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Scheduling Text Messages on Your iPhone: A Workaround with Shortcuts

TL;DR: The iPhone lacks native message scheduling, but you can use the Shortcuts app to create an automation that sends recurring messages at a specified time and frequency.

Do you frequently send text messages to a friend or family member in a different time zone? Or perhaps you want to message someone when you know they’re off work and can respond promptly? Maybe you want to send a daily message at the same time, letting your significant other know you’re on your way home and asking if they need anything.

If any of these scenarios resonate with you (or if you have other similar situations in mind), you may be seeking a way to schedule text messages on your iPhone. After all, this is a feature that Android users have, and it can often prove incredibly convenient.

But here’s the burning question: Can you schedule text messages on your iPhone?

The answer is a bit complicated.

No, but also, yes.

Let’s delve into the details.

Can You Schedule Texts on an iPhone?

Unfortunately, you cannot schedule text messages on an iPhone directly through the Messages app. Despite the numerous improvements Apple has made to iMessage over the years, it still lacks the ability to schedule messages, even with the iPhone 15 lineup.

However, there’s a glimmer of hope for the future. Apple recently announced that it would be bringing RCS support to the Messages app later in 2024, presumably with the release of iOS 18 (which we’ll see on the iPhone 16). This is something we never imagined would happen.

Moreover, Apple is investing heavily in AI research and development, which may also find its way into iOS 18. With the power of AI-driven tools, message scheduling could potentially be on the horizon.

But for now, scheduling texts directly within the Messages app remains impossible.

Fear not, though!

There is a workaround.

The Shortcuts Workaround

If you absolutely need a way to schedule texts on your iPhone, you can leverage the Shortcuts app. In essence, this method sets up an automation that will send the same recurring message according to the frequency you specify.

The Shortcuts app should already be installed on your iPhone running iOS 13 or later. If for some reason it’s not on your device, you can download the Shortcuts app for free from the App Store.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the Automation tab from the bottom toolbar.
  3. If you haven’t created an automation before, select Create Personal Automation on the screen. (This won’t appear for anyone who has previously made automations.)
  4. If you have made automations before, select the Plus sign button in the upper-right corner.
  5. Select the Time of Day option.
  6. Adjust the time for when you want your message to send. You can also choose how often it occurs and whether you want it to run with or without confirmation. Once you’ve set everything up, select Next.
  7. From the Actions menu, select Send Message. If you can’t find it, type it into the search bar at the top.
  8. Select Message and type in what you want the message to say.
  9. Select Recipients and add the contacts you want to send the message to.
  10. Select Done to save.


Once saved, your automation will run at the specified time and frequency you’ve chosen. If you no longer want the automation, you can swipe left on it in the list and select Delete.

It’s not perfect.

But it works.

Until Apple introduces native message scheduling in the Messages app, the Shortcuts workaround remains the most viable option for iPhone users who need this functionality. While it may require a bit of setup, it can be a lifesaver for those who regularly send messages to people in different time zones or want to automate certain recurring messages.

Keep in mind that the Shortcuts app offers a wide range of automation possibilities beyond just scheduling text messages. It’s worth exploring the app to see how it can streamline various aspects of your iPhone usage.

In the meantime, we can only hope that Apple takes note of this highly requested feature and incorporates message scheduling directly into the Messages app in future iOS updates. Until then, the Shortcuts workaround is your best bet for scheduling texts on your iPhone.

Happy messaging!


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