How to Hide Incoming SMS Text Messages on the Apple IPhone

By Allison Boley

You're hashing out details of an important business deal when your screen lights up and -- buzz! -- your sister sends you a meme of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, or worse, your significant other sends you a sexy text message. Fortunately, your iPhone's Settings app offers customizable notification options so that this scenario doesn't have to happen to you. In just a few steps, you can hide incoming messages on your iPhone so that you can review them in private later and avoid an embarrassing scene.

Disabling Visual Notifications

Step 1

Open the "Settings" app, then tap "Notification Center."

Step 2

Touch "Messages" under the Include section.

Step 3

Find "Show on Lock Screen" under Alerts and touch the switch to its right. Turn the switch off by either sliding the white circle to the left or tapping the green background.

Disabling Message Previews

Step 1

Disable message previews so you can be notified that someone has sent you a text without displaying the enter message. Open the "Settings" app, then tap "Notification Center."

Step 2

Touch "Messages" under the Include section.

Step 3

Toggle the switch off by sliding the white circle to the left or touching the green background of the switch.

Disabling Sound and Vibration

Step 1

Open the "Settings" app, then tap "Sounds."

Step 2

Touch "Text Tone," and choose "None" under Alert Tones.

Step 3

Touch "Vibration," and choose "None" at the bottom of the screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • To be notified when one of your contacts sends you a message but not if strangers text you, use the "Show Alerts from My Contacts" under Messages in the Notification Center.
  • Tweets, Facebook comments, Skype calls, and other social media notifications can also be removed in the Notification Center of the Settings app.
  • Even if you disable visual alerts, your phone will still vibrate or make a noise when you receive a message unless you specifically disable sound and vibration, as well.