Hide SMS & iMessage Previews from the Lock Screen on iPhone

Jul 10, 2012 - 3 Comments

The lock screen of an iPhone (or iPad, iPod touch) defaults to showing a preview of all received Messages and SMS, showing both the senders name and the content of their text message. That can be very convenient, but it also has the potential for oversharing private information and dialog between others, which could lead to an embarrassing situation or the disclosure of unintended information to others.

Disable the message preview on iPhone home screen

There are two options to change this lock screen message behavior, the first hides the message preview and instead will only reveal the message senders name, but no content of the message itself will be visible – this option will also hide any images or movies from appearing. The second option turns off the visibility of lock screen messages completely, meaning there will be no such alerts appearing on the lock screen at all, completely hiding any messaging activity including any sender name and all message content. The latter option will require the user to visit the Messages app to see both the sender and the message.

Hide Text Message & iMessage Previews from the Lock Screen

If you want to hide the message previews, here’s how to disable the text preview from showing on the lock screen:

  1. Open “Settings” and tap on “Notifications”
  2. Select “Messages” and slide “Show Preview” to OFF

Disable message previews on the iPhone lock screen

Now if you receive an incoming text message (SMS), MMS, or iMessage, only the recipients name will appear on the home screen, while the content of the message will be hidden. To see the full text or message contents now, you can either slide the icon which launches directly to the message itself, or go to the Messages app and review the entire message and view any attached pictures from there. This is a decent medium-privacy option that still allows you to get a glimpse of important messages in that the senders name is visible, and for many users this is a perfect mix of privacy while still being able to get quick information about who is contacting the device.

Disable Messages from Showing On the iPhone Lock Screen Completely

You can also disable SMS and texts from appearing on the lock screen entirely. This will hide any notification of an inbound message from showing up on the lock screen display, no message senders name and no message preview will be visible, meaning the only way to retrieve the message is directly through the Messages app on the iPhone (or iPad):

  • Still in “Notifications” part of the Settings app, go to “Messages” and scroll all the way down
  • Flip the “View in Lock Screen” setting to “OFF”

Again, this will completely hide every message, SMS, multimedia message, and iMessage from showing when the device is locked, and if you’re looking for maximum privacy you’ll probably want to go with this option rather than the first one.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

3 Comments

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  1. David says:

    If you want privacy don’t forget to turn off Mail previews too

  2. snguyen says:

    Ha, I owe you one on this. Thanks!

  3. Brett says:

    I have gone to about 4 different sites, but this one is the only one that has shown the correct way of doing this! Thank you so much!

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