How to Turn off Message Preview on iPhone

Stop nosy friends from seeing your texts on your iPhone

Viral content, sms and social activity - likes, shares and comments popping up on a smartphone screen

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When you receive texts, your iPhone, by default, displays a pop-up showing the sender's name and the beginning of the message. If you're concerned about privacy or are waiting for a confidential text, change this default behavior to prevent anyone who might see the text notification from knowing its contents. There are two ways to do this: disable message previews or stop notifications from the Messages app from displaying on your lock screen.

Instructions in this article apply to devices running iOS 12 and iOS 11.

Change the Lock Screen Notification Settings

To change the lock screen settings so that message previews are enabled but text notifications do not show up on the lock screen:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to Notifications and tap Messages.

  3. In iOS 12, tap Lock Screen to disable Message notifications on the lock screen. The blue icon changes to white to indicate that it's disabled. In iOS 11, tap the button next to it so that its color changes from green to white.

    Notifications, Messages, Lock Screen radio button in iOS Settings

    You can also prevent texts from showing up as banner notifications in the Notification Center. However, if preventing bystanders from seeing messages is your primary concern, stop alerts from displaying while your phone is locked.

  4. Exit the settings. The changes are saved automatically.

Turn off Message Previews

To disable message previews when you want to see lock screen notifications for new texts but you want the message content hidden:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to Notifications and tap Messages.

  3. Tap Show Previews.

  4. Choose Never or Off to disable message previews.

    Messages, Show Previews, and Never in iOS Settings app

    If you want to see message previews only when using your phone (when the passcode has been entered), choose When Unlocked to get text previews when the phone is unlocked.

  5. Press the Home button or exit the Settings app.