Skip to Content
Tech tips

How to tell if someone read your text

Texting is popular for a reason. What’s not to like about communicating via text? Messages can be read and exchanged anywhere at any time, you can send mass-messages and texting gives you time to think before you send information.

One concern is not knowing when or if your texts are viewed. If you need to pinpoint when someone looks at your messages, check out read receipts. Here’s how to set up read receipts for smartphones and messaging apps.

Note: The instructions given may vary according to your device manufacturer, model and operating system.

How to tell if someone has read your iPhone message

Texting is perfect for people of all ages, just tap or click here to see which plans are best for seniors. Everyone can benefit from using iPhone’s default text messaging app, iMessage.

Both the sender and recipient must be using iMessages on an iPhone or iPad and have Read Receipts enabled. When you text someone with Read Receipts turned on, you’ll notice the word “Read” beneath your message and the time it was opened.

To turn on Read Receipts in the iMessage app, click on Settings then scroll down and tap on Messages. Enable Send Read Receipts.

The above steps will work with Macs and iPads as well.

Read receipts on your Android

Like iPhone users, Android read receipts require both sender and recipient to use the Android Message app and have the feature enabled. Just a few steps and you are ready to go with read receipts.

In the Message app, click on the three-dot menu at the top of your screen and tap on Text Messages or Conversations. If neither option is given, click on More Settings.

Depending on your phone model, operating system and cellular provider, you will notice one of the following: Read Receipts, Send Read Receipts or Request Receipt. Turn on the applicable option.

You may also want to choose the alternative Delivery Receipts feature that will notify you when a message is delivered; however, it will not tell you if the person read the text. For more Android messaging apps, tap or click here.

Facebook Messenger

While you must enable read receipts for both Android and iPhone, this feature is enabled by default on Facebook Messenger. If at some point you wish to turn them off, you can’t; however, some workarounds will allow you to send and receive messages without producing a read receipt.

The first method, called the “Airplane mode trick,” requires you to merely turn off your Wi-Fi and cellular connection to read all received messages. Open the app then turn on Airplane mode (swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap on the plane icon). Once you finish reading your messages, force quit the Messenger app.

A second option is the Facebook Chat Privacy extension. Add to the Chrome browser, and all “seen” and “is typing” notices will be blocked.

WhatsApp

Since Facebook owns WhatsApp, it’s understandable the application also has built-in read receipts. Unlike its parent company, you have the opportunity to opt-out of read receipts within the app.

How do you know when someone views your message in WhatsApp? Look for the check marks:

  • A single gray check mark indicates a successfully sent message.
  • The appearance of a second gray check mark shows your message was delivered to the recipient’s phone.
  • If the recipient has viewed your message, the two check marks will turn blue (Press and hold on the message to see the time it was viewed).

To turn off this feature, click on Settings and tap Account. Choose the Privacy option and disable Read Receipts.

This method will not turn off Read Receipts in your WhatsApp Group Chats or Play Receipts for your WhatsApp voice messages.

Once you have your read receipts enabled on all your apps, you will no longer have to wonder or worry about whether a recipient has viewed your message. All you have to ask now is did (s)he actually read it? But that’s another story.

Komando Community background

Join the Komando Community!

Get even more digital know-how and entertainment with the ad-free Komando Community! Watch or listen to The Kim Komando Show on your schedule, read Kim's eBooks for free, and get answers in the tech forums.

Join Now