How to Schedule Text Messages on an iPhone

Anahid Akkam
Anahid AkkamContent Manager

Published: Jan 18, 2023

Schedule a Text Message on iPhone

Can you schedule a text message on your iPhone? The short answer is yes, but not directly. The Messages app lacks a built-in capability, but fortunately, there are some workarounds. Scheduling messages can be done through shortcuts or third-party apps if you want to send multiple messages to a large number of recipients.

What Are Scheduled Texts

Theseare ones that you set up in advance to be automatically sent whenever you’d like without having to do it manually. This is a great way to send a reminder text at a certain time or date or when performing a certain action. You can send them to one or more contacts, and they don’t require you to be on your phone at that specific time.

For business or non-personal uses, these messages can regularly keep your customers engaged without manual input. They serve as automated reminders for things like payments, appointments, and promotions. An automated text message can even be configured to be sent in response to an action or used for feedback or surveys after purchase.

Is SMS Scheduling Easy on iPhones?

It may not be very straightforward, but it’s easy to learn how to send a scheduled SMS. We’ll show you step-by-step how to do it, but keep in mind that iPhones have only limited options. There are third-party apps that provide more functionality, but the easiest way to do it is through an SMS platform, especially if you’re a business that plans on doing it often and in bulk.

Business text messaging services offer more advanced scheduling and automation features like autoresponders. They also allow you to send personalized SMS reminders to keep customers informed and engaged with your business.

Get Started Now

Reach your clients now and claim your 30-day free trial. No credit card required.

This is How to Schedule an SMS on an iPhone Step by Step

The native Shortcuts app lets you schedule a message to individual contacts or small groups. It’s an easy solution without any frills. If you want more features, you can use Dexatel for mass scheduling.

Using Shortcuts:

1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone

2. Choose the Automation tab on the bottom

3. Tap Create Personal Automation in the center

This button won’t be available if you’ve created an automation before. So, tap the + icon in the upper right corner and then choose Create Personal Automation.

4. Select the Time of Day option

Choose what time to send the text message on your iPhone. To choose the date, select the Monthly Repeat option and tap Next when you’re done.

Note that your phone will repeat this message every month on your selected day and time. If you intend this to be a one-time message, you will have to manually turn off or delete the automation after the message is sent.

5. Tap Add Action

Choose Send Message from the listed options (or search for Messages to find it).

6. Write your message and choose a recipient(s)

Type your text in the Message field and select your contact(s) to send it to. Toggle Ask Before Running on if you want to receive a notification before the message is sent. If you want it to be automatically sent, toggle it off.

Review your automation, tap Next and Done. You’ve successfully scheduled a text message on your iPhone.

Remember to turn off the automation from the menu once it runs if you don’t want it to be recurring every month. You can delete it by sliding right.

Even though you can do this with shortcuts, it’s limited in its functionality. A business texting software gives you more ways to automate them, and powerful SMS API integrations for hassle-free automation. Android gives you more options than an iPhone, but it still won’t have the same level of customization and powerful tools that a dedicated SMS platform provides.


Can You Tell if a Text Was Scheduled?

The recipient won’t know that the text was scheduled. It will appear as a regular message to them. If you want to check whether your message was scheduled, go to the Shortcuts app and look for it in the Automations menu.

Do Scheduled Messages Send if the iPhone is Off?

Scheduled messages will not be sent if your phone is turned off at the scheduled send time.

Can Scheduled Messages be Sent Without Internet?

If you’re sending an SMS rather than an iMessage, then your scheduled message will be sent even if your phone is not connected to WiFi or mobile data at the time.

Can You Unsend a Scheduled Message on an iPhone?

SMS cannot be unsent. Once the action takes place, the message is sent and will appear to the recipient. If it’s sent as an iMessage, then as per Apple, you can undo a recently sent message for up to two minutes after sending it.

  • Touch and hold the message bubble, then tap Undo Send.
  • A note confirming that you unsent the message appears in both conversation transcripts: yours and your recipient’s.

If the person you’re messaging is using a device with iOS 16 or later, iPadOS 16 or later, or macOS Ventura, unsending removes the message from their device.

If the person you’re messaging is using a device with iOS 15.6 or earlier, iPadOS 15.6 or earlier, macOS 12 or earlier, or is using SMS, the original message remains in the conversation. When you unsend a message, you’re notified that the recipient may still see the original message in the message transcript.

Looking for a Powerful Message Scheduler?

These are a great way to save time and automate your messaging. But if you want to make the most of it and unlock the full potential of SMS for your business needs, Dexatel offers best-in-class SMS personalization and powerful integrations. This way, you can make sure that your marketing, transactional, and operational messages get sent to everyone anywhere at just the right time.

Book a free demo to see how SMS can become your most cost-effective marketing channel.