How To Schedule a Text Message Send in iMessage
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and remembered you need to send a message to someone in the morning? It happens to everyone. While most modern apps allow for delayed message sending, iMessage still doesn’t have that feature.
Luckily, there’s still a way to schedule iMessages. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Schedule iMessages
The regular Messages app on the iPhone doesn’t have the option of scheduling an iMessage (as of time of writing). You can accomplish this in various ways depending on how much you like third-party apps and the time of day that you’re sending the message.
Schedule iMessages via Reminders
The simplest way of scheduling a message is to do it manually via notes. Your basic Reminders app for the iPhone can do the trick. You can use this basic outline:
- Create a new reminder by pressing on the “+” at the bottom left.
- Fill the title with the name of the person or their phone number so you can find them.
- In the “Notes” box, type in the message.
- Select “Details” to set up the reminder.
- Toggle on “Date” and select the day you’ll need to send a message.
- Toggle on “Time” and select the time when you want to send a message.
- Tap on “Add” on the top right.
- Confirm notification settings if prompted.
With a reminder set up, you’ll receive a notification at the time and date. You can then:
- Open Reminders.
- Select the “i” icon to the right of the reminder.
- Copy the text from the “Notes” section into the iMessage (Double tap on the text to “Select All” then “Copy”).
- Open Messages and find the person you’re sending the message to.
- Paste the message text you copied (Press and hold on the box and select “Paste”).
- Send the iMessage.
One huge downside of this method is that you still have to manually send the message. This means that you must be by your phone when the notification bell rings.
Schedule iMessages via Automation
Another built-in feature that you can use to schedule a message is Automation in Reminders. It allows you to send a message automatically, but you need to set it up for every message and cancel afterward. However, this is the most straightforward way to schedule messages that are sent when you need them to without additional manual work.
Here’s how you can set up an automated message:
- Open Shortcuts and press on the Automation tab at the bottom.
- Select “Create Personal Automation.”
- Tap on “Time of Day.”
- Select a specific Time of Day and choose the time below the checkmark. You can also choose Sunrise or Sunset, but that might be less useful.
- Under “Repeat,” select “Weekly” and choose the day of the week (that day needs to glow blue, so deselect all the others). If you need to send a message a bit more in advance, select “Monthly” and choose the day of the month.
- Tap on “Next” at the top right.
- Under “Actions,” select “Send Message.”
- Fill in the “Message” and “Recipients” fields.
- Select “Next.”
- Uncheck “Ask Before Running” and confirm that in the pop-up menu.
- Toggle “Notify When Run.”
- Overview the Automation task and select “Done.”
With the task set, your phone will send the iMessage at the requested time. However, depending on the setup, it will also repeat the message every day of the week or month that you chose.
To avoid that, you’ll need to remove the automation task. Once you receive the notification that your message was sent (hence the “Notify When Run” toggle earlier on), here’s what you need to do:
- Open Shortcuts and Automation.
- Select the task you want to cancel.
- Toggle off “Enable This Automation.”
- Alternatively, you can delete the automation task by swiping it from right to left in the Automation menu.
With the automated task disabled (but not removed), you can edit that automation task the next time you need to schedule a message. Edit the task’s fields (“When” and “Do”) and enable or disable the task as required for further messages.
Schedule iMessages via Third-Party App
If you want to schedule a message without the hassle of going back and forth through the automation options, there are a few apps you can download from the App Store.
Note that due to Apple’s limitations, apps can’t send messages on your behalf, so most of these only allow you to create a reminder or task. You’ll still need to confirm sending the message.
Scheduled is one of the most popular iOS apps for planning and scheduling, and it works for messages, notes, reminders, calendar events, and more.
The basic app is free, but comes with a significant list of restrictions, such as being able to schedule only a few messages each month. However, if you only need to send a scheduled message occasionally and want a few more features to play with, it’s a great option.
While the app has a relatively low rating on the store, its range of features are hard to come by and recent updates have solved most of the issues outlined in reviews.
Scheduled is the only option with a Premium plan that sends messages on your behalf.
Moxy is an amazing free option considering the limitations put on it. It allows you to create unlimited messages and schedule them whenever they need to be sent.
However, since it can’t send messages automatically, it will send you a notification that you have to confirm. This means that it’s impossible to schedule a message for when you’re unavailable (such as in the middle of the night when you’re asleep).
This is an iPad-friendly version of a message scheduler. Like other free options, it gives you a reminder to send a message at the appropriate time to complete the action. The free version puts a relatively generous message limit per month.
Going Premium also enables voice controls but still limits you to needing to send the actual message via push notification.
Can you unsend a scheduled message?
If you sent a message through Automation, it still uses your original Messaging app. You can locate the message and edit it or unsend it (in iOS 16 or later).
If you’re using a third-party app, go through their FAQ and Terms to learn what processes they use. If they use the native Messenger, the process is the same as with Automation.
Can you schedule a text on iMessage?
Unfortunately, no. You need to use the Automation app to schedule a message to be sent automatically. Most third-party apps can’t send messages automatically, even if they allow for scheduling.
Send on the Go with Automation
Automation is the best way to set up iMessage scheduling and send messages to your contacts no matter the time of day. However, don’t forget to disable the task after, or you risk spamming them with messages (unless that’s your goal).
Did you find an easier way to schedule and automatically send an iMessage? Let us know in the comments below.