ContentsWhat Are Text Messages?What Are the Most Common Ways to Send Text Messages?What Should I Do if Someone’s Spamming Text Messages?How to Block Text Messages?How to Delete Text Messages?How to Recover Text Messages?How Do I Remove Myself from Group Text Messages?How to Forward Text Messages?How to Schedule Text MessagesHow to Unsend Text Messages?How to Find Text Messages on iPhone?How to Hide iPhone Text Messages?How to Print Text Messages from iPhone and Android?Can You Tell Me Why My Text Messages Are Green?Other FAQsTry Sending Text Messages for Your Business
Remember the days of clunky pagers and beepers?
Text messages, those bite-sized bursts of information, have revolutionized communication, tucked into our pockets and woven into the fabric of our daily lives. But with countless apps, features, and settings, navigating the world of text messages can raise a lot of questions.
This is your comprehensive guide to text messages—both for personal and business uses— untangling the knots and unlocking the full potential of this society-changing tool.
This guide will be your one-stop shop for:
Note that we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions about text messages across the board. Not all of the topics and questions addressed will be relevant to everyone, so select the question you’re curious about from the navigation bar to the left and get the answers you’re looking for.
First, a basic definition…
“Text messages” refers to communications sent via messaging apps, typically sent from mobile devices to other mobile devices. Text messages are often text-only but also often include emojis and media elements (such as images, videos, and audio).
Originally the concept of text messages referred to SMS and MMS—messages sent and delivered to end devices via mobile carriers through cell networks. However, the concept has now expanded to include online methods of sending text-based messages, including iMessage, RCS, Messenger, WhatsApp, and many other messaging services.
Currently, in the United States, the most common ways to send text messages would be to use the Android and Apple messaging apps that are available by default on smartphones. Here's some more info...
Aside from those two common message methods, there are several other common free ones at your disposal:
The messaging apps listed above will also allow you to send text messages via desktop. For example, Google’s Messages app has a web version you can use to send texts online.
But in addition to using the apps above, you can also use text message apps that are built for online use, such as Mobile Text Alerts. These platforms are often created to handle large databases of phone numbers so that you can send text messages on a larger scale.
If someone is sending spamming text messages to your personal phone, here’s what you should do…
If a legitimate business sends you a message but you aren’t interested in receiving more, simply reply “Stop” and that should automatically remove you from receiving future messages.
(Note: if you’re using the Mobile Text Alerts web platform to send texts for your business and someone requests to be removed from your list but doesn’t say “Stop,” you can click the “Unsubscribe” button within your Inbox to remove that user from future messages.)
If you suspect you’re being spammed by a scammer, don’t reply with any personal information or click any links within the text message. Spam texts may be phishing attempts to try to scam you by stealing your identity or your money.
If you suspect you’re being spammed by a scammer, you can easily block the number from your phone—just find the “block” option within the messaging thread. (More on this below.)
If you’re receiving spam text messages or unwanted text messages, you can easily block the phone number that’s sending you the texts. That way, if the phone number tries to send you any additional texts, you won’t be able to see them.
Here’s how to block text messages from within your iPhone:
Bonus Alternative Method:
Here’s how to block text messages from within your Android phone:
Deleting text messages from your phone’s inbox is a breeze.
You can delete messages individually, delete an entire conversation, or delete multiple conversations at once.
On your iPhone…
On your Android…
What if you accidentally delete a text message? Once you delete it, is it gone forever?
Never fear! You may be able to recover text messages that have been deleted by mistake.
Here’s how you can retrieve deleted text messages on your iPhone:
Here’s how you can retrieve deleted text messages on your Android:
Sometimes you find yourself stuck in a group text message that you’d no longer like to be a part of.
In some cases, you can simply remove yourself from the conversation.
Bonus tip: If you don't want to cause any drama but need a temporary break, mute the conversation instead of leaving. This will silence the notifications without actually leaving the group.
(Note: for iPhones, leaving a conversation is only available for messages sent via iMessage.)
(Note: for Android phones, leaving a conversation is only available for messages sent via RCS.)
Your phone comes with the capability to easily forward a text message along to someone else.
Bonus: To forward multiple messages at once:
Scheduling text messages may sound like an easy thing, but it’s actually not that easy for many phones (particularly iPhones).
For businesses, your best option is to use a text messaging service such as Mobile Text Alerts to schedule your messages. But there are ways to do it on your personal phone for personal text messaging as well.
This information is covered in our message scheduling article, so we won’t go into great detail here, but we’ll cover the basics.
There unfortunately isn’t a simple way to schedule text messages on an iPhone.
However, you can use the Reminders app or Shortcuts app to employ some workarounds that at least send a scheduled reminder for yourself to send a text message.
If you’re using Google Messages, after typing up your message, hold the “Send” button to view the scheduling option.
You’ll be able to select the desired date/time you’d like your message to go out.
Although it is not always possible to unsend text messages, under some circumstances you’re able to unsend a text if you act quickly enough.
To unsend a text message, simply press and hold on the text soon after you’ve sent it. If unsending is an option for your message, the word “Unsend” or “Recall” will appear on a popup menu. Tap that option and your message will be unsent.
Note that unsending is not foolproof, and the recipient may still have seen your message if they viewed it before unsending or if they haven’t downloaded the latest update on their mobile device.
When using a texting platform to send business texts, you aren’t able to unsend, so take care before clicking the “Send” button.
Sometimes you may want to find a specific text message on your iPhone. But how?
Open the Messages app and type a keyword into the search bar at the top.
This will allow you to search through messages, links, photos, and documents you’ve sent via text message.
Sometimes you don’t want a text message conversation to fully display the preview on your phone screen when you receive a new text message.
Or sometimes you don’t want to be notified at all when you receive a new message in a thread.
There are a couple of ways you can go about this…
If you need to print text messages from your phone, you have a few options…
Take screenshots of the pertinent parts of the conversations directly from your phone.
To take a screenshot, simultaneously press the side button and volume up button on iPhone, or by pressing the power and volume down button on Android.
You’ll then be able to save the screenshot as a photo on your phone, and (if you have a printer connected to your phone), you’ll be able to print directly from your phone. Otherwise you can email the image to yourself to access it on a computer and print from there.
Some third-party apps may allow you to print your text messages (although we can’t vouch for this).
You can try out apps such as PrintCentral or iMessage to PDF for iPhone and PrintShare or Message to PDF for Android and see if they’ll work for your purposes. (You may be able to use these to convert your text message conversations to PDF so that you can print them from your phone or email them to yourself.)
On an iPhone, messages sent to other iPhone users will usually appear blue because they are sent via iMessage rather than through regular “SMS.”
If an iPhone user sends a text message to an Android phone, the message will appear green because it’s being sent through SMS instead of iMessage.
There may also be times when your messages sent to other iPhone users will go through SMS instead of iMessage as well, such as if iMessage is turned off. In these cases your text bubble will be green and may show the words “sent as text message.”
Here are a couple of other related questions people frequently ask about text messages.
The basic answer to this is no, iPhones do not offer the ability to schedule text messages.
There are a few workarounds you can implement but they don’t offer a full scheduling experience.
You can, however, use apps such as Mobile Text Alerts to schedule messages.
Yes, you can recover deleted text messages by accessing your “Recently Deleted” folder on iPhone or “Recycle Bin” / “Trash” folder on Android.
From there you’ll be able to select the messages you’d like to restore.
Interested in trying out text messages for your business?
Get a free trial of Mobile Text Alerts now to get a feel for how it works.
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