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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 2: Tap Select Messages
When the menu appears, tap 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 4: Tap Unread
Tap Unread in the lower left corner.
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 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.
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 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.
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: 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 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 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.
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!