iPhone Text Message Privacy: How to Turn off SMS Preview

Aug 12, 2007170835Views253Comments
Update: The SMS Preview privacy issue is now resolved as of the iPhone 3.0 software update. In my original iPhone review, I complained about having little privacy on the iPhone when receiving incoming text messages. When you receive an SMS message on your iPhone, a preview of the message content pops up on the screen, […]

iPhone Text Message Privacy: How to Turn off SMS Preview


  1. people are complaining that they cant put it on without putting passlock on , well simple solution , keep a pass lock on , its always handy to have it on coz …
    1. if you mate robs your phone trying to read texts he cant
    2.say you loose your phone (touch wood you dont ) but then someone cant get into it and rack up you call bills
    3.if none of the above is going to happen and u still want the feature of no text preview then just set the pass lock as 1111 then its much easyier and you get what you want

  2. this trick works only if your iphone is not active, if you or anyone plays with it an sms will show up as usual – the whole text word by word…

  3. there is an APP lockdown in Cydia but to get this APP you have to jailbrake your iPhone first, than install cydia and than in cydia find lockdown. with this APP u can set passcode on every APP you want (sms, email, phonebook, etc.)

  4. I’m not too fussed about the preview but I would prefer if I could put a passcode on my inbox, I don’t have anything to hide but I don’t like it that any one can read all my messages from my partner or who ever. Is there no way of just having a four digit lock on the SMS function?

  5. Just got an iphone, so annoying having name of who text message is from. And no time date on some txts, and the ablity to not delete some txts from the conversation! The other annoying this is it doesn’t tell you how many characters in the txt, so hard to tell if you’re going over 2 txts. Also, can txts be forwarded?? Previously had a smartphone, it had much smarter txting functions. I’m glad that there’s software on this ph, cos hopefully these things wil be fixed without having to buy a whole new handset????

  6. Hey everyone there is a 3rd party app(means you gotta jailbreak) that lets you block it. Its called iBlacklist. When you install it, it will say its unregistered but it will still work. You can turn the notification off and then it works just like email. Whenever you get a text, just a number goes up by SMS instead of a notification showing the entire message. Hope this helps!

  7. Diana and unknown (also probably diana):
    No one here has to justify their reasons to you. You are the one who needs to get a life.
    But to show you that it isn’t about cheating as you claim, I had to call my boyfriend to tell him not to message me anything racey because I had little cousins playing crash bandicoot on my iPhone at a family reunion. I spent the whole night paranoid.
    So calm the f@@k down, you make us women look crazy.

  8. Thanks so much! i really needed this and i didnt know what to search up but as soon as i typed iphone sms privacy it came right up. thanks again!

  9. This problem is so true. Apple need to revisit the text app and re-do it. Make it simple – too marly of an app.

  10. I have the same regression complaint with regard to the latest software that doesn’t just say ‘New Text Message.’ Irritating…any update?

  11. I agree! I have sent a complaint about this, but you are right, it seems that updates should be exactly that. This version seems as if it backpeddled a bit with some functions! I am sure that we will have a new version coming soon that will hopefully address this issue. Is there a certain time span or criteria that these new versions are released? Or is it just until they are tired of hearing everyones complaints?

  12. Just updated my Iphone software to the latest version 2.2 and although with the SMS preview in the “Off” setting, the name of the SMS sender now shows up without showing the SMS message.

    In the last software version, when SMS preview was in the “Off” setting, and the phone locked, the message flashed up was “New Text Message” – which is preferable….Weird how Apple forgot what the previous software version was doing !!

  13. I have just recently updated my 3G and before this update when I recieved SMS, the bubble stated NEW TEXT MESSAGE, and only that. Now after the update, it states the above and the sender. Does anyone know how I can not have the sender’s name pop up and simply state NEW TEST MESSAGE?


  14. I had my iPhone set up so SMS preview was off and you also could not see who the person that sent the text was. It simply read “Text Message”. Ever since the new update (2.2) I can turn SMS preview off but the name of the sender shows up! Can anyone help me out?

  15. It’s irrelevant what someone’s reason is to not want the SMS preview to pop up, and all of us apparently have the need, as we’re all on this page. Anyway, if anyone figures out a way to eliminate the preview on a 3G altogether, (the pass-code lock option is lame) without jailbreak, please share the secret.

  16. I don’t like this major bug which apple seem to be nothing about. Why was this issue overseen prior to the release? Or is this a feature to cater for the look at me generation who have decided that privacy issues is trivial and not important (facebook et al) its not that i’m hiding things its just i am a very private person and i don’t think its necessary to have my msg on show for the whole world to read. It’s a very important bug that needs to be fixed ASAP along with some of the other annoying discrepancies. I am starting to think that this ipod with a phone feature is a complete waste of time. Again another mac product that follows their mantra of “Form over Function” and the sad thing is i am now stuck with this phone due to being on a plan.

  17. I often show videos on my iphone to clients and business associates etc. (I work in video production and the iphone is a handy tool to have – it IS my calling card). However, in the middle of a video I have had some pretty racy and sappy msgs from girlfriends pop up or stupid stuff from some of my punk friends! MAN, talk about embarrassing!! Luckily nothing too graphic thus far but I can’t be taking any chances. SMS preview is OFF on my phone 🙂

  18. Dear,

    Can you help me send your iphone application to me for turn off “SMS” function, many thanks !

  19. In Japan all the Cellphones have the ability to create SECRET folders, then you can make a “rule” for the setting to take certain addresses and attach them to the folder. So if you get a message from a person on the list, the message goes right to the secret folder and no preview or alert is given to you about the message. The little envelope icon will be shown but no alerts. When my Salaryman students got the new iphone they were completely shocked and awed that this expensive phone had nothing like this. Now their wives(settle down Diane) will know about their girlfriends. hahahaha. Personally I love having my I-touch. All the features and my battery will outlast yours because I’m never searching for networks….

  20. Cant believe that are that many that want to NOT show sms as much as i do.
    It has nothing to do with hiding anything.
    Its my damn device, i want to not have by conversations in public.

    I used to have a nokia phone and sms msgs could be placed into a sub folder. That was a nice touch. Really miss that feature on the iphone !

  21. yeah, I’m a designer and I interviewed a photographer. My GF tested me “so was the guy any good?” my husband had a FIT! Took 20 min to explain- ended up showing him whole conversation between my GF and I ugh!

  22. Mmm, I don’t like the fact that any Tom Dick or Harry can see a preview of my texts, it’s not right. It’s like having the Royal Mail insist that all letters and parcels come in clear polly bags. I think we all have the right to huff and puff about this flaw in the iphone software. I wonder if it’s a breach of my Human rights. Mmmm

Leave a Response