see message time stamp

I don’t always have my iPhone sitting right next to me. Even when I do, sometimes I am at a show where the music is so loud I wouldn’t even notice a vibration if someone sent me a text. When that does happen, it always irritated me that Apple didn’t include the time that the message was sent. If a friend wanted to meet me outside in 10 minutes, I wouldn’t know when that would be.

Starting with iOS 7, Apple has added the ability to see the time stamp of every message sent and received through iMessage or regular text. It is not obvious to everyone, but we know how to access it and have a quick tutorial to explain it to you…

Before iOS 7, messages would only have random time stamps. In any given conversation, you might receive a time stamp at the start of a conversation and another one a few minutes later, or you might not receive one for days. You may have missed a text that was two minutes old, or four hours old. It was impossible to tell.

Since iOS 7, you can now access the time stamp for every single iMessage or text message with a simple trick.

What time a message was sent or received on iPhone and iPad?

see message sent received time stamp

When you open a text conversation, simply swipe to the left. That’s right. All you have to do is touch the screen and drag your finger from right to left. When you do, you will see a time stamp for every single message sent and received on the right side of the screen. Hold your finger on the screen to keep reading. Let go when you are done.

It’s that simple. Now, you will never be confused when your friend sends you a text that reads, “Meet me in 15 minutes,” but you didn’t see the message right away. Finding out where you are supposed to meet is a whole different story.

Have you ever wished you could see the time stamp for your messages? Have you tried this trick already? Isn’t it great?

  • m33tpal

    thanx! 🙂
    i really needed this!

  • Elvis Tawiah

    how to show the contact photo in the messages. mine doesnt show

    • Mohammed Sahib

      I googled it and it appears for group chat on iMessages (not regular SMS) only. Someone correct me if I am wrong, please.

      • That is correct. Contact photos only show up when you are group messaging.

      • Lance Baker

        It works for regular SMS group messages as well.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Not on my network. If I send an SMS to a group of people and one or more of them send me a reply, each reply will show in a different thread, one that includes me and the replier only. Thus, no true group messaging can be achieved in regular SMS, at least on my network, may be it is different in other networks/countries.

      • Lance Baker

        Are you sure that group messaging is turned on in settings?

      • Mohammed Sahib

        I have no such setting. May be because my carrier dose not support iMessages? Idk.

      • In the picture I posted above, I am in a group chat with two non-iOS users and one iMessage user. It is likely that your carrier is not compatible with the group message feature.

      • skibbadabba

        the recipient needs to reply back to the group not just to you to keep the thread going……… but how does the recipient know which group in particular to reply to???

  • pedro

    Is there a way to always display the timestamp of the message without swipe?

    • Not in iOS 7. There may be a jailbreak for it, but that is not my expertise.

      • pedro

        ohh! thanks 🙁

      • Palmer Paul

        *jailbreak tweak

  • Aleandro green

    ive got a text message question. how do i get text messages from someone that has imessage when i turn my data off? i can send them text messages but i wont get their message until i turn on my data on again. occasionally i can switch between imessage and text messages but for the most part im stuck until i turn my data back on

    • Robert Mathews

      Leave your data on. iMessage uses internet connection to send messages. That’s why iPod and iPads can also have iMessage. Text messages don’t.

      • Aleandro green

        i know but im trying to save bettery. i just want to be able to turn of my data and still receive messages

      • Robert Mathews

        It is not possible when you have your data off you can only get text messages.

      • Aleandro green

        lol not imessages, just a regular text message. my girlfriend has imessage and i cant get a message from her if i turn off my data

      • Greg B

        Aleandro, you will need to go into settings->messages and turn off iMessage if you want to do that. Then you would have to turn iMessage back on when you’re ready to use your iMessage and data connection again.

    • Matthew Cooper

      They need to turn on the send as text message when iMessage isn’t available option in settings. That way there message will go thru as text instead of iMessage as well

  • Prasoon Singh

    Slow news day today?

  • appl3h4ck3r

    Random question: just got a new sprint iPhone 5 and I wanna use it with another carrier (because iPhone 5’s come factory unlocked…correct me if I’m wrong) and was just wondering that if I updated to iOS 7, can I use the other carrier instead of sprint? Or will that make the other sim incompatible? You can reply to my email: blckdragnoffire(at)gmail(.)com


    • Palmer Paul

      Upgrading to iOS 7 shouldn’t matter. Just know that if you use another carrier, you’ll still have to pay Sprint every month until your contract expires (or you can pay Sprint the difference between an iPhone 5 off contract and what you paid for your phone).

      • appl3h4ck3r

        Well I should’ve mentioned the phone is deactivated. Private sale via trade. Does that matter? I just don’t wanna spend money on something that won’t work.

      • Palmer Paul

        I’m not sure what you mean by deactivated…if its really unlocked, just pop in a SIM card (other than Sprint) and see if you can make a call

      • appl3h4ck3r

        Deactivated as in I’m not paying for sprint’s cellphone coverage

      • Palmer Paul

        It should be unlocked then…you can probably call up Sprint to ask them if you’re unlocked

  • Juraj

    perfect, it would be nice it time stamp stayed permanently displayed. it would be easier for some users as me… but this is a great step forward too…

  • Kim

    This explains how to see the time, but what about seeing the date as well ?..really frustrated that it doesn’t show that…would love to hear an answer. Thanks

  • Vic444

    This is another

    • appl3h4ck3r

      I agree. They should’ve did what android does with the time stamp in the message itself. Or at least placed the time stamp on the left hand side of the message including the date.

  • cooter

    This is sweet , thx for the intel on this issue as I have been battling it for some time now

  • dolphanphan

    Thanks SO MUCH for this post. It is such a simple solution, and all the Apple forums are saying it’s impossible, etc. Thanks a million. Just like your example of “meet me in 10 mins” I need to know what time texts appear fopr my job.

  • Vuader

    Now if only there was a quick way to delete sms messages. And by quick, I mean quicker than:
    – tap and hold message
    – tap on more
    – tap on dustbin
    – tap on delete message

  • Jon Vu

    you had got to be kidding me.. aesthetics over useability

  • TLB

    I feel silly now… SO EASY!! Thank you!!

  • Katherine Moore

    I have learned more about my new iPhone by Googling help on the Internet than from anyone. Thank you!

  • When I delete a text message why does the time stamp for the deleted message remain?

  • jimmy97

    Ahhh thank you…much better

  • Deborah Swan

    I have an iPhone 6 and have no problem seeing what time the message was sent. Swipe left. Never had a problem. With my last iPhone either.

    • Adina Podell

      The DATE is the thing that’s needed. How does one access the date? Knowing the time is fine info to have, but without the day and date, it’s useless info!