Can you schedule a text on an iPhone? Yes, here’s how.

Woman sending a text from an iPhone.

Do you ever have late-night inspiration that you can’t wait to share with others? Or want to send a time-sensitive message without worrying about being available to press send? If so, you’re probably wondering if you can schedule a text on an iPhone.

Fortunately, the answer is yes – but it’s not as simple as pressing a button or two in your texting app. We’ll show you the best workaround and help you get started with scheduling texts.

Learn how to schedule and automate texts to grow your business. ⏰

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Can you schedule a text on iPhone from the Messages app?

Most iPhone users send text messages through the Messages app. iMessages, SMS, and MMS are all sent from the native texting app depending on your recipient and message type. You can also take pictures, add bitmojis, record voice messages, and block texts directly from the app, so you might expect that something as straightforward as scheduling a text for iPhone would be possible natively.

Unfortunately, you can’t schedule a text from your iPhone’s Messages app like you can schedule texts on Android devices natively. You also can’t schedule an iMessage, Apple’s instant messaging feature, through the Messages app.

While it’s possible that the feature could be added in the future, for now you’ll need to rely on the Shortcuts app to send texts automatically on your iPhone.

How to schedule texts on iPhone – Shortcuts app

If you want to schedule a message on your iPhone, you need to create an iOS automation that sends the text for you. You can build these automations using the “Shortcuts” app, which is native to iOS 13+ phones and available in the app store (iOS 12+ required).

With Shortcuts, you can schedule a recurring text message at any time in the future. It’s the best and only native option for scheduling texts on your iPhone that send automatically. Here’s how to do it.

How to schedule a text on iPhone using the Shortcuts app

  1. Open the Shortcuts app.
  2. Select Automations in the middle of the bottom bar.
  3. Tap “Create Personal Automation.”
    Steps for creating an automation using the Shortcuts app on iPhone.
  4. Choose “Time of Day.”
  5. Tap on the timer to reach the clock.
  6. Adjust the clock until it matches the time you want the message to send, and choose how often to repeat the text. Note: you cannot prevent the action from repeating but can cancel it anytime. Tap Next.
    Setting an automation time of day on iPhone.
  7. Tap “+ Add Action.”
  8. Choose “Send Message” from the “Next Action Suggestions” menu, or use the search bar on the bottom to find it.
  9. Enter your message between the quotation marks where it reads “Message.” Tap Recipients.
    Sending a message using an automation on iPhone.
  10. Search your contacts for your chosen recipient.
  11. Tap Done to return to the Actions page. Tap Next in the top right corner.
    Sending an automation to a contact on iPhone.
  12. Unselect the “Ask Before Running” option at the bottom of the screen to allow the automation to run without your input, and press Done to finalize the automation.
  13. Review your automation for timing, recipient, and message information.
    Reviewing an iPhone automation.
  14. Set a reminder on your Clock app or Calendar app to delete the automation after your scheduled message sends (for non-recurring texts).
  15. Navigate back to the Shortcuts app once you receive the reminder.
  16. Delete the automation by swiping left and tapping “Delete” to prevent it from sending again.
    Deleting an iPhone automation.

Can you schedule a text message on iPhones using a third-party app?

Since Apple doesn’t allow users to schedule messages natively in the Messages app, you may expect third-party apps to fill in the gaps. However, Apple doesn’t allow apps to send text messages from your personal phone number without your direct approval.

Any app that claims to work with your personal number will only be able to send you a reminder to send your message, which you must tap to confirm sending. There are many of these apps available, including Moxy Messenger, OpenPhone, and Kyew.

Many third-party text scheduling apps will allow you to use or purchase an additional phone number to send texts from. These options aren’t governed by the same rules that Apple imposes on your personal number. Popular options include Fext, Reminderbase, and Scheduled. Unfortunately, sending texts from a random number isn’t very convenient for personal or professional use, so you have limited options.

Graphic comparing different apps for scheduling a text message.

Why it’s worth scheduling texts on your iPhone

Scheduling texts is a convenient way to time your messages effectively without having to remember to send a text in the moment.

You can schedule texts around your recipient’s schedule or your own, allowing you to send messages while you’re busy or in a different time zone than your recipients without disrupting anyone’s schedule. For example, you can send regular updates to family members on road trips while driving or say good morning to someone in a different timezone without ruining your sleep schedule. You can also schedule texts to wish someone a happy birthday when you think of them without needing to remember on the day itself or follow up after a meeting with a client in professional use cases.

Limitations of scheduling texts on your iPhone

iPhones are great personal texting tools, especially when you learn how to schedule a text. You can send and schedule individual texts to any number and receive a response just as quickly.

However, as your texting needs evolve, you may have a hard time keeping up with just an iPhone. For example, businesses who text for marketing, sales, and customer service require additional tools that you can’t achieve with a personal phone. They’ll also have a hard time scaling communication to match growth without the ability to mass text. These limitations are why we recommend that you don’t use personal phones for business texting.

A primary limitation of texting from your iPhone is not having the ability to personalize your texts. Whether you’re sending marketing messages or answering customer inquiries, 71% of customers expect you to personalize communications with them. If you’re sending each text individually from your phone, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with demand as your business scales.

iPhones also don’t allow for the segmentation of your business’s texting contacts, so it becomes harder to reach key segments of your audience effectively. You’ll have to choose individual contacts from your personal phone list, taking time away from improving your business.

Finally, personal messaging from your iPhone doesn’t provide the level of data security that’s necessary for safe and effective communication with customers.

If you plan to text for business, consider a business texting service that scales with you.

Frequently asked questions about using an iPhone to schedule texts

Here are our answers to some common questions that people come across when trying to schedule texts on their iPhone:

Can you schedule an iMessage?

Yes, you can schedule an iMessage using the Shortcuts app to create an automation. They are treated the same way as SMS when triggering the message to send, but they depend on your recipient’s type of phone.

Can I schedule texts on older iPhone models?

Yes, you can schedule texts on many older iPhone models. The Shortcuts app requires iOS 12 or newer, which means that any iPhone 5S or newer model can schedule texts.

Will the recipient know that the text was scheduled?

No, the recipient will not be informed that the text was scheduled. It will show up as a normal SMS or iMessage.

What kind of texts can you schedule on your iPhone?

You can only schedule standard SMS texts to send using Shortcuts. Trying to send gifs, images, or videos through text results in an error with your shortcut.

Can I edit or cancel a scheduled text?

Yes, you can edit or cancel a scheduled text. You can edit scheduled texts at any time, including changes to the recipient, the message, or the timing on the “Automation” screen of the Shortcuts app. You can also cancel scheduled texts before they’re sent, and cancel automations after a single use. However, you cannot cancel a scheduled text that has already been sent.

What if my iPhone is turned off at the scheduled time?

If you want to schedule a text on your iPhone, your phone needs to be on and have internet access (for iMessage) or service (for SMS). You can lock your phone, however.

Tips for scheduling texts on your iPhone

When scheduling texts on your iPhone, it’s important that you keep your recipient in mind. One of the major benefits of scheduled texts is that you can send them whenever you want to, so your sleep schedule, time zone, and working hours don’t need to dictate when you send a message. However, they impact when your recipient receives them, so schedule your texts during reasonable hours and around their schedule, if possible.

You’ll also want to avoid sending too many texts using scheduled texting for professional or business use. Sending excessive messages may irritate your recipients, hurting your relationships and interfering with your communication.

List of tips for scheduling a text on iPhone.

Yes, you can schedule texts on your iPhone for personal use

Despite Apple limiting the number of options you have for scheduling a text on your iPhone, the Shortcut workaround allows you to enjoy the benefits of sending texts on your schedule.

Once you’ve figured out how to schedule a text, you’ll be able to use them anytime you have something to say, but it’s not the right time. Just be sure to delete your automation before it’s able to repeat itself to avoid confusing your recipients.

If you’re looking to schedule text messages at scale, consider sending automatic text messages with a business texting platform so that you can take advantage of the added personalization and other benefits it provides.

For a step-by-step look at building text automations to expedite every area of your business, read our ebook Automated Text Messaging: The Complete Guide.

Ebook cover: SMS Automations, The Complete Guide

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