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How to Mark a Message as Unread in iMessage

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How to Mark a Message as Unread in iMessage

Have you ever opened a message in iMessage only to realize that the unread indicator is gone? The indicator reminds us that there’s a message that needs our attention, and when it disappears, we can easily forget. If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, you can mark messages as unread in iMessage after opening them.

Because Apple doesn’t give us an unread indicator for singular messages, you can’t mark one message as unread. However, you can mark a conversation as unread.

Stick around for a bit while we show you how to mark messages as unread. We’ll also give you some other tips to help you pin important messages to the top of the iMessage app.

How to Mark a Message as Unread in iMessage on iOS

As stated above, we can’t mark a single message as unread in iMessage. But we can mark an entire conversation as unread. This will add the message unread dot back to the conversation, hopefully reminding you to go back to it.

You can use one of two methods to mark messages as unread on an iPhone or iPad. We’ll walk you through both options.

First, you can access the conversation menu and tap unread. Follow these steps to mark a conversation as unread using that method:

Step 1: Locate the Conversation

Naturally, you’ll want to open the Message app on your iPhone or iPad. Then, long-press the conversation so the sub-menu appears.

Step 1: Locate the Conversation
Open the Messages app and long-press the conversation you want to target.

Step 2: Tap Mark as Unread

When the menu appears, tap Mark as unread.

Now, the unread indicator will appear, and it will stay there until you open it again.

Step 2: Tap Mark as Unread
Click Mark as Unread.

Swipe Right

Another simple option to mark a conversation as unread in iMessage is to swipe right on the conversation. Then, you can tap the blue chat icon.

The unread indicator will reappear.

Swipe Right
Swipe right on the conversation you want to mark as unread and click the blue chat icon.

How to Mark a Message as Unread in iMessage on Mac

You can mark your messages as unread on a Mac too. If you don’t have your iPhone handy, or you’re grinding away at work and need to remind yourself to reply to a message later, mark any messages in the Mac iMessage app as unread by following these steps:

Step 1: Open the Messages App

Go to the Launchpad and open the Messages app on your Mac. Or double-click the Messages app in the dock.

Step 1: Open the Messages App
Open Messages.

Step 2: Right-Click on the Conversation

Locate the conversation you want to mark as unread in the left pane of the Message app. Hover your cursor over the conversation and right-click (control + click) the chat.

Step 2: Right-Click on the Conversation
Right click on the conversation you want to target.

Step 3: Click Mark as Unread

A new pop-up menu will appear. Click Mark as Unread.

The chat bubble will reappear over the conversation and will stay there until you reopen it on one of your Apple devices.

Step 3: Click Mark as Unread
Click Mark as Unread.

How to Mark Multiple Messages as Unread in iMessage

If you want to mark multiple important messages as unread in iMessage, you can. Here are the steps to do it:

Step 1: Tap the Menu Icon

In the upper right corner of the Message app, you’ll see a three-dot menu icon. Tap it.

Step 1: Tap the Menu Icon
Click on the menu icon, or the three dots, on the top right-hand corner of the screen.

Step 2: Tap Select Messages

When the menu appears, tap Select Messages.

Step 2: Tap Select Messages
Click Select Messages.

Step 3: Select the Read Messages

Only select messages that you’ve already opened but want to mark as unread. Otherwise, the option may not appear.

Step 3: Select the Read Messages
Click the circles to the left of the conversations you want to mark as unread.

Step 4: Tap Unread

Tap Unread in the lower left corner.

Step 4: Tap Unread
Click Unread.

How to Pin an iMessage on iOS

Since we’re talking about responding to important messages, did you know you can pin conversations in iMessage? Pinning a conversation means it will always appear on top, making it easier to start a new conversation or check messages from an important person.

Helpful hint: You can pin several conversations to the top of the Message app on iOS. Simply repeat the steps for each contact or conversation.

Step 1: Long-press the conversation

Start by opening the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad. Then, long-press the conversation you’d like to pin.

Step 1: Long-press the conversation
Long-press the conversation you want to target.

Step 2: Tap Pin

When you long-press a message in iMessage, the texts will expand with a small menu underneath. Tap Pin in this menu.

Helpful hint: You can unpin the message by following the same steps in reverse. When the menu appears, tap Unpin.

Step 2: Tap Pin
Click Pin.

How to Pin an iMessage on Mac

You can also pin messages on a Mac. The contact’s profile icon will appear at the top of the Messages app on the left side. Ultimately, pinning conversations on your Mac makes it easier to locate and communicate with the people you speak to most often or the more important contacts.

Unlike marking messages as unread, pinning messages is device-specific. This means you must follow the steps to pin messages on each of your Apple devices.

Helpful hint: Like iOS devices, you can pin multiple conversations to the top of the Mac Messages app.

Step 1: Right-click the conversation

Open the Messages app on your Mac and locate the conversation you want to pin. Then, right-click (control + click) to access the conversation menu.

Step 1: Right-click the conversation
Right-click on the conversation you want to target.

Step 2: Click Pin

Click the Pin option at the top of the conversation menu.

Helpful hint: You can unpin conversations by performing these steps again.

Step 2: Click Pin
Click Pin.

How to Mark a Message as Read in iMessage

What can you do to get rid of the red dot that hangs out with your Messages app until you open all your messages? You can disable the notification dot in the settings, but that isn’t very helpful all the time.

You can mark messages as read by following the steps above in reverse. However, if you have a lot of messages, you can follow these steps to quickly mark all messages as read:

Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Click the Three-Dot Icon

Open the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad. Look at the top right corner. Here, you’ll see a three-dot icon encased in a circle. Tap that icon.

Step 2: Click Pin
Click the menu icon.

Step 2: Tap Select Messages

At this point, we want the option to highlight any unread messages. Tap Select Messages in the menu.

Helpful hint: At this point, you can also tap Read All if you want to mark all messages as read.

Step 2: Tap Select Messages
Click Select Messages.

Step 3: Tap the Bubbles

To the left of each message, you’ll now see a bubble. Tap the bubbles next to any unread conversations.

Step 3: Tap the Bubbles
Click the circles to the left of the conversations you want to mark as read.

Step 4: Tap Read

Now, you can tap Read in the lower left corner to mark all your messages as read, effectively removing the annoying red notification bubble without changing any settings.

Helpful hint: You can also filter messages from unknown senders, so you won’t have to see any spam messages.

Step 4: Tap Read
Click Read.

In the following video, Max Dalton demonstrates how to mark a text message conversation as unread in iMessage.

You Have Unread Messages

Apple really gave us a great feature with the ability to control read indicators. You can mark messages as read or unread as you see fit. You can even pin conversations to make your life a bit easier.

If you’re bad about remembering to respond to messages, use the tutorial above. If you know someone who’s terrible at responding to you because they forget, go ahead and send them this tutorial!

Frequently Asked Questions

If I mark a message as unread on one device, will the indicator appear on another device?

Absolutely! If you sign into your iCloud account on multiple Apple devices, you can receive messages on all of them. If you mark a message as unread on your Mac, it will also go into the unread status on your iPhone and iPad.

However, if you open the message on one device, the indicator will disappear on all of them. So, be mindful that your Apple devices communicate with each other.

What can I do if my read status won't update on all my devices?

One common issue Apple users run into is that the read indicator won’t update on a Mac after the message is opened on an iPhone, or vice versa. If this happens, try restarting the device with the faulty read indicator.

Another option is to ensure that both devices are updated to the latest version of iOS or OSX. Finally, go to your iPhone and turn Message Forwarding on and off by going to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding.

What's the difference between pinning a message and marking it as unread?

When you mark a message as unread in iMessage, it brings back the notification icon. When you pin a message, the person’s contact stays at the top of the iMessage app, regardless of whether there’s a new message or not.

How do I mark an email as unread?

If you’re using an iPhone, you can open the email app and long-press the email you want to unread. Then, tap Mark. Then, tap Mark as Unread.

Mac users can right-click over an email and tap Mark as Unread.

How do I see only unread messages on iMessage?

If you only want to see your unread messages in the iMessage app, you can select the unread filter.

Open the iMessage app and tap Filters in the upper left corner. Then, select Unread Messages. Now, you’ll only see your unread messages when you open the iMessage app.

 

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