How to hide text messages

Typically, iOS shows a preview of your incoming iMessage, SMS, and email messages on the Lock screen whenever you have a pending notification, as shown above on the left. When privacy is a big concern for you, and it should be, you might want to disable this feature so that prying eyes don’t see everything you’re being sent.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to hide message previews from the Lock screen so your incoming notifications that are displayed on the Lock screen will be more private.

Why you should hide notification preview from the Lock screen

When you leave your iOS device somewhere, even if it’s just in your purse or on your sitting own desk, anyone that may be around you could easily press a button on your device to wake it while you’re looking the other way and see what people have been messaging you about. They don’t need any kind of passcode to see your incoming message notifications, and it can be a huge invasion of privacy.

This is the case with iMessages, text messages, and emails; but fortunately, iOS comes with a way to hide notification content from the Lock screen for these types of messages so that the content of the messages can’t be read without first unlocking the device, which is great if you have a passcode or use Touch ID.

Stop your iPhone from displaying text messages and email preview on the Lock screen

To hide this kind of information from the Lock screen such as how you see in the image above, all you have to do is follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the Settings app and navigate to Settings > Notifications > Messages (for the Messages app), or Settings > Notifications > Mail > email account (for the Mail app).

Step 2: Turn off the “Show Previews” toggle switch to prevent showing content from these types of notifications on your Lock screen.

What will happen now?

Now instead of seeing the content of incoming messages in your Lock screen notifications, you should see a summary of what kind of notification it is. For example, instead of seeing “Hey what’s up dude?” when someone sends that to you via iMessage, you’ll see a notification that says “iMessage” from the sender’s name.

Likewise, for incoming email notifications, instead of seeing a preview of the actual email message and subject field for that message itself, you’ll see the placeholder text “Mail message,” as shown below:



Since privacy is an ongoing battle for iOS device users, you should take advantage of every option Apple gives you to combat peering eyes that want to snoop. Hiding notification content from the Lock screen is a great place to start, especially if you know you’re going to be in a scenario where someone sitting close to you might be able to see what people are sending you because you leave your device out of your pocket or laying around while you get up to do things.

Related: Increasing privacy in Safari for iOS

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