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Your iPhone might be sending read receipts even if you turn them off

Published Jan 6th, 2022 10:43PM EST
iOS 14
Image: Apple

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There are two types of people in the world: Those who use read receipts and those who don’t. Many people prefer to turn them off, as they add even more stress to texting. With read receipts, all of your friends, family members, and coworkers will know precisely how long you’ve been ignoring them. But some people want their contacts to know when they see their messages. Whichever side of that fence you happen to fall on, you should know that a new bug in Messages could cause your iPhone or iPad to send read receipts to your contacts even if you’ve turned the feature off.

Watch out for this annoying read receipts bug

According to Macworld, some iOS and iPadOS users are reporting that their contacts can see when their messages are read even when the feature is deactivated. Apple built a system-wide setting on all of its platforms that you can use to turn the feature on or off. Here are the simple instructions you can follow to check the settings on whichever Apple device you happen to be using:

  • iOS: Go to Settings > Messages and tap the toggle next to Send Read Receipts.
  • iPadOS: Go to Settings > Messages and tap the toggle next to Send Read Receipts.
  • macOS: Go to Settings > Preferences > iMessage and select “Send read receipts.”

Macworld’s Glenn Fleishman explains that the issue has appeared briefly in previous iOS releases, but more users than ever seem to be experiencing a disconnect between their settings and reality in iOS 15. It’s unclear how widespread this problem is or if Apple is even aware of it.

If you happen to notice that your contacts can see when you read their messages despite your read receipt settings, you can try restarting your device. Macworld says that some iPhone and iPad users have been able to temporarily fix the bug this way, but it’s not a permanent solution.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.