How To Fix When the iPhone Shows Unread Messages When All Have Been Read
Have you ever looked at your iPhone, saw a message notification, but then can’t find the new message? Come to think of it; you probably didn’t even hear the notification sound. The phantom message mystery usually occurs when the notification from the last message you’ve read doesn’t clear.
This might not seem like a big deal, but it can be disruptive. You might think that you’ve missed something important, whereas it’s just a number sitting there indicating nothing.
While you may have missed a message in a group conversation, it’s far more likely you’re dealing with an iOS bug. This issue might be frustrating, but there are several ways you can try to fix it.
How to Get Rid of the Message Notification When There Are No Messages
The first course of action is to thoroughly check whether you’ve missed a message in one of the conversations in the Messages app. If you’re fully up to date, then we can go over the potential solutions.
Close the Messages App
An app can become unresponsive for many reasons, and sometimes it’s a glitch in the operating system. You can force it to start working again by closing and opening it again. Here’s how to do that:
- Make sure you’re on the Home screen, and then swipe from the bottom up and pause at the middle of the screen.
- Swipe in any direction to find the Messages app.
- Once you find it, tap and swipe up to close it.
- Open the Messages app.
These steps apply to iPhone X and newer models. On older iPhones, instead of swiping up on the Home screen, double-click the Home button. The last two steps are the same.
Restart Your iPhone
If closing the app didn’t do the trick, you can try restarting your phone. Often the inexplicable issues such as this get resolved by a simple reboot. If you have an iPhone X/11/12/13, here’s how to restart your device:
- Press and hold the side button and any of the volume buttons until you see the slider.
- Turn off the device by dragging the slider and give it at least 30 seconds before turning it on.
- You can turn on your device by pressing the side button again.
If you have an older iPhone, restart your device by pressing and holding the side button until you see the slider.
Turn Off the Message Notifications
Another potential solution is to turn off and then turn on the message notification settings. This might jump remove the number above the icon and resolve the issue. It’s a quick fix worth trying. Here are the steps to follow:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Go to “Notifications” and then “Messages.”
- Move the toggle from On to Off and vice versa.
Check the app to see if the notification has been removed.
Restore Your Device With iCloud
Sometimes, the best way to approach this persistent and pretty annoying problem is to start over by completely restoring messages. If your iPhone is set up to back up all content, including messages, the iCloud backup is probably the surest way to remove the unread messages notification. Here’s how to fully reset your iPhone:
- Launch the Settings app and go to “General.”
- Scroll down and select “Reset,” followed by “Erase all Content and Settings.”
- A pop-up message will appear asking whether you want to back up the content first. Tap on the “Backup Then Erase” option.
- It will take several minutes for the device to reset to factory conditions. Once it’s done, you’ll be prompted to select “Restore from iCloud Backup.”
- Sign in to your iCloud account and choose which backups you want to restore.
Hopefully, the notification showing unread messages will be gone. Keep in mind that this method is only possible if you have enough storage on your iCloud account.
You can also try erasing all messages without backup if you don’t mind losing conversation threads in the Messages app. The reset will also require you to sign in to some other apps again too.
Update Your iPhone
Finally, don’t forget to check whether your device is using the latest software. By updating iOS, you might get rid of the message notification for good.
You might have missed an update because you ignored the system message, or the Automatic Updates feature is disabled. Either way, here’s how to ensure you have the updated version of iOS on your device:
- Connect your iPhone to a power source and wireless internet.
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Select “General” and then “Software Update.”
- If you see that an update is available, make sure to tap on “Download and Install.”
- Enter your passcode and select “Install Now.”
Once the iPhone has been updated, recheck the Messages app. The notification alert may have been removed with the new update.
Removing False Message Notifications
If you see a message notification, you expect to read a new message. Getting tricked by a notification that refuses to go away can become tiring. It’s easy to forget that your phone is having this issue; hence you’re getting unpleasantly surprised several times per day.
Try closing the app, turning off the notification, and restarting your iPhone first – those are the easy potential fixes. But if that doesn’t work, you might have to back up data and reset your phone with the help of iCloud.
Lastly, always make sure you’re working with the latest version of iOS, as that can be why the notifications are glitching in the first place.
Have you ever had a message notification and no message? What did you do about it? Let us know in the comments section below.
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