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How to Schedule Text Messages on iPhone

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You can set up an automation in the Shortcuts app to schedule a delayed text message on iPhone. Choose the time of day, enter the message and recipient, and save the automation. Remember that the scheduled message will repeat itself automatically unless you disable or delete it.

Sometimes it’s better to create a text message while you think about it. But what if you don’t want to send it until later? Here, we will show you how to send a scheduled text message on iPhone at your preferred time.

Can you schedule a text message on iPhone?

You may be wondering, Apple introduced a feature to send delayed text messages on the iPhone and you missed it? The answer is no, you haven’t missed anything. As of this writing in December 2022, there is no built-in Messages feature for scheduling text messages. But like many topics we cover here at How-To Geek, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

A simple solution is to set a reminder using the Reminders app on the iPhone. Then when you get the reminder, just type and send your message right then and there. However, that requires you to have access to your phone at the time you planned, which may not be the case.

To schedule a prewritten text message to be sent automatically, you’ll need to set up an automation with the Shortcuts app. It may not be the ideal solution because it takes a few minutes to set up. Also, you have to remember to remove the automation if you don’t want the message to repeat itself. However, it is the closest delayed message solution to what you are likely to want, and below are the steps for this method.

How to Schedule a Text Message on iPhone

To start setting up a delayed text message, open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone. If it’s one you’ve deleted, you can download it again for free on the App Store.

Select the Automation tab at the bottom and tap the plus sign at the top right. Then, choose “Create Personal Automation.”

Plus sign on the Automation and Create Personal Automation tab

At the top of the next screen, select “Time of Day.” On the next When screen, choose “Time of Day” and select the time in the box that appears.

Automation for a time of day and time

Alternatively, you can choose Sunrise or Sunset and choose an offset. For example, if your recipient is an early riser, you can select a time close to sunrise.

Under Repeat at the bottom, choose Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. This is convenient if it is a message that you want to send regularly, as a reminder to a family member. Press “Next.”

Repeat options for an automation

Although you may not want your text message to be sent continuously, the repeat setting is required. If you want to schedule a single message, you’ll simply kill the automation once it’s done, which we’ll explain in the next section.

On the Actions screen, expand the Next Action Suggestions section and choose “Send Message”. Then, on the next screen, you’ll use the top box to set up your text.

Configuration box and action Send message

Tap “Message” in blue and write your text. Then, tap on “Recipients” in blue, select or enter a contact, and choose “Done”.

Text for message and contact

You will then see the text message and the recipient in the box. If you are satisfied with it, tap “Next” to continue.

Message and recipient confirmation

On the final screen, you will review the time for the programmed text. If you want to be prompted before the text is sent, leave the Prompt before execution option checked.

RELATED: How to Disable Shortcuts App Notifications on iPhone

If you turn off the toggle, you will be asked to confirm. You can then turn on the next switch that appears to Notify when running if you want. This is useful to see when the text message is sent.

Ask before running option and confirmation to shutdown

Tap “Done” to save the automation.

You will then return to the Automation screen in the Shortcuts app. You can schedule another text in the same way, or just close the app.

RELATED: How to Schedule Text Messages on Android

Delete or disable delayed text messages on iPhone

If you only want a one-time scheduled message, you can remove or disable Shortcuts automation after sending your text. Consider setting a reminder to yourself or a note in your to-do app to stop the automation once it’s complete.

RELATED: How to see when a text message was sent on your iPhone

When you’re ready to delete or disable the scheduled text message task, return to the Automation tab in the Shortcuts app and do one of the following:

  • To delete the automation, swipe it from right to left and select “Delete.” You won’t be asked to confirm, so make sure you delete it before tapping Delete.
  • To disable the automation, select it and turn off the toggle to Enable this automation. This is a good option if you want to start the automation again later.

Delete or disable an automation

Apple offers a feature to schedule an email in the Mail app, so hopefully in the future we’ll see a feature to schedule a text in Messages as well. In the meantime, at least you can schedule a text message on iPhone using Shortcuts.

RELATED: How to search within text messages on iPhone or iPad

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