How to Make iMessage Private on iPhone in 3 Situations

Have trouble about how to make iMessage private? After reading this guide, you will know how to make iMessage private in different situations.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Hide notifications

How can I hide my notifications? Like for example, I received a sms and I can only see it’s written iMessage on my notification.

- Question from Apple Community

Overwhelmed by mountainous data, people pay more concern to their privacy these days. As a communication tools, iMessage provides its users a convenient way to send messages with stickers and share images, videos and more with each other without leaving Messages.

Apple Imessage Logo

However, with iPhone kept upgrading all the time, it starts to confuse people how to make iMessage private on iPhone 11 and the latest iPhone 12. Go ahead and you will find what you are concerned about.

How to make iMessage private in these situations

When it comes to making iMessage private on iPhone, you may first think of locking your iPhone with your fingerprints or passcode to stop people who don’t know it from accessing it. But it’s just the first step to make your iMessage private. Now, do some specific actions to protect your privacy.

Situation 1. How to make iMessage private on lock screen

As we have mentioned above, even though you have a passcode set up on your iPhone, your messages can also be easily accessible when your iPhone is locked. So, how to make iMessage private on lock screen? Follow the steps to keep your iMessage alert private when iPhone locked.

Step 1. Go to Settings > Notifications > Scroll down and find Messages.

Step 2. Go to Show Previews in the Messages > Tap on Off or When Unlocked

Imessage Preview Off

▶ If your iPhone was set to Always by default, tap it off.
▶ Tapping on Off means keep the alert private even if your iPhone isn’t locked.
▶ If you choose When Unlocked, you will preview the message you received when your iPhone unlocked.

After these two steps, you will still receive an alert, but the content of the text message will be private as you can see below. You can just read “iMessage” rather than a preview of the message.

Imessage Alter

Situation 2. How to make iMessage from a particular person private

If you just want to protect messages from some particular person, like your business partners, you can try the method shown below, but you need to remove them from your contacts.

● To remove the person’s contact in detail:
Contacts > Locate the person and tap Edit > Scroll down and choose Delete Contact. It is suggested to backup iPhone contacts before deleting it.
● To hide messages from a particular person:
Settings > Messages > Scroll down to Filter Unknown Senders and tap it on.

Message Filter Unknown Senders

This will turn off notifications for iMessage from people who are not in your contacts and sort them into a separate list. You can check these messages in a separate Unknown Senders in Messages.

Messages Unknown Senders

Situation 3. How to make iMessage notifications private

You can choose to stop receiving message notifications to protect your private. If you are in an interview or important meeting, you may wish to stop receiving iMessage notifications all together. You can do like this: Go to Settings > Notifications and tap on Messages > deselect Allow Notifications.

Message Turn Off Allow Notifications

The only problem of this method is that you won’t receive alerts to any messages, so you may miss something important. Because once you deselect Allow Notifications, neither an alert nor a red bubble on Messages app will pop up. You can only check messages in the Messages app.

You can choose to stop notifications from just a particular person or a group to protect your conversation. Follow the steps and make it.

Step 1. Make sure you have taped on Allow Notifications. (Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages)

Step 2. Go to Messages > Select the individual or group message you want to silence.

Step 3. Select Details > Toggle on Hide Alerts.

Messages Hide Alter

You will see a crescent moon icon next to the conversation. Now, you won’t get any notifications from the person or group when you receive a message, but you can still see the last message.

Bonus: How to backup important text messages on computer?

Why do you wonder how to make your iMessage private on iPhone? There must be something important for you, isn’t it? Since iPhone is updated every year, besides how to make your text messages private on iPhone 11, have you ever thought of transferring them to computer to avoid data lost.

Here FoneTool, professional backup and transfer software designed for Apple users, is highly recommended to you.

Why you choose FoneTool?
A clear interface and user-friendly design: It’s easy for a beginner to handle.
A selective backup process: You can preview and select the messages you want to backup.
No data loss: There is no harm to your existing data during the process.
A fast backup process: You can backup 100 messages in a few seconds.
A wide compatibility: It works well with iPhone 4, 6, 7, 8, SE, 12, 13, 14, iPod Touch 5, 6, 7, 8, iPad, iPad pro, iPad mini. Besides, it is also compatible with the latest iOS, like iOS 16.

Tutorials are as follows.
Step 1. Download and install FoneTool for free.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 2. Launch FoneTool > Connect your iPhone with the computer with a USB cable > Tap Trust on your iPhone.

Step 3. Click Selective Backup under More Features > Click Messages icon to preview and select messages you want to backup > Click OK to continue.

Select Messages

Step 4. Click Backup Storage Path to select the storage path to save the messages > Click Start Backup button to make it.

Backup Messages

Tip: you can check the backup task on the Backup Management screen when the process is over. You can choose to locate, browse or delete the backup files.


That’s all for how to make iMessage private on iPhone in three different situations. Hope this guide can help you. You can also make use of FoneTool to backup iPhone easily.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.