How to Enable the Character Counter in Messages on iPhone

Your iPhone’s Messages app enables you to send standard text messages through your mobile carrier, as well as use the iMessage service to communicate with other Apple device users. Although iMessage doesn’t set a character limit for each message, regular text messaging typically has a max of 160 characters per message. This limitation has been enforced by virtually all carriers globally, allowing only 160 characters in a single text message.

If you’ve used the messaging service on your iPhone, you would’ve noticed that it doesn’t show you the character counter by default. Since it doesn’t show the counter, you have no idea how many characters you’ve typed in a message. And manually counting the number of characters in a message is a foolish task.

To help you resolve it, iOS does have the option to let you see the character count in the messages app on your devices. With the option enabled on your iPhone, you should be able to see a counter next to where you’re typing a message and that way you’ll know if you’ve exceeded the regular message character limit. Here’s how to enable the feature.

Read also: How to Turn Off Auto-Correct on iPhone

Enabling the Character Counter in the Messages App on Your iPhone

1. Tap on Settings on the Springboard of your iPhone to launch the settings panel. The messages’ app settings are located in this Settings panel.

Enable the Character Counter

2. When the Settings Panel opens, tap on the option that says Messages. It’s for accessing the Messages app settings on your iPhone.

Enable the Character Counter

3. When the Messages settings panel launches, scroll a bit down and you’ll see an option saying Character Count. That’s the option we’ve been looking for.

Turn the toggle to the ON position for Character Count and the feature should be enabled on your iPhone.

Enable the Character Counter

4. Press the Home button on your iPhone to get to the home screen. From there, tap on the Messages icon to launch the messages app.

Enable the Character Counter

5. When the app launches, tap on the New Message icon on the top to compose a new message using the messages app.

Enable the Character Counter

6. Write down your message and when you reach two lines of your message, the counter should appear just above the Send button. It’ll show you how many characters you’ve typed so far and also the 160 characters limit.

Enable the Character Counter

So, that’s how you can have your iPhone to show you the character counter when you’re sending a new text message using the Messages app.

If you’ve just started to type your message, you won’t see the counter as I said above. It’ll only appear when you’ve typed two or more lines as that’s when your iPhone thinks you’ll need to take a look at the character counter; otherwise, it’s just fine without the counter.

Not only does the counter help you to stay in your carrier’s message limits, but it also lets you know when you’re talking too much. The counter should help you compose small but really meaningful text messages on your iPhone. If this helped you in any way, please let us know in the comments below!

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Solomen is the founder of, and he is happiest when working with technology and able to help others. In his free time, he often listens to Baroque music, swims or runs. Feel free to contact him on social media!

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