How to Tell If Someone Has Read My Text Messages on Android and iPhone

Elsa Updated on Dec 12, 2023 Filed to: Parent Control

You expect a response when you send a text message because most communications are a two-way street. However, not everyone responds immediately upon receiving a text. For instance, you may have a message typed and about to respond before your child calls or another notification enters your phone. At that time, you may abandon that message.

While this may not be the case for everyone, many people do not reply to text messages. And in some instances, you might even worry, "How can I tell if someone is reading my text messages?" In the sections below, we'll discuss various ways to know if someone has read your SMS messages or chats on messaging apps.

tell if someone read my text messages

Part 1. How to Tell If Someone Has Read My SMS Messages

How can you tell if a text has been read? The answer is Read Receipts.

Read receipts is the most popular technology for pinpointing when someone has read your SMS. It shows that a person has received and opened a text, chat, or email. In this section, we discuss the read receipt on popular OS, which are iOS, and Android.

iMessage Read Receipts on iPhone

The default texting app on iPhone, iMessage, has the read receipts for knowing if someone read the text you sent. The feature works when the sender and recipient activate the read receipt on their Apple iMessage service. The sender will see the Read icon and the time the message was read under the text message they sent.

iMessage read receipts

To turn on the feature, go to Messages in Settings. Then, turn on Send Read Receipts.

how can I tell if someone is reading my text messages enable iMessage read receipts

Message Read Receipts on Android

Google Messages is a popular SMS app on Android devices. However, most users do not know about the read receipt feature. For this feature to work, both the sender and recipient must be enabled on their apps.

You can turn it on in your messaging app Settings. Click directly on Multimedia Messages, Text Messages, or open More Settings to see these options. Then, tap Chat Features to turn on Send read receipts.

enable Google Message read receipts

Once it is turned on, the checkmarks in your previous conversations will change. For instance, a single gray checkmark means your message was sent successfully but is yet to be delivered. If it turns to two checkmarks, your text message has been delivered to the recipient. Or, your message has been read if the checkmark turns blue.

how do you know if a text message has been read Google Message read receipts

Part 2. How to Tell If Someone Has Read My Text Messages on Messaging Apps

Most instant messaging apps have the read receipt feature. However, users can turn it off at will so that no one finds out if they have read a message. In this section, we discuss read receipts on seven instant messaging apps.

1 WhatsApp Read Receipts

You can tell if someone has read your chat on WhatsApp through the read receipt. The feature has three checkmarks: grey, double grey, and double blue ticks. The first indicates that your chat has been sent. The second tick shows that it has been delivered. The last checkmark shows that the recipient has read your message. 

WhatsApp read receipts for individual

The feature is different in group chats. Once you send a message, you can tell if someone has read it by clicking the message information "i" icon at the top corner of the screen after selecting the chat. You will see contacts that have received (Delivered to) and read (Read by) your chat.

WhatsApp read receipts in the group

2 Facebook Messenger Read Receipts

The Facebook Messenger's read receipt feature is quite different. This feature displays an icon to indicate when a message is yet to be sent, sent, or delivered and when it has been read. When it is yet to be sent, the icon at the side of your message will be a blue circle. Once it is sent, the circle will be marked with a blue tick. When it is delivered to the recipient of your message, the icon will change to a circle filled with blue and marked with a white tick. After the message has been read, it becomes a mini version of your recipient's display picture.

Facebook Messenger read receipts

3 Instagram Read Receipts

Instagram has a direct message feature that uses read receipts. The status of the message will be "Delivered" to know if your message has gotten to the recipient. They have read the message if you see a blue tick next to the person's name.

Instagram read receipts

4 TikTok Read Receipts

Sharing a TikTok video and not getting a response can be daunting. Hence, the rollout of the read receipt feature on the app is a long-desired feature for app users. However, both users must have their read receipt feature turned on for you to see who has read your message.

TikTok read receipts

5 Signal Read Receipts

Signal is another instant chat platform with explicit read receipts. The app features four variants. The message is still sent when a user sees a circle of dots. It is sent once the circle of dots turns to a full circle with a grey tick in the middle. The sent icon will be duplicated and slightly overlapped to know that a chat has been delivered. Lastly, you can know when someone has read your chat on Signal when the overlapping icons become filled with grey and have a white tick in the middle.

Signal read receipts

6 Tinder Read Receipts

When on the matchmaking app, you want to know the person giving you an audience and who is ghosting you. Usually, most users have to guess, but the read receipt feature is available in Tinder's online shop. Once the feature is on, you will see a read notification once your match has opened your message. Since it is a paid feature, it counts as one usage once you apply it to a chat.

Tinder read receipts

7 LinkedIn Read Receipts

The professional networking platform has an available read receipt for its users. Given the busy schedule of most of its users, senders must have an indicator that helps them know if their recipient has had time to go over their message. The inconspicuous icon is located at the bottom right of your message. It comes with a timestamp to indicate when the message was read by your correspondence.

LinkedIn Read Receipts

Part 3. Why My Child Hasn't Read My Message but Has Been Online

If your instant messaging app shows your child is online, but they are not reading your message, many things can be responsible for that. Some of these reasons are identified below.

  • The child might not be within the phone's reach because they are studying or cooking. While the chatting platform may be on, they may be unable to read your chat if they do not have their phone.
  • Their phone may be lost. It is not uncommon that an app is open while a person misplaces their phone or it was stolen. In these instances, the app will still show that they are online, but they cannot read their messages.
  • If your child is in an online meeting, they may be online but unable to read your message. In some cases, they may read your message but may not be able to reply if they are in a physical meeting. While they may take a glance at your message, the timing to reply might be off.
  • Other reasons your child might not read or reply to your message could be silent treatment, procrastination, lack of answer when you ask a question or resentment.

Part 4. Monitor Your Teens' Text Messages on Their Android Phone

If you're a parent of a teenager, you may experience periods of silence from them. While it's important to respect their privacy, it's also reasonable to want to ensure their safety. One method might be to monitor their text messages, just to check they're not in any trouble.

To do this, you can use a third-party app, AirDroid Parental Control, to track what is happening on your child's phone in real-time. You can sync and see text messages they received, or ignored on their Android phones.

In addition, this trusted parental monitoring app helps you see who your child is texting as well as sync any notifications from social media apps so that you can always know if your child is receiving inappropriate content.

AirDroid monitor text messages

Step 1: Download AirDroid Parental Control on your device.


Step 2: Install AirDroid Kids on your child's Android phone.

Step 3: Open AirDroid Kids to make a preset by following the on-screen prompts.

Step 4: Once done, you can sync, view, or live mirror the text messages they receive.

AirDroid sync app notifications

The Bottom Line

There is almost no messaging technology out there that does not have read receipts. It is an easy feature that helps senders ascertain when the recipient has gotten their message.

In this article, we have discussed traditional read receipts for SMS messages on iPhone and Android. We also took seven popular chat apps as examples to show you how to tell if someone has read your text messages.

However, you may notice that in some cases, if a message hasn't been delivered, you won't see a read receipt. This can cause concern for parents when their children don't read or respond to their messages. Therefore, we recommend using the AirDroid Parental Control to monitor message delivery on your child's phone. It lets you see if texts are being delivered on time, or if they're simply choosing not to view and respond to them.

Hottest Question Related to Reading Text Messages and Read Receipts

Check some of the most popular messages on reading text messages below and read recipients on popular instant messaging apps.

Q 1. How Do I Get My Phone to Read Text Messages?
You can read text messages on your phone by downloading the messaging app that fits your device. For Android apps, Google Messages will get you to read SMS on your device. In comparison, iPhone users can download the iMessage app to read their messages.
Q 2. Can I Read My Text Messages Online? 
Contents of SMS message apps are not accessible online. However, carriers display text messages on their online app. For instance, you can access text messages online by using your T-Mobile app.
Q 3. Does Bumble Have Read Receipts?
No, Bumble does not have read receipts. The feature is not available in any form on the matchmaking app. Contrary to what is found in Tinder, where users can get the feature in the store, read receipts are not available on Bumble.
Q 4. Does Hinge Have Read Receipts?
No, Hinge does not have read receipts. Users must assume that their match has not read their message until they get a response from the dating app.
Q 5. Does Discord Have Read Receipts?
No, Discord does not have read receipts. It is assumed that the platform is taking into consideration social anxiety. For instance, anxiety can arise when you think you are being ignored, especially when you know your message has been read but are not getting a reply.
Q 6. Does GroupMe Have Read Receipts?
No, GroupMe does not have read receipts. Hence, there is no way users can tell if any group member has read their message.
Q 7. Does Slack Have Read Receipts?
Unlike other apps on the list above, Slack doesn't has a read receipt and has no plans to implement a read receipts feature. Hence, managers need to keep asking their team members if they have read the message that was sent to them.
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Elsa has worked on a number of iOS & Android solutions, she can always find her way around almost any application. She is an accomplished, skilled and versatile writer with more than 7 years of technical article writing experience.
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