You probably don’t need a lengthy explanation about why ignoring tons of text messages is a risky business; a pressing request or other important information could be hidden among less essential notifications. That said, there are definitely situations where it makes more sense to just mark all your texts as ‘read,’ rather than actually read them. Maybe you’re part of a few group messages whose conversation topics don’t involve you, or maybe you’ve signed up for text alerts from retailers whose products no longer interest you. Whatever the case, there’s an easy way for iPhone and iPad users to stop feeling taunted by the growing number of unread messages displayed on the iMessage app icon.
As How-To Geek reports, the method for marking all your messages as ‘read’ depends on your device. When you open the iMessages app on your phone or tablet, check for an ellipsis (a set of three dots) encased in a circle in the upper right corner. If you don’t see that, look for an ‘Edit’ button in the upper left corner instead. Either of those buttons should offer you a menu that includes an option to ‘Select Messages.’
Choose that, and an empty circle should appear next to each message chain. If you want to mark specific conversations as ‘read,’ tap their corresponding circles and then hit ‘Read’ in the bottom left corner. If you want to mark all unread messages as ‘read’ in one fell swoop, disregard the circles and simply tap ‘Read All’ in the bottom left corner.
Unlike most email inboxes, iMessages can’t be sorted by ‘Read’ status—so this hack is especially helpful if you can’t seem to locate a pesky unread message or two buried deep in your message history.
[h/t How-To Geek]