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 automatically unless you disable or delete it.
Sometimes it’s best to create a text message while you’re thinking of it. But what if you don’t want to actually send it until later? Here, we’ll show you how to send a scheduled text message on iPhone at whatever time you prefer.
Can You Schedule a Text on iPhone?
You might be wondering, did Apple introduce a feature to send delayed text messages on iPhone and you missed it? The answer is no, you haven’t missed a thing. As of this writing in December 2022, there is no built-in Messages feature to schedule texts. But like many topics we cover here at How-To Geek, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
One simple solution is to set a reminder using the Reminders app on iPhone. Then, when you receive the reminder, simply type and send your message at that time. 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 that sends automatically, you’ll need to set up an automation using the Shortcuts app. It may not be the ideal solution because it does take a few minutes to set up. Plus, you must remember to remove the automation if you don’t want the message to repeat. But it’s the delayed message solution closest to what you probably want, though, and below are the steps for this method.
How to Schedule a Text Message on iPhone
To get started setting up a delayed text message, open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone. If it’s one you’ve removed, you can redownload it for free on the App Store.
Select the Automation tab at the bottom and tap the plus sign on the top right. Then, choose “Create Personal Automation.”
At the top of the next screen, pick “Time of Day.” On the subsequent When screen, choose “Time of Day” and pick the time in the box that appears.
Alternatively, you can pick Sunrise or Sunset and choose an offset. For example, if you’re recipient is an early bird, you can select a time around sunrise.
Under Repeat at the bottom, choose Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. This is convenient if it’s a message you want to send regularly, such as a reminder for a family member. Tap “Next.”
Although you may not want your text message to send continually, the repeat setting is required. If you want to schedule a one-time message, you’ll simply remove the automation after it finishes, which we’ll explain in the next section.
On the Actions screen, expand the Next Action Suggestions section and pick “Send Message.” Then, on the subsequent screen, you’ll use the top box to set up your text.
Tap “Message” in blue and type your text. Then, tap “Recipients” in blue, select or enter a contact, and choose “Done.”
You’ll then see the text message and recipient in the box. If you’re happy with it, tap “Next” to continue.
On the final screen, you’ll review the timing for the scheduled text. If you want to be asked before the text sends, leave the toggle turned on for Ask Before Running.
If you turn off the toggle, you’ll be asked to confirm. You can then turn on the next toggle that appears for Notify When Run if you like. This is handy to see when the text message sends.
Tap “Done” to save the automation.
You’ll then return to the Automation screen in the Shortcuts app. You can schedule another text message the same way or simply close the app.
Delete or Disable Delayed Text Messages on iPhone
If you only want a one-time scheduled message, you can delete or disable the Shortcuts automation after your text is sent. Consider scheduling a reminder for yourself or a note in your to-do app to stop the automation after it’s complete.
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 pick “Delete.” You won’t be asked to confirm, so be sure you want to remove it before tapping Delete.
- To disable the automation, select it and turn off the toggle for Enable This Automation. This is a good option if you want to start up the automation again at a later time.
Apple offers a feature to schedule an email in the Mail app, so hopefully down the road, 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.