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How to Change iPhone Text Message Display

Updated on March 16, 2017
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a BS in Mass Communications from SIU and an MA in Communication from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.

Introduction

Most people don't realize they actually have a great deal of control over how text messages are displayed on their iPhone. You can actually choose from two different types of appearance options for text message notification bubbles, or you can elect to not have a bubble appear at all. Additionally, you can choose whether or not the notification bubble displays a message preview, how many message notifications appear, whether or not to display message notification bubbles while the iPhone is locked and more.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tap the "Settings" app on your iPhone's home screen.Tap "Notifications."Tap "Messages."Use the toggle to determine whether you allow messages to be shown in the notification center, what sound plays for new messages, whether or not you show the count of new messages in a badge app icon, and more.Choose whether new messages show up in the form of a banner, an alert, or not at all.
Tap the "Settings" app on your iPhone's home screen.
Tap the "Settings" app on your iPhone's home screen. | Source
Tap "Notifications."
Tap "Notifications." | Source
Tap "Messages."
Tap "Messages." | Source
Use the toggle to determine whether you allow messages to be shown in the notification center, what sound plays for new messages, whether or not you show the count of new messages in a badge app icon, and more.
Use the toggle to determine whether you allow messages to be shown in the notification center, what sound plays for new messages, whether or not you show the count of new messages in a badge app icon, and more. | Source
Choose whether new messages show up in the form of a banner, an alert, or not at all.
Choose whether new messages show up in the form of a banner, an alert, or not at all. | Source

Process for Changing the iPhone Text Message Notification Display

  1. Tap the "Settings" app on your iPhone home screen.
  2. Tap "Notifications" and then tap "Messages." You'll arrive at the Messages screen.
  3. Tap the ON/OFF toggle to the right of Allow Notifications until it is shaded green to turn on and activate notifications on your iPhone.
  4. Move the Show Notifications toggle to the ON position to display notifications for messages that you receive in your iPhone's notification center.
  5. Tap the text to the right of Sound to navigate to the Sounds screen. On the Sounds screen, tap "Vibration" to display a screen where you can either choose a default vibration type, opt to create your own vibration type in the Custom section, or choose "None" if you don't want any vibration notification for new messages. If you do opt to select a vibration, you'll feel a preview of that vibration on your iPhone. Tap "Messages" in the upper-left corner after making your selection to navigate back to the Messages screen.
  6. Turn on Badge App Icon to display a red indicator in the upper-right corner of the Messages app that displays the number of unread messages you have.
  7. Enable Show on Lock Screen to view your text message alerts in your iPhone's lock screen.
  8. Select "Show Previews" and choose whether or not you want a snippet of each text message to be displayed in the text message notification bubble. You can set this to always show a message preview, whether the iPhone is unlocked or not, or only show message previews when the device is unlocked. Tap "Message" in the upper-left corner after making your selection.
  9. Tap "Repeat Alerts" to open the Repeat Alerts window. Choose from Never, Once, Twice, 3 Times, 5 Times or 10 Times to define how many times you want unread message alerts to be repeated. Message alerts will be repeated every two minutes until they've appeared the designated number of times, or until you open the message. Tap "Messages" in the upper-left corner of the Show window after making your selection to return to the Messages window.

Change iPhone Text Message Display

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Open a new text message and ensure the target recipient is someone else who has an iPhone. Enter the text you want to send them.Hold down the blue, upward-pointing arrow on the right side of the message to bring up the Send with Effect screen.Choose from a variety of effects to include. For example, choosing Invisible Ink will blur out the message until the user rubs their finger on it.You can also add effects in the message background, such as balloons.Another effect you can add in the background is confetti.
Open a new text message and ensure the target recipient is someone else who has an iPhone. Enter the text you want to send them.
Open a new text message and ensure the target recipient is someone else who has an iPhone. Enter the text you want to send them. | Source
Hold down the blue, upward-pointing arrow on the right side of the message to bring up the Send with Effect screen.
Hold down the blue, upward-pointing arrow on the right side of the message to bring up the Send with Effect screen. | Source
Choose from a variety of effects to include. For example, choosing Invisible Ink will blur out the message until the user rubs their finger on it.
Choose from a variety of effects to include. For example, choosing Invisible Ink will blur out the message until the user rubs their finger on it. | Source
You can also add effects in the message background, such as balloons.
You can also add effects in the message background, such as balloons. | Source
Another effect you can add in the background is confetti.
Another effect you can add in the background is confetti. | Source

Process for Altering How Text Messages Are Displayed in Messages App

  1. Tap to open the "Messages" app.
  2. Click the "New Message" icon in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  3. Enter the name or phone number of someone else who has an iPhone that you want to send a text message to.
  4. Enter the message you want to send to the other person. While entering your message, you'll notice the microphone icon on the right side of the text entry box turns into a blue, upward-pointing arrow icon.
  5. Press and hold your finger against the upward-pointing arrow icon until the Send with Effect screen appears. You'll see four options for modifying how the text of your message appears to the recipient. Selecting "Slam" causes your message text to fly onto the users screen. Choosing "Loud" causes your test to appear momentarily large and shake before reverting to normal size. Selecting "Gentle" causes your text to initially appear small and get slowly larger. Choosing "Invisible Ink" causes your text to be blurred out by dots that will only be visible after the recipient rubs a finger against them, making the text readable.
  6. Tap "Screen" in the tabs at the top of the Send with Effect screen to see available background effects that can be added. Swipe from right to left to cycle the seven available options, and then from right to left to work back to the beginning of those options. Available backgrounds include balloons, hearts, lasers, confetti, and more.
  7. Send your message to the recipient, who will only see the additional display options if they also have an iPhone.

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© 2012 Max Dalton

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    • profile image

      adjusting to get the newest text message at the bottom :( 5 months ago

      Updated my iphone 6s and the text messages are coming in reversed. I have to scroll to the top of the messages to see the newest message. Pain in the butt! Any quick fixes?

    • Max Dalton profile image
      Author

      Max Dalton 17 months ago from Greater St. Louis, Missouri

      Happy to help.

    • androidfan profile image

      Rajesh Bhuin 2 years ago from India

      I did not know that so much customization can be done on iPhone for message display. I always love to know something new.

    • Liz-reviews profile image

      Eunice Elizabeth 4 years ago from Vancouver, BC

      Hi Max...you are clearly brilliant in all things apple.

      Nice to meet you and thanks for the great tips.

      voted useful & up

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