How to Tell When Someone Reads Your Text Message

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

Man texting on cell phone

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Ever wondered whether someone has read your text message but is ignoring it? In this age of constant connectedness, it can be hard to tell if someone is simply busy or doesn't want to talk. Here are the different ways to find out if your message has been read on Apple iOS for the iPhone and Android for Google-powered phones.

iOS

With iPhone, there's only one way to see when other people have looked at your messages — the recipient has "read receipts" activated on their phone and you both use iPhone iMessage.

When you use an iPhone to send text messages through the native Messages app, you only have the option to "send read receipts" from the phone. When you select this option, anyone who texts you sees the time when you opened (and presumably read) their message when they look at the text thread in the Messages app. 

Here's how to turn on read receipts from iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  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. Now people will see when yo've read their iMessages.

That doesn't help discover if another person read a text message you sent. If you use an iPhone and want to see if someone read your text message, use iMessage to send the text. Your recipient must use an iPhone and they must turn on the option to send read receipts.

If you text a friend, family member, or colleague with an Android phone, even if you go through the iMessage app, there's no way to know whether or not your message was viewed unless you both turn on the read receipt option.

Android

The situation can be similar with Android phones. The Android Messages app that comes with the phone supports read receipts. However, your carrier may or may not enabled this. If your carrier enables read receipts, you'll need to text with someone who has the same app and who has read receipts enabled on their phone.

The process to toggle read receipts on and off varies depending on the manufacturer (such as HTC, LG, or Samsung) and the version of Android on the phone. In general, the process looks like this: 

The directions below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

  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.

    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
  4. Close the Settings screens.

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

Two other popular messaging platforms include the option to send read receipts: Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

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 tell when someone's viewed your message. For example, there's the Facebook Chat Privacy extension for the Chrome browser, which blocks the "seen" and "is typing" notices for messages you send from Messenger.

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 stop 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 the Settings screens.

Signal App

The Signal app, available for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC, can be set as your default SMS application on stock Android phones such as Google's Pixel.

  1. On an Android phone, open Signal.

  2. Tap the three vertical dot menu, then choose Settings.

  3. Tap the SMS and MMS icon.

  4. Turn on the SMS delivery reports toggle switch.

    Settings, SMS and MMS, and delivery reports toggled to ON on Signal app
  5. Close the Settings screens.