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Read receipts can be used to notify others when you have read their messages on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. From the user’s perspective, if the recipient has seen the message, it will appear as a small “Read” indicator below a sent message. There is a definite advantage to that, but it can also be a bit annoying and even intrusive from a privacy standpoint. Fortunately the read receipts feature is easy to turn on or off in iOS according to your needs, so we’ll show you how to do that.
Obviously, iMessage has to be configured and run in iOS to have this option in the first place, as read receipts are not provided with standard text messages.
How to Disable “Read” receipts for iMessage on iPhone, iPad
This works to disable (or re-enable) the sending of read receipts in the Messages app on any iOS device, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod:
- Open the Settings app and go to the “Messages” section
- Set the switch next to “Send read receipts” to OFF to disable read receipts
- Close Settings, the feature is immediately disabled and the ‘read’ message is no longer sent to the sender of the message
New messages received on your iOS device no longer show ‘read’ and a date, instead they just show ‘delivered’ and a date if they were sent via iMessage, or nothing at all if they are sent as a text message.
The ability to turn on and off read receipts is available in all versions of iOS, as long as you’ve configured iMessage, which is what most users do. In some versions of iOS, the settings may look slightly different, but the feature and switching it on or off works the same anyway.
Sent messages will no longer show “Read” to the sender, and instead they will now show up as “Delivered”, which is what a before and after looks like with an iMessage conversation:
Read receipts can also be turned off for the Mac iMessage client if desired.
You can re-enable the read receipts at any time with iOS by going back to Settings> Messages> and toggling read receipts back ON.
There’s no way to selectively enable read receipts on a per-contact basis, although that would be great feature for future versions of iOS messages.
Reading versus concerned in conversations
It’s important to point out how this affects what the sender sees, they will see a “Delivered” notification instead of a “Read” notification. This basically indicates that the iMessage was sent successfully through Apple’s delivery system, but beyond that, it provides nothing. As of now, there is no way to turn off that “delivery notification” while Messages is still working for iMessage delivery.
Disabling the “Delivered” notification means there is no iMessage
There is no way to turn off both the ‘Read’ receipts or the ‘Delivered’ notification in iMessages without disabling iMessage completely. Disabling iMessage is easy, but it prevents people from Macs, iPads and iPods from sending you messages as it will only deliver SMS (traditional text messages). Obviously you want a healthy messaging plan with your cellular carrier if you choose this option, and if you want to do that, open Settings> Messages> and turn iMessage OFF. This is not recommended.
How do you turn off the typing message “…” in iMessage?
As it turns out, there is no way to turn off the currently typical notifications, which appear as a “…” to the other person in the iMessage conversation when text is entered. This seems like a simple one feature supervision, and it would be surprising if this weren’t addressed in a future update to iOS with an added toggle to turn those type designations on or off via a privacy setting. The only way to turn off those typing notifications is to turn off iMessage completely and rely on SMS / text messages instead, which is generally not recommended and usually unwanted.
The reason for disabling read receipts
Read receipts can end up being misleading, and they show up as Read if the message is open even for a short second, just by tapping the Messages app, for example, which will default to the latest message. Obviously, this isn’t a legitimate indicator that a message is actually being read, and if you’re busy or trying to text someone else, those indicators will be sent even if you haven’t actually acknowledged a new iMessage through the Messages- app. Turn this around feature off can eliminate some miscommunication or a sender’s sense of being ignored because let’s face it, sometimes messages come through and we don’t actually read them because we’re busy with something else, despite the app being opened briefly.
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