How to Hide Text Messages on the iPhone (Turn Off SMS Preview)

If you’re the owner of an Apple iPhone you definitely know about this feature called SMS Text Preview, which shown the name of the sender together with a preview of the message itself on the main screen whenever you receive a new message.

While this can be useful feature if you want to be able to quickly see who the message is from and what it’s about, it probably isn’t something you want if you’re not the only one who has access to your phone. For instance, you might work in an office where you tend to leave the device lying around where anyone can look at the screen.

Needless to say, even if you trust the people around you, this can be a bit of an annoyance if you care about your privacy. After all, anybody within a few feet could see who the sender is and what they’re saying by just glancing toward your phone, even accidentally! Thankfully, there are ways to disable SMS Preview, as we are about to show you.

The first thing you could do to keep your messages private is to set a passcode lock. To do that, go to Settings, then General, and then tap Passcode Lock. If you don’t already have a passcode set up, you will be asked to do so.

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After confirming the passcode, you will see a series of options, which include “Show SMS Preview”. Set it to off and don’t forget to change the Require Passcode time to whatever value you think is best.

This works really well, except it generates another minor inconvenience: you’ll have to enter the passcode every time you want to use the phone. You could always set a really long idle time (the time your phone has to be idle before you’ll have to enter the passcode), something like 30 minutes or an hour – however this sort of defeats the purpose of taking such a precaution – someone could easily see you message during that hour your phone remains on.

You can also turn off the text message preview on the iOS lockscreen completely by following these simple steps:

Go to Settings, tap on Notification Center, and then on Messages. There you will find these options: “Show on Lock Screen” and “Show Preview“. Switch both of them to OFF. It’s really that simple!

We hope you can now feel a bit more safe about leaving your phone around where people could see it, secure in the knowledge that, even if someone sends you a message you don’t want anyone else knowing about, there’s no chance of prying eyes “casually” (or even intentionally) breaching your privacy.

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