Typically, iOS shows a preview of your incoming iMessage, SMS, and email messages on the Lock screen whenever you have a pending notification, as shown above on the left. When privacy is a big concern for you, and it should be, you might want to disable this feature so that prying eyes don’t see everything you’re being sent.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to hide message previews from the Lock screen so your incoming notifications that are displayed there will be more private.

Why you should hide notification preview from the Lock screen

When you leave your iOS device somewhere, even if it’s just in your purse or on your sitting own desk, anyone that may be around you could easily press a button on your device to wake it while you’re looking the other way and see what people have been messaging you about. They don’t need any kind of passcode to see your incoming message notifications, and it can be a huge invasion of privacy.

This is the case with iMessages, text messages, and emails; but fortunately, iOS comes with a way to hide notification content from the Lock screen for these types of messages so that the content of the messages can’t be read without first unlocking the device, which is great if you have a passcode or use Touch ID.

Stop or hide text message and email previews on the Lock screen

To hide this kind of information from the Lock screen such as how you see in the image above, all you have to do is follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the Settings app and navigate to Settings > Notifications > Messages (for the Messages app), or Settings > Notifications > Mail > email account (for the Mail app).

Step 2: Turn off the “Show Previews” toggle switch to prevent showing content from these types of notifications on your Lock screen. As an alternative, you can select “When Unlocked” to only show the preview when you have authenticated with Touch ID. This will make sure that the text of your messages or emails isn’t visible to anybody but you.

What will happen now?

Now instead of seeing the content of incoming messages in your Lock screen notifications, you should see a summary of what kind of notification it is. For example, instead of seeing “Hey what’s up dude?” when someone sends that to you via iMessage, you’ll see a notification that says “iMessage” from the sender’s name.

Likewise, for incoming email notifications, instead of seeing a preview of the actual email message and subject field for that message itself, you’ll see the placeholder text “Mail message,” as shown below:



Since privacy is an ongoing battle for iOS device users, you should take advantage of every option Apple gives you to combat peering eyes that want to snoop. Hiding notification content from the Lock screen is a great place to start, especially if you know you’re going to be in a scenario where someone sitting close to you might be able to see what people are sending you because you leave your device out of your pocket or laying around while you get up to do things.

Related: Increasing privacy in Safari for iOS

If you found this tutorial helpful, don’t forget to drop us a comment below!

  • Farid Ahmed

    too bad quick reply doesnt work without preview

    • thunderqus

      What are you going to reply, if you don’t even know what’s in there?

      • Anthony Bouchard

        You beat me to it.

      • Farid Ahmed

        details to show when you open quick reply could be one way

  • embet

    How about Facebook Messenger?Any way to make it hidden?

    • RayRayBeav

      Yes, when you’re in Facebook Messenger on the main screen, in the lower right hand corner, click on ‘Settings,’ then click toggle the ‘Show Previews’ toggle and they the notification will just show who the message is from.

      • embet


  • iByron

    “Likewise, for incoming email notifications, you’ll still see the subject field for notifications where the previews are hidden…”

    Your example seems to hide the subject field in an email as well. Which is how it should be.

    • Anthony Bouchard

      I appreciate you pointing out this error, and I’ve fixed it 🙂

  • Predrag

    Any idea how to hide preview and sender name? I would like to get just icon on the lock screen (message,email,viber…)

  • Shott3r

    What I need other than this is to hide the sender name. Especially in the corporate world, who sends you an email is often as sensitive as what is in it. Is there any way to do this?