How to hide messages and message notifications on your iPhone, so only you can read them

AppleIt’s easy to change where your notifications show up, limit message notifications specifically, or hide specific message chains to veil them from wandering eyes.
  • Text messages (and other notifications) that pop up on your iPhone’s screen even when it’s locked can be read by anyone within eyesight of your phone, revealing your personal communications.
  • You can configure your iPhone’s notifications settings to hide text messages and other notifications until you actively want to view them.
  • There are also ways to hide message chains and new texts coming in from specific phone numbers.
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There are lots of reasons you might want to hide the messages that pop up on your iPhone, especially those notifications that show up when your phone is locked.

Maybe you’re planning a surprise for your partner. Maybe your workplace doesn’t like you getting personal messages. Or maybe you just don’t like the idea of strangers being able to preview your text messages when they pop up on your iPhone.

Whatever the reason you want to hide text, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and other notifications, it only takes a few seconds to do it. And if you want to hide specific text message chains or the texts from a specific sender, that’s easy enough, too.

How to hide message notifications on an iPhone

If you don’t want messages popping up on your iPhone screen, you can shut the notifications down wholesale or on a case-by-case (app-by-app, e.g) basis.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down to and tap “Notifications.” This will open a long list of every app on your phone that generates notifications.

Steven John/Business InsiderOpen your Notifications settings page.

3. To stop all notifications, tap “Show Previews” at the top of the screen, then select “Never.” You can also select “When Unlocked” to only partially limit message displays – you’ll only receive notification alerts when your phone is unlocked.

4. To stop notification alerts from specific apps, like your text messages, scroll down on the notifications page and find the app in question, then tap it.

5. Toggle “Allow Notifications” off to stop all of the app’s displays from popping up, or unselect the options you’d like just below (“Lock Screen” e.g.).

Steven John/Business InsiderYou can tap on an app to change its specific notification settings.

If you turn off all notifications, you will have to specifically open each app to read any messages sent to you, or you will have to open specific apps where you have restricted display options.

You can also only allow notifications to go to your Notification Center, which you can access swiping down from the top of the screen. In this case, alerts won’t show unless you go into the Notification Center.

How to hide messages from individual senders

If you don’t want to hide all of your notifications but you do want to hide specific text chains, or stop a specific sender’s messages from getting through to where they can be seen, there are two different approaches.

To hide message alerts from a specific text message chain:

1. Open the message(s) you don’t want displaying as the chain continues.

2. Tap near the top of the screen, by the icon of a face (or the person’s picture).

3. On the taskbar that appears, tap the “i” for “info.”

William Antonelli/Business InsiderTap ‘info.’

4. Toggle “Hide Alerts” on.

William Antonelli/Business InsiderToggle ‘Hide Alerts’ on.

An alert will no longer display on your screen when a new text from this chain comes in, but you’ll still receive the text.

To hide messages from a specific person:

First, make sure you have the person’s contact info written somewhere else.

1. Open the contact whose messages you need to hide, then tap “Edit” in the top right corner.

2. Scroll down, and hit “Delete Contact,” then tap “Delete Contact” on the popup window to confirm.

3. Open the settings app and scroll down to and tap “Messages.”

4. Scroll down and toggle on “Filter Unknown Senders.”

Steven John/Business InsiderToggle on ‘Filter Unknown Senders.’

The message sent from the person you removed (or anyone not in your contacts) will now go into a list kept separate from the rest of your messages.

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