Messaging apps have long had a ‘read’ or ‘seen’ feature. It tells if a message you have sent has been read by your recipient. Likewise, it lets your contacts know when you’ve read a message they’ve sent. The feature has existed for quite a while in the Messages app in iOS. Users have always had the option to turn ‘Read’ receipts Off for iMessages but the setting effected all conversation threads. It was, up until iOS 10, an all-or-nothing affair. As of iOS 10, users can turn off ‘Read’ receipts for individual contacts. Here’s how.
Turn Off Read Receipts For A Single Contact
In order to turn Off read receipts for a particular contact, you must have a conversation thread with said contact in the Messages app. The thread doesn’t have to be active i.e. the last message you sent or received can be months ago.
Open the Messages app and go to the conversation thread. Tap the little ‘i’ button at the very top of thread next to the contact’s name. On the information page that opens, you will see the newly added ‘Send Read Receipt’ switch. Turn it off. This works only for iMessages. Contacts that do not use iMessages and converse via SMS are never sent ‘Read’ Receipts.
Turn Off Read Receipts For All Contacts
If you would like to turn Off ‘Read’ receipts for all contacts, there is a simple switch to do just that. Open the Settings app, scroll down, and tap ‘Messages’. Turn the ‘Send Read Receipts’ switch Off. This applies to all iMessage conversations. This works in iOS 7 and above.
This setting applies to all conversations you have on your iPhone. If you’ve enabled iMessages on a different iPhone, or on your iPad and neglected to turn Off ‘Read’ receipts on it, they will be sent when you read a message on such a device.
Likewise, if you haven’t turned Off ‘Read’ receipts on your Mac, reading a message on it will alert your contact when you’ve read their message.