How to Turn off Message Preview on iPhone

Stop nosy friends from seeing your texts

When you receive texts, your iPhone displays a pop-up showing the sender's name and the beginning of the message. If you're concerned about privacy or waiting for a confidential text, change this default behavior so that others can't see the content of your messages. There are two ways to do this: disable message previews or stop notifications from the Messages app from displaying on your lock screen. We show you how to do both.

Instructions in this article apply to devices with iOS 11 and later.

How to Change the iPhone's Lock Screen Notification Settings

To change the lock screen settings so that message previews are enabled, but text notifications don't show up on the lock screen:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to Notifications > Messages.

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

    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.

    Notifications, Messages, Lock Screen radio button in iOS Settings
  4. Exit the Settings app.

How to Turn off Message Previews

If you want to see lock screen notifications for new texts, but you want the message contents hidden:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to Notifications > Messages > Show Previews.

  3. 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 is entered), choose When Unlocked.

  4. Exit the Settings app.