As far as I know, there is no way to mark a text message as unread (if there is, please share!).

I often receive text messages at inconvenient times, read them quickly, and then forget to reply to them when I'm free. I'm looking for ways to simulate "mark as unread" (or "remind me about this text message") as easily as possible.

The best I have come up with it simply to not read the message in the messages app - then I can read the first sentence or so, get the gist of it, and I still have an unread notification on the app icon. But this is not ideal of course.

One thing that's an obvious suggestion but is just too clunky is to add a todo-list item to respond (just like I'd add any other todo item).

  • You can do it without jailbreaking, but you have to know how to extract/inject databases for iOS backups and know how to use SQLite. I can get you the SQL, but that's as far as I really want to take putting together an answer. You can look up how to extract/inject databases in iOS backups if you really want to go down this path. It's just how much effort you really want to put into this. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 20:47
  • Oh, and it's not fast (requires backing up to iTunes, extracting database, running SQL, injecting database, restoring backup). So I guess it's impractical for your needs. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 20:58
  • 1
    Yeah, I actually have done that before to back up all my texts when I got a replacement phone. But definitely not practical for my needs here ;) he best I've been able to come up with so far is to either add a reminder in Due, send myself a text which says "text John back", or email myself from my computer (often I'm at my desk at work when this happens).
    – Jer
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 23:48

2 Answers 2


There's technically no way to mark a message as unread, but there's sort of a hacky workaround way to simulate it.

Hold down on the message you want to mark as unread and click "copy". Then start a new message, address it to yourself, paste in the message and send.

Since there's a slight delay, you can back out of the conversation, and you will have 1 unread message from yourself.

unread message from yourself

  • 1
    When I send a message to myself it isn’t marked as unread. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 8:31
  • @MatthewLock Make sure you go back to the messages screen before you receive the message from yourself, otherwise it will be marked as read.
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 14:08
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    Hi even if I instantly press back after pressing send it's still not showing as unread. Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 7:07

You can't, not in the standard iOS. The only way to do this is to jailbreak and get a free app named 'Unread'. It does what you want but you have to be ok with jailbreaking.

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