Imagine you’re having a wonderful dinner at a fancy restaurant with your wife or fiance. As usual, you put your iPhone on the table so the others can see what a cool kid you are. All the sudden, the following text message arrives on your iPhone. Before you have time to hit “close”, your wife has already ripped your head off.

This accident likely happened hundreds if not thousands of times since the iPhone came out in 2007. Until then, there was nothing you could do. A few jailbreak applications allowed you to hide this but for some reason, Apple never felt it was a feature worth including in the iPhone OS.

Things have changed with the release of the 3.0 firmware which now allows you to hide the preview of any incoming SMS.

To activate this feature, simply go to Settings > Messages > and turn “Show Preview” off. As you can see on the image above, Apple also added a feature that will alert you two more times after receiving a SMS if you don’t read it right away. This is a feature that has also been available for a long time to jailbreakers.

Hiding the preview of an SMS won’t completely hide it from showing up on your springboard. You will still get a popup showing the name of the sender and “text message”, with the option for you to view the SMS or just close the popup.

That was a much needed option but I think it’s too bad you still see the name of the sender (or his phone number if not in your contacts). It’s a matter of privacy. A name showing up on your iPhone can still lead to awkward moments…

Have you ever had an awkward because of a SMS arriving on your iPhone? If so, please share it with us in the comments.

  • BM

    This isn’t new.

  • When did that show up?

  • Quaazar

    It’s absolutely a new feature. I subscribed to Kate in the past primarily for this feature. I’m VERY glad to see it in 3.0!

  • Jerry

    I remember in one of the older firmwares when you disabled the text preview all you will see was “new text message” and that was freaking great..then on the next firmware update this was needs to get their stuff right.. whats the point of hiding the text preview if you can still see the freaking name!

  • Mojtaba cazi

    In older firmwares (2.x , not sure about 1.x), this feature is only avalble when you set a pass code on your device!

  • Sam

    Hey i found a solution to your need, and it was bugging me ever since upgrading to the new iphone 3.0 firmware!!!! but there is a solution, i have been trying to convince Mcleaner to do this, as they did have this option in their previous version to 2.x firmware on the iphone, but ever since 3.0 came it doesnt work… so i have been using iBlacklist free version to just help disable the sms pop up and it WORKS!!! let me know if it works for you guys too…


  • MCleaner

    the present version of MCleaner doesnt function well in disabling SMS preview. But in the later version,the problem will be fixed.

  • Sam

    Hey you guys… MCleaner have now fixed this issue in their new update 1.8.1

    The latest version MCleaner v1.8.1 supports iPhone 2.0/2.1/2.2/3.0. Changelog:
    1. enhance “hide sms preview” feature, now hide whole alert dialog;

    so happyyyyyy

  • David Alen

    Every one having the same problem regarding hiding or locking text messages on iPhones. Recently I downloaded a program from and it hides the iPhone SMS button and replaces it with a fake one that you can edit. Basically it doesn’t show all the girls I am talking to.

  • craaze

    Faketext is a hot new app that allow you to hide your real text messages on your iPhone. Check it out at, you can go there straight from your iPhone since it is a webapp and is free.

  • Bob

    Yes! Every man in America with an iphone is having a problem with this! When you’re out with a woman and another woman sees the text on your phone, and it says the name! So they know another female just texted you. Its horrible. But try explaining why this is a problem to a boardroom of uptight apple executives. They dont understand dating! And if any of them are women, they wont want to change it. Just stupid!