If you’re a long-time iPhone user, you probably know the frustration of reading a text message and then forgetting to reply to it.
Apple has fixed that annoyance in iOS 16 by adding the ability to mark messages as unread on the iPhone. Now, if you don’t have time to reply right away, you can mark it as unread as a reminder to get back to it later. Even better, you can change the view in the Messages app to see just the unread messages.
How to mark messages as unread on iPhone
There are several ways to mark messages as unread. Start the Messages app and go to the conversations list. Once you are there, you can do whichever method is most convenient:
1. Search for the conversation you want to mark as unread. Tap and hold the chat until the message preview window pops up, and then tap Mark as Unread from the list of quick actions at the bottom of the screen.
2. Swipe a conversation to the right. If you swipe all the way, it’ll automatically be marked as unread; if you swipe it part way, release and tap the Mark as Unread button on the left.
3. Select several conversations at once. Click on the three-dot menu at the top of the screen and choose Select Messages from the drop-down menu. Tap to select each message you want to mark as unread, then tap Unread at the bottom of the screen.
Unread Text Messages and Read Receipts
Some Messages users have enabled Read Receipts, a feature that lets the person who they’re texting with know when they’ve read the text the other person has sent. Marking a text as unread using these instructions doesn’t change the status of a Read Receipt.
If you have read a text and a Read Receipt has been sent (you’ll see the status just below the latest text within the conversation), marking the text doesn’t change what the person you’re talking to sees. They still get the Read Receipt. Marking as unread only changes the status of the message on your iPhone.
How to Filter Messages to Show Only Unread Texts on iPhone
If you only want to see unread texts, here’s the setting to change:
1. Head to Settings > Messages.
2. Move Filter Unknown Senders to on/green.
3. In Messages, click Filters in the top left corner.
4. Your texts are now grouped based on whether you know the sender or don’t (a great way to avoid spam texts), if messages are recently deleted, and if messages are unread.
5. Tap Unread Messages to see only the conversations that have texts marked as unread in them.