How to Mark Text Message Conversation as Unread on iPhone or iPad


Until now, if you got an important message in the Apple Messages app for iPhone and iPad, there was no great way to flag it with any sort of reminder that you needed to revisit that message later. Thankfully, with the rollout of iOS 16 for iPhone and iPadOS 16 for iPad, Apple is giving users the ability to mark your text message conversations as unread, giving you a good visual indicator you’ll see later that can serve as a reminder to review your most important conversations. Again, this does require you update your iPhone to iOS 16 or later, or your iPad to iPadOS 16 or later.

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Steps to Mark Text Message Conversation as Unread on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the “Messages” app on your Apple iPhone or iPad. You’ll land on your Messages home screen.
  2. Find the text message conversation you want to mark as unread.
  3. Swipe slowly from left to right across that text message conversation until you see a blue box appear to the left of that conversation with a chat bubble in the center of it.
Tap the icon that features the blue background with the chat bubble inside of it.
  1. Tap the icon that features the blue background with the chat bubble inside of it. You’ll now see a blue dot to the left of that text message conversation, indicating that it’s unread.
You'll now see a blue dot to the left of that text message conversation, indicating that it's unread.

Reasons to Mark a Text Message Conversation as Unread on iPhone or iPad

1. Reminder to reply later

We all have busy lives, and sometimes, we may read a text message without having the time to respond immediately. Marking the conversation as unread can serve as an effective reminder to revisit the discussion when we have more time. This strategy helps ensure that we don’t accidentally neglect important conversations or forget to get back to the sender. By having a visual cue, we can keep track of pending responses and maintain our communication with others effectively.

2. Prioritization

At times, we receive an influx of text messages, making it difficult to manage and address all conversations promptly. By marking some messages as unread, we can prioritize the most urgent or important discussions. This method enables us to allocate our attention efficiently and respond to time-sensitive matters first. Once we address the high-priority messages, we can then focus on the remaining conversations, ensuring we don’t miss anything crucial.

3. Reviewing important information

Text messages often contain valuable information, such as meeting details, addresses, or essential instructions. Marking a conversation as unread allows us to quickly locate and review this critical data when needed. This practice can help us save time and avoid confusion, as we won’t have to scroll through multiple messages to find the details we need. Additionally, it can help us avoid making mistakes or misremembering important facts.

4. Organizing conversations

Marking messages as unread helps us stay organized and maintain a clear understanding of our communication status. By doing so, we can keep track of which conversations are ongoing and which have been addressed. This method helps us ensure we’ve responded to all relevant discussions and can help prevent misunderstandings or missed opportunities. Staying organized in our messaging can make our digital interactions smoother and more efficient.

5. Dealing with distractions

Frequent text messages can be distracting, especially when we’re trying to focus on work or other tasks. By marking conversations as unread, we can minimize the temptation to engage in every discussion immediately. This approach enables us to maintain our concentration on the task at hand while still being aware of incoming messages. Once we’ve completed our work, we can return to the marked conversations and address them without compromising our productivity.

6. Flagging for follow-up

Sometimes, text message conversations require input from someone else or additional action before we can respond. Marking these messages as unread serves as a flag that reminds us to follow up on the matter later. This method helps ensure that we don’t lose track of the conversation and can take appropriate action when required. Additionally, it helps us stay organized and manage our communication responsibilities more effectively.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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