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How to filter unread messages on iPhone iMessages
One of the lesser-known features of iOS (from 16 onwards) is being able to filter your messages in the Messages app. Not only is this good for filtering out spam, but you can also get the app to only show unread messages. If you get a lot of messages daily, focusing on the ones you have to reply to can make your life considerably easier.
To filter for unread messages on your iPhone:
- Go to Settings > Messages.
- Toggle on Filter Unknown Senders. This activates Filters in your Messages app, including one to only see unread messages. Your iPhone must be running iOS 16 or later.
How to filter unread messages on your iPhone
The process is extremely quick — it should take about a minute, simply requiring a toggle in the Settings app.
Open Settings and go to Messages. Scroll down until you see Filter Unknown Senders, and toggle the option on. This might not make much sense at first, but you’ll understand why in a moment.
Next, open Messages app. At the top of your screen, you’ll see a new Filters button. Tap it.
You should see five filter options, including Unread Messages. If you select that and never leave, you’ll only see unread messages as they come in. To return to a more conventional view, hit Filters again and select All Messages.
Make sure your phone is running iOS 16 or later. If it’s not, you won’t see the option in Settings > Messages.
All devices that have Messages on them must be signed into the same iCloud account. You must also select all devices in your iOS and Mac settings that you want to sync to.