How to Tell When Someone Reads Your Text Message

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

What to Know

  • On iPhone: Open Settings > Messages > turn on Send Read Receipts
  • On Android: Settings > Chat features, Text Messages, or Conversations and turn on desired Read Receipts options.
  • In WhatsApp: Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts.

Here's how to tell if someone read your text on Android and iOS smartphones or in the Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp instant messaging apps.

This information covers Google Messages, the Messages app for iOS, and the WhatsApp and Messenger instant messaging apps.

Read Receipts on iPhone

On an iPhone, read receipts are the only way to tell if someone read a text you sent from Messages, the default texting app for iOS. If you and your recipient both use the Apple iMessage service and activated read receipts, you'll see the word Read under your last message to the recipient, along with the time the message was read.

If you don't want people to know that you read their messages, turn off read receipts.

Here's how to enable or disable read receipts in Messages for iOS:

Read receipts work only when both you and your recipient enable iMessage from the Messages settings. Read receipts don't work if you use SMS messaging or if your recipient doesn't use an iOS device.

  1. Open Settings.

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

  3. Turn on Send Read Receipts.

  4. Others are notified when you read their messages. If your recipient also enabled read receipts, you'll see Read beneath your message along with the time it was read.

    Turning on Read Receipts on an iPhone

Read Receipts on Android Smartphones

The situation is similar on Android phones. The Google 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 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 Chat featuresText Messages, or Conversations. If this option isn't on the first page that displays, tap More Settings.

    Text Message settings on an Android phone
  3. Turn on (or turn off) the Read Receipts, Send Read Receipts, or Request Receipt toggle switches, depending on your phone and what you want to do.

  4. 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.) On newer phones, open the Messages app and go to Settings > Advanced > Get SMS delivery reports.

    Delivery reports in Android

WhatsApp Read Receipts

WhatsApp uses built-in read receipts in the form of check marks next to messages. One grey check mark means the message was sent; two grey check marks mean the message was delivered, and two blue check marks mean the message was read.

If you don't want senders to know if you read their messages, here's how to disable read receipts in WhatsApp:

In WhatsApp, read receipts are a two-way street. If you disable read receipts to prevent others from knowing you read their messages, you won't know when they read yours.

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap Settings (gear icon) in the lower-right corner.

  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.

    WhatsApp read receipts
  5. Close Settings. Read receipts are disabled, and the two blue check marks don't appear on messages you send or read.

    You can't turn off read receipts in group messages on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Message Details

If you're looking for specific information about WhatsApp messages you sent, here's how to see your message details.

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap a chat.

  2. Swipe left on a message to open the Message Info screen.

    Alternatively, tap and hold the message and select Info.

  3. If read receipts aren't disabled, you'll see the exact time your message was delivered and read.

    Message details in WhatsApp

Messenger Read Indicators

Messenger doesn't have read receipts. Instead, it displays icons that reveal when your message is sending, when it's sent, when it's delivered, and when it's read.

When your message is sending, you'll briefly see a blue circle. When it's sent, you'll see a blue circle with a check mark. When it's delivered, you'll see a filled-in blue circle. Finally, when it's read, you'll see a small version of your recipient's profile image below the message.

Read indicators in Facebook Messenger

To read a Messenger message without letting the sender know you've read it, read it on the notification screen instead of opening the message.

  • Can I turn on read receipts for one person on iPhone?

    Yes. In the Messages app, tap the individual contact, then tap Send Read Receipts.

  • Can I tell if an email has been read in Apple Mail?

    Yes, but you need a Mac to set up read receipts. To get notifications when your messages are read in Mail, open Terminal and enter the following command: defaults read UserHeaders.

  • Can I enable read receipts in Gmail on iPhone?

    It depends. You can only see read receipts if you have a work or school Gmail account. In the message composition window, select the three dots > Request read receipt.

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