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How to Schedule a Text Message on iPhone (3 Simple Ways)

Being able to schedule a text message can be a time management lifesaver.

schedule text message on iphone

Being able to schedule a text message on your iPhone would be a lifesaver. Imagine you can send a scheduled text message to your friends, family, and co-workers. It would make planning your day, week, or even month easier.

Unfortunately, iMessage doesn’t have a built-in scheduling feature. For these, and many other reasons (like birthday and pre-planned event reminders), iPhone users can set a reminder at a scheduled time to send a text message.

Android users are a bit lucky as Google Messages now let them schedule a text message. But there’re some workarounds for iPhone users until Apple decides to bring the scheduling feature to iPhone. In this guide, you’ll learn 3 different ways to schedule a text message on iPhone.

1. Schedule a text message using the Delayed Time iMessage shortcut

Though Apple is missing the message scheduling functionality, it does have a very helpful function of setting up shortcuts with the Shortcuts app.

Essentially, the app allows you to automate multiple actions to happen in a particular order. These shortcuts, once set up, do not need manual intervention to trigger, as they will be triggered by a particular preset event.

Not familiar with the Shortcuts app? Here’s a complete guide to creating your first Siri Shortcuts

1. For the purpose of this article, we’ll download the “Delayed Time iMessage” from Shortcuts Gallery. Remember to allow untrusted shortcuts from your Shortcuts security settings. Next, tap Add Untrusted Shortcut.

2. After the download is complete, open the Shortcuts app. Find and open the Delayed Time iMessage.

Shortcuts app dashboard
Shortcuts app dashboard. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

3. Select the contact you wish to schedule a text message for.

Choosing contacts for the Delayed Time iMessage shortcuts
Selecting a contact from the Contacts app. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

4. Type your message, when you’re happy with it tap Done.

Typing a message for the Delayed Time iMessage shortcuts
Typing a text message in the Delayed Time iMessage shortcuts. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

4. Next, choose the date and time you want the text to be sent, then confirm to schedule the text.

Set a date and time for the Delayed Time iMessage shortcuts
Scheduling a delayed text message. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Once the shortcut is activated, the text message will be automatically sent at the set time.

The only caveat is that the Shortcuts app needs to be running in the background for this to work. The drawback here is that if you were to schedule something too far ahead of time, you would need to be assured that your phone is on and the Shortcuts app is active.

Additionally, you’d need to have a valid internet connection, or the action simply will not execute at that time.

2. Schedule a text message using the Scheduled app

You can also use a third-party app called Scheduled (available in the Apple Store free of charge) to delay messages. However, this variation does not automatically send the message for you, but rather, prompts you to send it when the scheduled time comes. To set up delayed messages with this app follow the steps below:

1. Open the Scheduled app, and tap on the Add new button at the bottom of the screen.

Scheduled app dashboard
Scheduled app dashboard. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

2. Then, tap the Select Recipient(s) button to select the contact you’d like to schedule the message to.

Selecting a contact to schedule a message
Selecting a contact from the Contacts app. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

3. Once you picked your contact, tap Enter Your Message to start typing your message.

Composing a message to be scheduled
Typing a text message in the scheduled app. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

4. Tap Schedule Date which will prompt a way to choose the date and time of your choice for the message.

In case you’re sending a Happy Birthday text, you can toggle on the Repeat button where you’ll find several options to choose from.

Once all of those things have been completed, tap Schedule Message.

Choosing a date and time for a schedule text
Scheduling a text message in the scheduled app. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

At the scheduled time, your phone will pop up as a reminder. Tapping on the reminder notification directly takes you to the place where you would send the message from.

Click the Send With… button to select how you want the message to send (SMS/iMessage or another texting app on your device). This will open up a message in the chosen sending prompt with the contact and the message filled in.

Now you can send the message as you would send it as if you had just typed it out at that time. This is not a perfect approach as it is not necessarily automated, but it does fill the functionality gap in the iOS of not having delayed messaging reminders.

3. Schedule a text message using the Reminders app

If you don’t want to install a third-party app nor go through the process of setting up a shortcut, you can simply set up a reminder for yourself to send the message at a particular time.

Apple does have a Reminders app. Through it, you can set up a reminder with the details of what you want the message to say and who it should be sent to. 

You can then set the reminder to trigger at a particular time in the future. Assuming your phone is on at the time, you will get prompted with a reminder on the day you need to send the message. You can then go over and send the message on your own as you normally would.

Wrapping Up

While Apple’s functionality sets a limitation on scheduling messages to automatically send at predetermined dates and times, the above methods are three of the ways to get around it. You can find other apps with similar features, but most of them provide comparable functionality. 

For any questions or concerns, please use the comment section below.