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How to easily schedule text messages on your iPhone

Published Apr 2nd, 2023 6:18PM EDT
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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If there’s one feature missing from the iPhone’s iMessage app, it’s the ability to schedule text messages. That’s something you can do with email clients, and it can come in handy if you need to send out emails at specific times. But the same is often true for text messages. There might be instances where you want to send them at particular times of the day, week, or month. And you might have recurring messages that need to be sent at specific times, like birthday wishes.

While Apple’s iOS doesn’t support scheduling Messages on iPhone or iPad, you can use a different built-in application to do the task. You can use the Shortcuts app’s automation feature to schedule text messages on your iPhone.

As Lifewire explains, setting up text automation on iPhone is incredibly easy. You don’t even have to have any experience with the Shortcuts app to get it done.

Here’s what you need to do to schedule a text on your iPhone:

  • Open the Shortcuts app
  • Tap the Automation menu
  • Select Create Personal Automation if this is your first time using automations. Otherwise, tap the + sign and pick Create Personal Automation
Creating a new automation on iPhone via the Shortcuts app.
Creating a new automation on iPhone via the Shortcuts app. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR
  • Select the Time of Day option, and customize the time for your scheduled text message
  • Customize the hour and adjust the date for the message (you can pick between daily, weekly, and monthly options)
  • Tap Next
Choosing the time of day for the automation.
Choosing the time of day for the automation. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR
  • You’ll need to add an action on the next menu
  • Choose the Send Message option and tap Next
Choosing the Send Message action.
Choosing the Send Message action. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR
  • You can now write the message and select a recipient from your contacts, and tap Next
Composing the message and selecting the recipients.
Composing the message and selecting the recipients. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

If you’re happy with the automation, you’ll have to confirm it by tapping the Done button.

Before setting up the automation, you’ll have to remember key details. If you schedule a text message on iPhone this way, it will go out at the same time of the day, week, or month. The feature is great for scheduling recurring messages. But if it’s a one-time thing, you’ll want to stop the automation once it sends the scheduled message.

Scheduling a text message on iPhone via the automation feature.
Scheduling a text message on iPhone via the automation feature. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

As a fail-safe, you can leave the Ask Before Running toggle enabled on the final screen of the automation setup. That way, you won’t mistakenly send a scheduled message more than the number of times it has to go out.

Rinse and repeat for each different iPhone message you want to schedule. You’ll then be able to remove automations when they’re no longer valid. Or when Apple finally brings support for scheduling messages on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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