How to Schedule a Text Message on an iPhone

A Shortcuts action lets you set up text messages to be sent later (but you can use a third-party app, too)

What to Know

  • You can use the Shortcuts action to schedule text messages to be sent later and regularly.
  • Select the Automation tab > Create Personal Automations and follow the prompts to compose and schedule a message.
  • There are also third-party apps available to let you schedule your text messages in advance.

This article explains how to schedule a text message to send later on your iPhone.

How to Schedule a Text on iPhone

Since iMessage won't let you schedule a text message to be sent at a later time, you'll need to use a workaround solution. One way to do that is with the Shortcuts app. It's free and already on the iPhone, but it's slightly complicated and probably not exactly what you're looking for, but here's how to do it just in case you decide this is your best option.

Prefer to download and use a third-party app instead of Shortcuts? Skip to the Delayed Texts section of this article.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your phone.

    The Shortcuts app comes preinstalled on iPhones running iOS 13 or later. If your phone is running an earlier version of iOS, you'll need to download the Shortcuts app from the Apple App Store.

  2. Choose the Automation tab at the bottom of the page.

  3. If you've never created an automation before, you can tap Create Personal Automations.

    If you have previously created an automation, you won't see this option. Instead, tap the + in the upper right corner and then tap Create Personal Automation.

  4. Select the Time of Day option.

    Screenshots of the process to build an automation shortcut to schedule an iMesage.
  5. Adjust the time for when you would like to send the message.

  6. The tap Month and scroll down to adjust the date you want the message sent on. When you're finished, tap Next.

    Scheduling messages in iMessage this way will set up an automatically recurring message to go out on the same date at the same time each month. If you plan for this to be a one-time event, you'll need to go in and delete the automation (or turn it off) once your scheduled message has been sent.

  7. On the next screen, tap Add Action.

    Screenshots of the process to build an automation shortcut to schedule an iMesage.
  8. On the Actions menu, check a contact from the Send Message section and then tap Next.

  9. In the Message field, type the message you want to send, and then tap Next.

  10. Review the New Automation to be sure it contains the correct details. One thing to pay particular attention to here is the option to Ask Before Running. It is enabled by default. You can tap the toggle next to Ask Before Running to turn this off if you want the automation to run automatically without any input from you.

  11. When you're satisfied, tap Done, and that automation will be set up to run according to the settings you chose when completing the steps above.

    Remember, this method sets up an automation that will send the same text message to the same person on the same day and time every month. If this is not what you intend, you should remember to go back and delete the automation once it has run. To delete it, slide your finger from right to left on the automation and tap Delete.

    Screenshots of the process to build an automation shortcut to schedule an iMessage.

How to Send a Delayed Text on iPhone

If you're trying to send a delayed but non-recurring text message, then downloading a third-party app might be the best option for you. These apps allow you to create and schedule text messages for one-time sends or recurring sends. Some of the top-rated apps in the App Store include:

Each of these apps will work differently, and while all of them are free to download, they include in-app purchases, so they probably aren't entirely free. However, they should work similarly by giving you the option to create and schedule messages to anyone in your contacts list or for whom you have a phone number.

Can You Schedule an iMessage?

The short answer is no. You cannot use iMessage to schedule a text message to be sent at a later time. However, some workarounds will let you send messages at a future time. Those require using either the Shortcuts app or a third-party application designed specifically for scheduling text messages.

  • What does the crescent moon icon in my iPhone's text messages mean?

    When you see a moon icon next to a contact's name in the Messages app, it means you've turned on Do Not Disturb for that conversation. You won't receive new notifications about messages from that person with this setting enabled. You can turn it off by swiping left on the message and tapping the bell icon.

  • How do you forward a text message on iPhone?

    Tap and hold the message you want to forward, then open the More menu and select Share. Choose a recipient in the To: field and tap Send. Check out Lifewire's full guide to forwarding texts on an iPhone.

  • How do you block a text message on iPhone?

    To block texts from a specific contact or phone number, tap that name or number, then tap the More Info button. Tap Info, then scroll down and select Block This Caller. You can also automatically block messages from unknown senders by going to Settings > Messages > Filter Unknown Senders and turning on the option.

  • How do you recall a text message on iPhone?

    Unfortunately, it's not possible to recall a text message after you send it. But you may be able to cancel it before it's delivered if you're quick enough. Open the Control Center and turn on Airport Mode. This mode shuts off all signals coming in and going out of your device, including your data and Wi-Fi. You'll know if you were successful if you get a "Not Delivered" message next to the text.

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