on my phone. Also, are these “Read” updates only for iMessages or do people who text me see them too? I don’t think they work for texts, as I never see any, but I just wanted to be sure. Thanks!

A: Unfortunately, iMessage’s “Read Receipts” feature is a global, all-or-nothing setting, although the good news is you’re correct that it applies only to iMessages, not traditional SMS or MMS text messages. While there are ways to request receipts for SMS/MMS messages, these are generally carrier-specific, unknown by most people, and have to be specifically requested on a per-message basis.

If you toggle the “Send Read Receipts” setting OFF in your Messages settings, this will prevent your iPhone from sending read receipts to any other iMessage user, however it’s also important to note that this setting only applies to the current device. If you’re using iMessage across multiple devices — such as on a Mac and/or iPad — you’ll need to turn the setting OFF individually on each of your devices if you don’t want read receipts sent from those devices. Note that users will still see that messages have been “Delivered” — there’s no way to turn this one off, but it’s relatively harmless as all it means is that your device is powered on and has data coverage, whether you’re actively using it or not.

A useful point to keep in mind, however, is that a read receipt will only be sent out if “Send Read Receipts” is enabled on the device you’re using when you first read a new message. In other words, if you have “Send Read Receipts” enabled on your iPhone, but disabled on your iPad, and you read an incoming iMessage on your iPad for the first time, it will not be marked as “Read” but only “Delivered.” If you then open that same conversation on your iPhone, that existing message will still only be marked as “Delivered” on the other end — since you’ve already read it previously, the status doesn’t change.

Taking this a step further, if the “Send Read Receipts” setting is OFF when you first read a new message, that message will never be given a read status on the other end, even if you return to that message later with the “Send Read Receipts” setting ON. This means you can turn off “Send Read Receipts” temporarily solely to avoid sending a read receipt for a specific message, or while you’re carrying on a specific conversation. While it’s a cumbersome process — you have to go into your Messages settings before and after you read a message to turn the setting off and back on again — it does work, and can be a handy workaround if the situations where you don’t want to send a read receipt are relatively infrequent.


« Why can’t I set a longer passcode timeout on my iPhone 6 Plus?

How do I share one iCloud Photo Library within a family? »

Related Stories

iLounge Weekly

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2019 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy