Read receipts are one of the things most people have a love/hate relationship with. But if you want to read a message without having it marked as “read,” newer iPhones have a workaround.
Many messaging apps support read receipts or have them baked-in. While many users attempt to bypass read receipts by disabling them entirely or turning on Airplane Mode, these solutions come with their own downsides. But don’t worry, there’s a far better solution to this problem.
The trick in question takes advantage of the “peek and pop” feature on 3D Touch-equipped iPhones.
Essentially, you’ll be able to read a handful of the latest messages in a particular thread without triggering any read receipts (even if they’re normally enabled on your app).
As of the writing of this article, we’ve confirmed this trick to work on WhatsApp and the native Messages app in iOS 12. It may work for other messaging apps, but your own mileage may vary.
How to Read Messages on iPhone without Sending a Read Receipt
It’s worth noting that this trick doesn’t work on a notification banner or within the Notification Center. You’ll need to open the messaging app and press-and-hold the thread within it.
- Open WhatsApp, Messages or another messaging app.
- Press and hold on a message thread with a bit of pressure – but not too much pressure, since that will open the messaging thread and trigger a read receipt.
- From here, you’ll see a full-screen preview. You won’t be able to scroll up and down but you’ll be able to see around 10 to 12 texts, depending on the length of the messages.
- Keep your finger on the display for as long as you want to keep reading. When you lift your finger up, the preview box will disappear.
Also, since this is a 3D Touch feature, you won’t be able to use it on every iPhone. The iPhone 6 and older models don’t have 3D Touch. Neither does the iPhone SE or the iPhone XR. It also doesn’t appear to work on the latest version of Facebook Messenger.
Of course, you can selectively disable read receipts for individual contacts in Messages. For WhatsApp, you can disable them entirely. But, if you do, you won’t be able to see read receipts from other users.