Can you schedule text messages on iPhone?

Scheduling tasks ahead of time can boost your productivity, improve time management, and help you get things done without forgetting. Scheduling email on mobile is easy. Some instant messaging apps like Telegram also have a built-in “Schedule” function to send canned messages at a later date and time.

Unlike Android, which has a native messaging app that supports message scheduling, the Messages app in iOS lacks the same functionality.

This guide will show you how to schedule text messages on iPhone using the Apple Shortcuts and Reminders apps. We will also list some third-party iOS apps that allow you to schedule messages to be sent later.

Schedule text messages on iPhone with keyboard shortcuts

Install the Shortcuts app from the App Store if you haven’t already.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app, go to Automation tab and select Create personal automation.
Create a Personal Automation Button

Note: You will only find a “Create Personal Automation” option on the screen if you do not have automation active. For iPhone users who have used the app to design a schedule (e.g. Sleep Timer), tap Plus symbol (+) in the top right corner and select Create personal automation on the next page.

Plus icon and Create Personal Automation button
  1. Choose Time of day automation options.
Time of Day automation options
  1. Click the dialog box below select “Time of day” and enter the time you want the message to be sent.
Time entered

You can also choose dawn or Sunset options to choose from preset intervals before or after sunrise or sunset, respectively.

Sunrise and Sunset Option
  1. The Shortcuts app repeats automatically every day by default; The other two repeat options available are Weekly and Monthly. Select an option in the “Repeat” section and press Next proceed with.
Repeat options and Next button

Note: If the text you want to schedule is a one-time thing, you’ll have to manually disable or remove the automation once the Shortcut sends the text.

  1. Clap More action.
Add Action Button
  1. Scroll through the Actions pop-up menu on the screen, select a contact in Send Message and touch Next.
Sent Messages section and Next button

Couldn’t find the contact you want to send the scheduled message to in the “Send Message”? Touch Contact icon, select Receiver placeholder and enter the contact’s name/phone number in the dialog box or tap plus symbol (+) to select a contact from the Contacts application. You can select and schedule a text for multiple contacts. Clap Accomplished proceed with.

Plus symbol
  1. Choose Message field/placeholder and enter the message you want to send to the recipient(s).
Selected message field and added text
  1. Extend Show more section and turn Display When Running if you want the Shortcut to preview the message on your desktop when it’s time to send the scheduled text. Leave this option disabled if you want the text to be sent automatically in the background without showing a preview.
Show more > Show at runtime” class=”wp-image-14277″  /></figure>
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  • Clap Next to continue.
  • Review the automation process on and off Ask before running optional if you want the scheduled message to be delivered at the specified time without further confirmation or authorization from you. Clap Accomplished to save automation and schedule messages.
  • Ask Before Run and Done Button

    If you enable the “Ask Before Run” option, the Shortcuts app will notify you to authorize the action. Tap the notification and select Run to send scheduled text messages to selected contacts.

    Run Button on Shortcut

    Note: Your phone won’t send a scheduled text message to the recipient if you don’t confirm the automation when prompted. Also, you need to turn on your iPhone to send scheduled text messages.

    How to Delete Scheduled Texts on iPhone (So It Doesn’t Outrage)

    As mentioned earlier, the Shortcuts app currently doesn’t support one-time automation. If you don’t want your iPhone to send scheduled text message(s) over and over again, turn off or remove automation in the Shortcuts app.

    1. Launch Shortcuts and choose a text message schedule in “Automation” navigation.
    2. Turn off Enable this automation and press Accomplished.
    Enable this Automation switch
    1. To remove a scheduled text message automation from your iPhone, return to the “Automations” tab, swipe the automation to the left, and select Delete.
    Delete button

    Workaround: Use the Reminders app

    Creating a shortcut and deleting it later can be overwhelming to schedule a one-off text message. Creating reminders to motivate you to send texts is an easier alternative—especially if your iPhone doesn’t have a Shortcuts app. Let’s walk you through the best way to use Apple’s Reminders app to schedule a text message on your iPhone.

    1. Open the Reminders app and select New Reminder in the lower left corner.
    2. Enter the details of the reminder in the dialog box “Title” and “Note”. We recommend entering text in the Notes section. That way, you can easily paste content into the Messages app when it’s time to send a message.
    Created a new Reminder and added text
    1. Clap Details to add date and time information to the reminder.
    Detailed options
    1. Turn on Day and select the date you want to send the message.
    2. Turn on Time and set the time you want to be prompted to send the message.
    Date and time to set the reminder

    If the text message is time-sensitive, we recommend setting a reminder a few minutes (maybe 2-5 minutes) before the time you plan to send the message.

    1. Clap add in the upper right corner to create a reminder.

    When you receive a notification from the Reminders app, tap the notification alert, copy the text in the “Notes” section, and send the text in the Messages app.

    Notifications from Reminders and copied text

    Using third-party apps

    There are non-Apple apps in the App Store that allow you to schedule text messages on your iPhone. Moxy Messenger and Scheduled Apps are good examples, although these aren’t completely free. You may need to purchase an in-app subscription or pay to send scheduled messages.

    Note that Apple sometimes restricts these third-party apps from automatically sending scheduled text messages in the background. You may have to approve scheduled messages before iPhone sends them manually.

    Message moxy: "Due to Apple limitations, we are unable to automatically send messages on your behalf.  Your consent is required before messages are sent from your device."

    Use the techniques in this article to send scheduled text messages to your contacts on birthdays, anniversaries, and other important events. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

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