5 Ways to Lock Text Messages on iPhone and iPad

Unlike Android, it can be tricky to lock apps and messages on an iPhone. Thankfully, you can lock the default Messages app and even the individual SMS on iOS via simple tweaks. In this article, we’ll tell you how to lock text messages with a passcode or FaceID on your iPhone and iPad running iOS 14, 15, or 16. Read on.

Locking Messages on iPhone: Why is it Required?

Many may wonder if it’s really necessary to lock your text messages. Well, while there’s no compulsion, there are benefits to it. Here are some of the common reasons why you may want to lock messages on your iPhone:

  • To prevent others from seeing your private chats or messages.
  • To prevent someone who has access to your iPhone from sending texts without your knowledge.
  • To avoid unauthorized access to financial text messages, including transaction OTPs which may lead to fraud if fallen into the wrong hands.

How to Lock Text Messages on iPhone and iPad

On Android, you can use the built-in option to lock applications (if available) or rely on third-party app lockers. However, things are different on iOS. There’s no preloaded app locker, and third-party apps won’t work due to system restrictions.

Thankfully, there are several workarounds to lock the Messages app on an iPhone. Doing so will secure your iMessage chats and regular text messages, such as banking information and OTPs. Read on.

Make Sure Your iPhone is Passcode-Protected

Before we start, make sure a passcode or password protects your iPhone. The lock screen passcode prevents unauthorized access and shields you from anyone trying to check messages, photos, or other personal data on the device. You’d also need it for some of the methods mentioned below. Here’s how you can set up a lock screen passcode on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and click on Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode for iPhones with a Touch ID).
  3. On this screen, tap Turn Passcode On.
  4. Enter a 6-digit passcode. You also can tap Password Options to switch to 4-digit passcode or a custom alphanumeric code.
  5. Verify the passcode again when prompted.

Method 1- Lock Messages Using Shortcuts on iOS

You can the Shortcuts app on your iPhone to create an automation that will automatically lock your iPhone when someone tries to access the Messages app. You must then use your FaceID or passcode to unlock your iPhone and access the text messages. Here’s how to set it up, divided into three easy sections:

Method 2- Password-Protect Messages Using App Limits on iOS

Screen Time on iOS lets you know how much time you spend on the device. It also bundles parental control features like content and privacy restrictions which you can use to lock the Messages app, as shown below:

Method 3- Hide Message Previews from iOS Lock Screen

By default, iPhone shows a preview notification for all text messages. The message not only appears as a banner but is also visible on the lock screen. Here’s how you can hide messages from the iOS lock screen and prevent others from reading the text:

Method 4- Protect Your Messages on iCloud Using 2FA

By default, anyone knowing your Apple ID credentials can log in to your iCloud dashboard and read all your messages (provided you’ve set up iCloud for Messages). To prevent it, you can enable two-factor authentication, which will send a verification code on devices you’re logged into before allowing login.

Method 5- Use Jailbreak Tweaks to Lock Messages on iPhone

Several tweaks like ChatLock, ComvoProtect, and more let you integrate the lock feature inside Messages (and other chatting apps). You can use the jailbreak tweaks to lock individual texts in the Messages app on your iPhone.

Turn Off iMessage Sync for Even More Privacy

If iMessage sync is enabled, the messages are synchronized across all your Apple devices (where you’re logged in with your Apple ID). This may pose a privacy risk if one of the devices is in the hands of someone you don’t want to share your personal data with.

Send Invisible Ink Messages to Avoid Peeping Eyes (iOS 10+)

If you have an iPhone running iOS 10 or newer, you can send invisible ink messages to your friends and family who also have Apple devices. Messages sent via invisible ink need the other party to tap them to read the text. This prevents it from being read by prying eyes.

Use WhatsApp, Telegram, or Signal for Private Messaging

Instant-messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal offer a built-in option to lock the application. You can use the feature to lock the app with Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode.

Wrapping Up

This is how you can lock Messages on your iPhone or iPad. As mentioned, you can use Shortcuts to lock the Messages app automatically in a second or use the App Limits feature for the same. For even more privacy, you can hide message previews from the iOS lock screen and secure iCloud messaging by enabling 2FA. Let us know your preferred method by comments. In case of any more doubts or queries, feel free to contact me over email or social media.

Scroll to Top