How to Mark Text as Unread on an iPhone

Ever opened a message from someone you didn’t want to give your time of day to? Or maybe you just want to mark an important message as unread so you can check on it later.

In any case, this guide will show you how to mark text as unread on an iPhone. Read on to learn how.

How to Mark a Message as Unread on iPhone

Marking messages unread was challenging in previous iOS versions. Which was a pain for people switching from Android to iOS. But, Apple now makes it easy to mark messages or conversations as unread. There are several ways to mark iMessage as unread on iPhone and iPad.

Here is how to do this in the conversations list:

mark text as unread on an iPhone with the pop up menu
  • In the iMessages main screen, swipe the chat that you wish to mark as unread towards the right part of the screen. You could also swipe it halfway right and click the Mark as Unread prompt. You could also swipe it off the screen to mark the message automatically.
  • You could also long-press on the conversation and click on Mark as Unread in the quick action dropdown menu.
  • Click on the Edit button in the top-right part of the screen. There, click on the Select Messages prompt. From there, you can mark message as unread by selecting them and then clicking on the Unread button at the bottom-left part of the screen.

One thing to know is that Apple earlier utilized the swipe towards the right gesture to pin messages at the top of the screen. However, to do that now, long-press on the conversation and select the Pin option. To do this, you could also drag and then drop a message at the top part of the list.

Mark Text as Unread on an iPhone in Bulk by Filtering Your Messages

Filter unknow senders to group messages

You will have to turn on message filtering if you wish to isolate all the unread messages into another list. To do this, follow these steps:

Open the Settings menu.

There, click on Messages.

Now, activate the Filter Unknown Senders switch under the Message Filtering option.

Unknown messages in the filtered messages

If you have installed applications that allow you to have the SMS filtering options, click on the Unknown & Spam option and find the Filter Unknown Senders. Ensure that the switch is turned on. The Edit button will turn into the Filters menu. Click on it and then click on Unread Messages, and you will only see your iPhone unread messages there.

Mark Unread Messages as Read

Mark as read in the preview menu

To mark an unread message iPhone as read, you can do any of the following:

  • Swipe towards the right of the conversation you wish to mark as read. You could also mark iMessages as read by swiping it halfway and then clicking on the Mark as Read prompt, or you can swipe it completely to mark it as read automatically.
  • You could also long-click on the conversation and click on Mark as Read in the quick action dropdown menu.
  • Click on the Edit button in the top-right side of the screen. There, click on the Select Messages prompt. Here, click on Read All towards the bottom, or you can click on a chat and then on Read.

Related Reading: How to Record a Call on an iPhone

How to Mark a Message as Unread on a Mac

Similar to iPadOS 16 and iOS 16, Apple’s Messages application on macOS 13 allows users to mark a message as unread.

Doing this is simple, and you only have to follow a few simple steps. To mark a message as unread, you can Right-click or use Control-click on the chat inside the conversations list. There, click on Mark as Unread.

If you wish to mark the unread texts as read, then you basically have to follow the same steps. Right-click or use Control-click on the chat that you already read and then click on Mark as Read.

You can follow similar steps if you have iMessage on your Windows computer.

Using Siri to Read the Unread Messages

Now that we know how to mark the messages as unread, you can use Siri to read out these unread texts to you throughout the day. You can use phrases like “Hey Siri, read all my unread messages .”This will prompt Siri to read these messages and the contact’s name. Siri will then ask you if you wish to reply to the conversation. You can then dictate your reply and send it if you say yes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Mark as Unread Work?

Marking the seen message as unread allows you to keep the message unread. It turns the seen message that you received into an unread message. The person who sent the message will not know that you have read the message.

It is easy if you wish to mark iMessages unread on your iPhone. There are many ways you can unread a message.

You can swipe right on the chats you want to mark as unread. Swipe it partially and click the Mark as Unread option. You could also swipe the conversation off the screen to mark it as unread automatically.

Is There a Way to Flag Text Messages?

There is a way to flag messages on your iPhone. Each message has an icon of a flag in the top right corner. You can simply click on the flag. You will be asked for a reason for flagging the message. Select a reason, and the message will be flagged. The other way is to open the message that you want to flag, click on the ellipsis in the top right corner, and then select the option “Flag”. You can hold the flag button in the top right corner of the text message you want to flag.

Can You Read Messages Without the Sender Knowing That I Read It?

When a message preview appears on the screen, tap and hold for a while on the conversation thread. If you don’t tap it again, the message will stay in preview mode, so you can read it without sending a read receipt. Scan the message preview to review and read the message.

Is There a Way to Mark iMessages as Unread?

You can long-press the chat that you want to mark as unread. Choose the Mark As Unread button from the quick actions. You could also choose Edit at the top of your screen. Select the option Select messages and mark ticks on one or more chats. Then, tap on Unread at the bottom of the screen.

How Do You Delete Unread Text Messages on iPhone?

Swipe left on the unread text in the main iMessage screen and then tap the trash symbol.

How Can I Read a Message Without It Being Seen?

The setting to alter seen/unseen messages on iPhone is called “Read Receipts,” To make messages not show whether they’ve been read or not, you can:

  1. Navigate to Settings
  2. Tap on Messages
  3. Tap on Send Read Receipts
  4. Disable them.

To read individual messages without marking them as seen, you can long-press the message from the messages menu. Make sure you don’t touch the message in the preview window. Otherwise, the message will open fully, and therefore be marked as read.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this guide covered everything you would want to know about marking texts as unread or read.

Now that you know how to mark text as unread on an iPhone check out some of our other helpful content.

Feel free to let us know in the comments if you need any help.

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Jake Wright
Jake Wright
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Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.

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