How to Turn Off Read Receipts in Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, WhatsApp

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Apple’s iMessage — all three apps have the read receipt function that notifies the sender when the receiver has read their message. Read receipts are an important part of communication through messaging apps. It allows users to understand whether their message has been seen by the recipient or not. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage support the read receipt function by has different ways of notifying the sender that their message has been read. But if you like to keep things more private and not allow the sender the freedom to know when you have read their message, you can turn these read receipts off at any time. For instance, if you keep your read receipts on WhatsApp a blue tick appears next to the message when the recipient has read it.

We’ve compiled a step by step guide on how to turn off read receipts on apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Apple’s iMessage.

How to turn off read receipts in WhatsApp

In order to close read receipts on your WhatsApp, follow these steps.

  1. Open the WhatsApp app. Click on the three dots icon on the top-right corner of the screen. Click on Settings.

  2. Once in Settings, click on Account > Privacy.

  3. An option called Read Receipt can be found here. Toggle it off to disable it in individual chats. You cannot disable read receipts for group chats.

How to turn off read receipts in iMessage

Turning off read receipts on iMessage requires a few more steps than WhatsApp.

  1. Head to the iMessage app on your iOS device.

  2. Go to Settings and tap on Messages.

  3. An option called Send Read Receipts can be found here. Toggle it off to disable the ability completely.

  4. If you want to disable read receipts for specific chats, head to that user’s chat and click on the user’s profile pic.

  5. Select Info icon and toggle off Send Read Receipt option.

How to turn off read receipts on Facebook Messenger

In Facebook Messenger, unfortunately, there is no option to disable read receipts. There is an option in settings called Active On, which helps in disabling the Active Now banner attached to your name every time you come online. It also shows the last time you were online, and toggling this off will not let your friends see that information. This can be found by going in the Messenger app > clicking on the profile icon > From Active ‘On’ > Toggle it ‘Off’. However, there is also a workaround for reading a message without letting the sender know.

  1. After you receive a new message on Facebook Messenger, just turn on Airplane Mode from your phone’s Settings, which will disable Internet and network connections on the device.

  2. You can then open Messenger and view the message without an Internet connection.

  3. After you finish reading, close the app, and swipe it out of your app drawer.

  4. You can now turn off Airplane mode. This way the sender will not be notified that you have read their message till you open the app again.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to

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