How to Turn Read Receipts On or Off on iPhone & Android

Let people know you read their message (or don't)

What to Know

  • To turn on read receipts on an iPhone go to go to Settings > Messages.
  • On Android, open the Messages app, tap the menu icon, and select Settings > Chat Features.
  • Read receipts are not available on messages between iPhone and Android users.

This article covers how to manage read receipts in the built-in messaging apps on iOS and Android and includes a quick study of how read receipts work.

Manage Read Receipts on Apple Messages

You can enable read receipts on Apple’s Messages app in a few taps. However, you're only able to send and receive read receipts from other iPhone owners who are also using the app. If you’re not sure which app your friends are using, open a conversation with them, or start a new one. Messages from Android phones show up in a different color than messages sent to iPhones and iPads.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Scroll down and tap Messages.

  3. Toggle on Read Receipts. Toggle it off to disable the function.

    Turning read receipts on and off on Apple Messages.

Manage Read Receipts on Google Messages

Enabling and disabling read receipts on Android’s Messages app is a bit different from Apple’s. But the same rules apply: you can only send and receive read receipts from other Android owners who are also using the app. You can tell whether your friends are using the same app by starting a conversation or opening an existing one. Messages from iPhones display in a different color than Android. 

  1. Open Messages.

  2. Tap the three-dot menu icon.

  3. Select Settings.

  4. Tap Chat features.

    Turning on read receipts on Android Messages.
  5. Toggle on Send read receipts. Repeat these steps and toggle it off to disable the feature. When this feature is on, your friends will see the word Read and a timestamp under the message.

    Turning read receipts on and off on Android Messages..

How Read Receipts Work on Built-In and Third-Party Apps

Read receipts work in two ways. When you turn them on, recipients using the same operating system or messaging app (such as WhatsApp) can see when you’ve read their messages. If your friends turn them on, you can see when they read your message.

Read receipts are a convenient feature until they’re not. They can turn frustrating when you’re “left on read” for too long, meaning the recipient read your text and didn’t respond. You can turn your read receipts off, but not others (though it doesn’t hurt to ask).

When you turn off read receipts on WhatsApp and other third-party messaging apps, you won’t send or receive receipts, which can help reduce the stress of waiting for a response.

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