How to Tell When Someone Reads Your Text Message

Are your texts being ignored on iOS, Android, WhatsApp, or Messenger?

Woman is standing outside texting, sad because her texts aren't being read
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Have you ever wondered if someone has received and read your text message? In this age of constant connection, it's hard to tell if someone is busy, ghosting you, or just hasn't seen your message.

Here are some different ways to find out if your message has been read on an iPhone or Android smartphone, or via Messenger and WhatsApp.

Has My iPhone Message Been Seen?

There's only one way to tell if someone has read your iPhone message. Both of you must be using iMessage with iPhones, and the recipient must have read receipts activated on their iPhone.

The iPhone's native Messages app allows users to send read receipts. If you select this option, anyone who texts you sees the time you opened (and presumably read) their message. If you're texting someone with read receipts activated, underneath your message in the text screen, you'll see Read and the time your message was opened.

Here's how to turn on read receipts in an iPhone's Messages app:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Go to Messages (the green icon with a white text bubble inside it).

  3. Turn on the Send Read Receipts toggle switch.

    Settings icon, Messages button, and Send Read Receipts toggle set to ON
  4. Others now will see when you've read their iMessages.

Of course, activating read receipts doesn't help when you want to know if a recipient got your message. If that person hasn't activated read receipts, there is no way to tell if they opened and read your message.

Read Receipts on Android Smartphones

The situation is similar on Android phones. The Android Messages app supports read receipts, but the carrier must also support this feature. Your recipient must have read receipts activated for you to see if they've read your message.

Here's how to turn on read receipts on Android phones;:

The directions below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. There may, however, be slight variations depending on the Android version.

  1. From the text messaging app, open Settings. If you don't see Settings, tap the three vertical dots or lines at the top of the screen. 

  2. Go to Text Messages or Conversations. If this option isn't on the first page that shows up, tap More Settings.

    Three Samsung Android screens showing Settings, More settings, and Text/Multimedia messages buttons
  3. Turn on or off the Read Receipts, Send Read Receipts, or Request Receipt toggle switches, depending on your phone and what you want to do.

  4. Optional: Turn on Delivery Receipts to find out if your text message was delivered to the recipient. This option doesn't tell you if the message was read.

    Delivery Reports toggled ON in both Text Messages and Multimedia Messages screens on Android
  5. Close the Settings screens.

Facebook Messenger

With Facebook Messenger, there's no official way to turn off read receipts, so unless you download a third-party app or a browser extension, you can always tell when someone has viewed your message.

The Facebook Chat Privacy extension for the Chrome browser blocks the seen and is typing notices for messages you send from Messenger.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp uses built-in read receipts. When someone sends a message, a single gray tick mark appears upon successful dispatch on the network. When the message reaches the recipient's service, a second gray tick mark appears. After the person reads the message (meaning the message is opened), both tick marks turn blue and function as a read receipt.

Read receipts are a two-way street. If you disable them to prevent others from knowing you read their messages, you won't be able to tell when they read yours.

To opt-out of the read receipts feature in WhatsApp:

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap Settings.

  2. Tap Account.

  3. Tap Privacy.

  4. Turn off the Read Receipts toggle switch to prevent the other person from knowing when you've read a message.

    Account, Settings, Privacy buttons and Read Receipts toggled to ON in WhatsApp on iOS
  5. Close Settings.