This secret iOS 16 feature lets you filter your messages and see only unreads

iOS 16
(Image credit: Future)

iOS 16 has a lot of huge new features, but there’s one that changes the way you use your Messages app that has been pretty well hidden — the option to filter your messages by unread.

There is a tonne of stuff that Apple has bragged about, with a lot of people gettinc acquainted to these features on their shiny new iPhone 14. But there hasn't beeb a peep about this absolute game changer, which makes rifling through your spam and people you’d rather not talk to a cinch. 

Here’s how to turn it on and streamline your Messages experience.

How to filter messages by unread in iOS 16

iOS 16

(Image credit: Future)

Head over to settings, scroll down and select Messages.

iOS 16

(Image credit: Future)

Scroll down to the bottom and toggle the Filter Unknown Senders switch.

iOS 16

(Image credit: Future)

When you head back to the Messages app now, you’ll see a new option called Filters at the top. 

iOS 16

(Image credit: Future)

Select this and you can filter messages by all messages, known senders, unknown senders, and most importantly, Unread Messages.

Outlook

As you can see by the number of messages on my phone, any way to filter my messages is warmly welcomed. Sure, a lot of that comes down to being quite the introvert, but the options to filter out spam and work through any unread messages is one of the biggest small tweaks of iOS 16.

There are big features, such as the customizable lock screen, and other little tweaks that are massively helpful like the option to have a battery percentage. However, it is this that I’ve found the most use for.

It’s just really weird that this is both an optional feature and one that has been tucked away in the settings, but now you know it’s there. Enjoy!

Jason England
Staff Writer

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.