Hide text messages on iPhone – Have you ever been in a situation that other people accidentally see a message showing up on your iPhone screen and that message contains something you don’t want anyone to know?
With me, it’s one of the worst things ever!
By default, whenever you receive a text message, it will be displayed as a preview on the lock screen, or a banner if your device is already unlocked. So anyone can see and reply the message easily without your permission. Fortunately, Apple also allows users to customize the message alert themselves from the Settings app.
Don’t know how to do it? This post is what you need!
In this post, I’ll show you how to change the settings on your iPhone and prevent your messages from being viewed by other people. I’ll also share with you a few jailbreak tweaks that can help you enhance the privacy and security.
Let’s dive in.
How to keep conversations private
The first solution is to customize the message notifications and then use Passcode/Touch ID to prevent other people from accessing your device.
Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Notifications > Messages
Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the ‘Show Previews’ toggle bar. Turn off this toggle. Now when you receive a text message, only the name of the sender will be showed. The preview message will be replaced by ‘Text Message’ or ‘iMessage’.
Step 3 (Optional) Turn on Passcode: This act will completely keep your conversations private. To do this, navigate to Settings > Passcode. You can use Touch ID as well if your device supports.
There are many other useful options that you can make use of within that setting screen. Let’s see:
- Allow Notifications – If you turn off this, you won’t get any notifications whether on the lock screen or in the Notifications Center.
- Badge App Icon – The number of unread text messages in a red oval at the top-right corner of the Messages app icon.
- Alert Style – You can choose None, Banners (default) or Alerts
- Repeat Alerts – By default, you will be reminded with two alerts when an incoming text message arrives. Settings this to Never will ensure that your iPhone only plays the alert tone once.
With other third-party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or Whatapps, there is no “Show Previews” toggle. But you can turn off the “Show on Lockscreen” or “Show in Notification Center” toggle instead.
How to hide conversations in the Messages app
If you own a jailbroken iPhone, there is a jailbreak tweak named HiddenConvos that will keep your conversations more secure.
When you perform a swipe on a conversation in the Messages app, normally you’ll see a Delete button only. But after installing HiddenConvos, this tweak will add the Hide button right beside the Delete button, allowing you to hide any conversations you want.
The hidden conversations are also placed into Do not Disturb mode so that you will no longer receive any coming notifications about them. To unhide all the conversations, just tap the Edit button in the upper left-hand corner, then tap the Unhide All button in the upper right-hand corner.
HiddenConvos can be installed for free from the BigBoss repo. After installed, it will start working right away without any configurations. So there is no preference panel in the Settings app for this tweak as well.
Instead of just hiding individual conversations, you can secure your messages app better by using BioLockdown ($1.99), another cool jailbreak tweak from Ryan Petrich.
BioLockdown allows you to lockdown apps, switches (system toggle) and Settings panes using Touch ID. Once the tweak is installed, you need to navigate to the tweak settings, then select the apps that you want to protect. After you’re done with the restricted list, try to open the app that you’ve added, you will be prompted to use Touch ID to unlock it.
If your device does not have Touch ID fingerprint sensor, you can install other tweaks like AppLocker ($0.99) and BioProtect ($2.99) instead. These tweaks allow you to protect apps only but they have a passcode protection mode so that you can make use of on the device without Touch ID sensor. The passcode can be different than your device’s passcode and you have to go to the tweak settings to configure it.