How to Schedule Sending Text Messages from iPhone

Feb 4, 2019 - 8 Comments

How to schedule sending messages from iPhone

The ability to schedule the sending of text messages and iMessages on iPhone has long been desired but up until recently it was not really possible. Fortunately now there are several options available to schedule text messages from iPhone so that the messages are sent at a particular time, and with the help of the free Shortcuts app you can have time delayed messages being scheduled in no time on the iPhone.

This handy delayed message sending trick works for both iMessages and Text Messages (SMS), and is helpful for many obvious situations, whether you want to schedule a message sending from an iPhone in a few minutes or a few hours or days. It’s quite easy to use, but you will need to download an app and setup a shortcut to do so.

How to Schedule Sending Messages from iPhone with Shortcuts

  1. Download the Shortcuts app from Apple onto the iPhone if you have not done so already, it’s free on the App Store
  2. Now get the “Delayed Time iMessage” Shortcut from SiriShortcutsGallery here and install it onto the iPhone
  3. Confirm that you want to install the Shortcut by choosing “Get Shortcut” (optionally, you can review the Shortcut Actions if desired)
  4. Run the “Delayed Time iMessage” shortcut in Shortcuts app, then select the Contact phone number
  5. Next, enter the message you want to schedule
  6. Choose when you want to send the scheduled Message from iPhone
  7. Leave the Shortcuts app running in the background of iPhone and the message will be sent at the scheduled time

It’s important to leave Shortcuts running on the iPhone, otherwise the Shortcut for scheduling the delayed text message sending will not work.

The approach covered here is obviously a bit of a workaround as there is no native Messages app support for scheduling or delaying the sending of iMessages or text messages, but workaround or not it does work as intended.

For best results, don’t try to schedule the messages too far out in the future. In fact it’s best to aim for sometime in the general near future, because it’s more likely to work as intended (particularly since the Shortcuts app is more likely to be still running in the background if you recently used it).

Another common trick to schedule sending a text message from an iPhone is even more of a workaround; using the Reminders app to simply remind you to send the message(s) at the desired time. You can even do that with Siri by telling Siri to remind you about what you’re looking at on screen, which is helpful if you’re actively in a messages conversation with someone that you later want to remind yourself to send a message to. In fact that’s the method that was widely used for years until the release of the Shortcuts app, and it still works but obviously it’s just a reminder rather than any automated message sending as this approach offers.

There are other methods and other shortcuts available to send delayed text messages and iMessages from iPhone, so if you want to use another approach or another Shortcut then you can do so. Maybe one day there will be a native message scheduling feature, but until then Shortcuts may be the best option for iPhone users who want to send a message at a particular time.

If you find a better trick or a particularly great approach to sending delayed messages or scheduling messages sent from an iPhone, then share those in the comments with us below.

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

8 Comments

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  1. Peter says:

    I’ve been looking for a solution to schedule iMessages unfortunately, this does not seem to be it. I’ve tried a few times and because my iPhone is locked, the request is denied each time.

    If I’m doing something wrong, please let me know.

  2. Piyush says:

    Brad,
    The application is not available in shortcut gallery

    • Jim Roberts says:

      Check link in Brad Ceroni’s message, above. The link in the story only took me to Shortcuts which I already have, and Brad’s link took me right to this shortcut once I used Safari on iphone to go to it.

    • Brigham says:

      I just wanted to let others know that I built a shortcut that allows you to delay the sending of a text in a rather intuitive fashion. If anyone would like to try it, feel free to give it a shot! It’s one of the most popular shortcuts on Routinehub.com. https://routinehub.co/shortcut/942

  3. Billy says:

    This is a very useful work around, especially since its free! But I feel it is a little overwhelming for people like me.

    If anyone is looking for something nice and simple (and does not mind purchasing credits to schedule the messages) I would recommend the app AutoSender https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/autosender-auto-text-later/id1375015129?mt=8.

    It lets you easily schedule a message to send as far in the future as you would like, and will automatically send them foe you,even if your phone is off. The way it does this is by a storing the message on their server, and then sending it at the time you chose.

  4. Brad Ceroni says:

    Good topic. I have done this before, I used this shortcut and it worked for me to send the delayed text message on iPhone.

    https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/b2bc74681e61455e9e8f6fe60c6ce351

    I set it on my iPhone then it sends like an hour later or whatever. Perfect for birthdays and dinner reminders, things of that nature.

    I have not tried scheduling a message send months away but I think because of the app requirement that may not have the same success as the same day.

    I would be interested in sharing more options about this with others, as I like the idea of scheduling birthday messages to my relatives far in the future. Like every year on this date, send this message, etc.

    • Johanna Vonk says:

      Hi Brad!

      There’s actually an app that does this (allow you to schedule messages at intervals), it’s called Scheduled: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1145815975

      You can schedule messages and automatically send through Imessage / SMS. You can’t automatically send through other apps like Facebook Messenger though. For those apps you can schedule reminders, so you choose the app at the moment you scheduled.

      Hope this helps :)

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