When your iPhone is locked and you receive a text message, a message alert displays the contact name and a brief message preview on the lock screen. This feature is convenient for receiving instant notifications of important texts, but it may become annoying if you receive frequent messages or a client or contact sends a sensitive message. Adjust your text message alerts and other display features by changing settings in the Settings app. You can customize the preview notification, the alert display and the text size, or you can silence all incoming messages for a scheduled time.
Text Message Preview
By default, an incoming text message and a snippet of its content are displayed on the lock screen when you receive the text. Turn off this feature by tapping the "Settings" app. Tap "Notifications" and "Messages." Toggle the "Show Preview" setting to "Off." You will continue to receive message alerts but the notification will display only the contact's name. Immediately open the text message application by swiping the alert from left to right. Alternatively, open the Notification Center to view all new text messages and other alerts. Place your finger at the top center of the screen and swipe down to view these alerts.
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Customize the Alert Display
You can also adjust how text message alerts appear on your iPhone's lock screen so that incoming notifications do not interfere with other iPhone activities. Tap "Settings," "Notifications" and "Messages." Under the section labeled "Alert Style," select one of the options for your message alert display. If you choose the "None" setting, you will not receive any text message notifications on the home screen, although the text message app icon will display a small red circle indicating the number of text messages that await you. If the "View in Lock Screen" feature is activated, you will continue to receive notifications on the lock screen. Select the "Banners" alert style to display an unobtrusive preview of the text in the upper portion of the home screen, which allows you continue using a different app without interrupting your activity. The Alerts setting displays a text box in the center of the screen, commanding your attention away from other app activity.
The Do Not Disturb Feature
If you want to temporarily turn off all incoming alerts without changing your settings, use the Do Not Disturb feature. Unlike Airplane Mode, which completely disables all cellular and Internet connectivity, Do Not Disturb allows you to limit phone, messaging and other notifications while still enabling access to Web-connected apps. This feature is fully customizable. You can schedule starting and ending hours to automatically activate the feature, allow messages or calls from favorites in your Contacts list, from all your contacts and to accept alerts from repeated calls. When activated, the Do Not Disturb feature displays a small half-moon icon in the upper screen of the phone next to the time display. Tap "Settings" and "Notifications" to reach the Do Not Disturb feature.
Message and Accessibility Settings
Specific settings for text messaging are within the "Settings" app in the Messages section. You can control certain display aspects with the "Show Subject Field" and "Character Count" settings, which allow you to add a title to your messages and keep track of the length of your texts. These features are especially useful for social networking or cell phone carrier limits on messaging character count. In addition to customizing text message notification displays and message settings, you can easily customize the text size and colors using the iPhone's "Accessibility" settings. Tap "Settings," "General" and "Accessibility." Under the "Vision" section you can access a variety of settings that adjust the text message display. Tap the "Large Text" setting to adjust font size. To alter the colors, toggle the "Invert Colors" setting on. Keep in mind that accessibility customizations affect all phone settings and not just the text message function.