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What does “Hide Alerts” in Messages mean?

Learn what the "Hide Alerts" option mean in Messages on an iPhone, iPad and Mac

By Dave Johnson - Senior Staff Writer
3 Min Read

Hide Alerts is a way to stop notifications on a conversation basis. You may notice a purple bell icon with a line across it next to a conversation in Messages on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. That bell indicates that Hide Alerts is on for that conversation. In this article, we’ll explain what Hide Alerts means. We’ll also discuss the following:

  • Why you might use Hide Alerts.
  • How to turn on/off Hide Alerts.
  • What Hide Alerts does and does not do if it is enabled

What is the Hide Alerts Option in Messages app?

‘Hide Alerts’ is a feature in the Messages app on iPhone, iPad and Mac that is designed to silence the notifications for individual or group messages. It’s a great alternative when you don’t want to stop all notifications for the messages app. Muting notifications from the settings app works on a per-app basis. So, if you disable notifications for the Messages app, it’ll stop notifications from all contacts, numbers and groups.

But Hide Alerts gives you more control over your notifications. It works on a per conversation basis. You can silence the notifications for only those conversations that are bothering you while leaving the notifications for important conversations untouched.

Why you might use Hide Alerts

We live in a world where constant pinging and distraction is the norm. Maybe you are a member of a group that receives a lot of messages. Maybe there’s someone who’s always sending strings of messages at the wrong time – when you’re in a lecture, meeting, or at the doctor’s office. Hiding alerts in the Messages app will stop your device from making noise or vibrating when someone messages you. The only ways to know you’ve received a message will be the badge on the Messages app and a ‘New message’ markup next to the conversation in the list of chat threads in the app.

How to turn on or off Hide Alerts

On your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Messages ap on your iPhone or iPadp.
  2. Open the conversation thread with the contact you want to hide the alerts for.
  3. Tap the contact’s icon at the top of the screen.
  4. Turn on the toggle for Hide Alerts. You will see a bell icon with a slash on it to show a contact has been muted.

A screenshot showing hide alerts toggle in iPhone messages

To unmute a contact, follow the above steps and turn off the toggle for Hide Alerts.

Here’s another quick and easy method to hide messages alerts from a contact on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find the contact in your messages list.
  3. Swipe left on the contact you want to hide alerts for.
  4. Tap on the purple bell icon with a line across it to hide the alerts.

A screenshot showing hide alerts bell icon in iPhone messages

To unmute a contact, you can swipe on a muted conversation and tap the bell icon again, or you can tap on the contact’s icon as mentioned above and turn off the toggle for Hide Alerts.

Here’s another quick and easy method to hide alerts in messages app on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. In your conversation list, tap and hold a conversation.
  3. Tap Hide Alerts. If you want to turn this off, then tap Show Alerts.

On your Mac:

  1. Open the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Click the Info button in the top-right corner.
  4. Select Hide Alerts to stop notifications. To get message notifications again, deselect Hide Alerts.

If you have a trackpad or a Magic Mouse, you can also swipe left with two fingers on the conversation in the sidebar, then click the Hide Alerts button.

Tip: You can also hide alerts for several conversations at the same time. Select the conversations in the sidebar, Control-click, then choose Hide Alerts.

What Hide Alerts does and does not do, when enabled

  • You’ll stop receiving alerts when there are new messages from a particular contacts, numbers or groups for which Hide Alerts is enabled. Notifications will work for all other messages.
  • The Hide Alerts feature is available for regular SMS texts and iMessages.
  • Messages from a muted contact will still arrive in your inbox, and you can check them at your convenience. However, these conversations won’t make a ding sound or make your phone vibrate. It won’t appear on the Lock Screen.
  • The sender or the group chat won’t know that you’ve hidden the alerts for the conversations, so they will continue to send messages as usual.
  • If you receive a new text from the muted contact or group, the message will still go to the top of the conversations, indicating it was recently updated, and it will still show the blue dot next to it, indicating there are unread messages in the conversation. You will see these messages when you open the Messages app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  • There will be a badge on the Messages app for all new messages, including the ones for which Hide Alerts is enabled.
  • If you have multiple devices using the same Apple ID, you may think that your setting will be synced across your Apple devices, but it is not. You need to turn this on or off on all of the devices you own.

Conclusion

The Hide Alerts feature in the Messages app is an easy way to ensure you don’t get any unwanted text message notifications from a particular person or group.

All you have to do is turn on the toggle for a contact or swipe and tap on the bell icon to mute them.

See also: How to Use the iPhone Messages App: The Ultimate Guide

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By Dave Johnson Senior Staff Writer
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Dave Johnson is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in New Jersey. He covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
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