When I only have one unread message (or all from the same person), it opens that thread when I open the Messages app. I don't want the thread to open automatically when I touch the message icon, and would rather it opens the list of message threads. What can I do to stop this automatic action of opening the thread?

6 Answers 6


Silly answer: don't touch it. Sensible answer: presume you are not wanting to send read receipts until you are ready? If so, note that it should return you to the same view you left it in, so to avoid this have a new conversation to a blank sender and select this conversation before minimising/quitting.

  • I just don't always want to read a new text right away. I want to be able to open my messages without the new message opening up right away. I want to be able to open it at a later time.
    – Kristi
    Oct 23, 2012 at 0:28
  • I think I clarified what she wanted in my edit. @Kristi, revert or clarify my edit please if I was inaccurate. I have sometimes wondered about this behavior myself. I do believe the short answer is there is no way to configure this. I have used the notification center (iOS 5, iOS 6) as a bit of a workaround. Let me know - I can make this an answer. Oct 23, 2012 at 1:12
  • You can. I just with there was a way to just have unopened received messages sit in my in box withouth them opening right away. Thank you.
    – Kristi
    Oct 23, 2012 at 1:27

They seem to have changed this behavior in ios 7. It now goes directly to the list of messages rather than the latest new message.


I have sometimes wondered about this behavior myself, and wish there was a way to change this.

The short answer is there is no way to configure this.

I have used the notification center (iOS 5, iOS 6) as a bit of a workaround, but obviously this will depend entirely on what you want to do, and doesn't enable you to send new messages or reply to different threads. If you have a device with Siri, you may be able to use that as a bit of a workaround as well.


Bit of a workaround, but if you go into Contacts, go into one and press Send Message, from there you can go back to the Message list and the new message will still be marked as unread.


I hate this too. I just wait until a message from someone else comes in. Or I've used my email to send a message to my phone so it provides a secondary text.

  • Could you elaborate on the workaround you propose? How does mailing change the end result of marking a message as read differently than the answer by @stuffe?
    – bmike
    May 8, 2013 at 19:59
  • I think he's saying: send yourself a message, then when you open messages it will select the message you sent yourself, and the new message from the other person will remain unmarked/unread. But, he should really say that more clearly without prefacing it with a "me too". May 8, 2013 at 22:13

I have this problem to especially because when the read receipts are on, you dont want them to think that they are ignoring you...best thing ive found is to turn your read receipts off temporarily so you can look at it without them knowing then when you are ready to answer just go turn them back on.

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