View timestamps in Messages on your Mac and iPhone

MessagesIconXWhen you are using Apple’s iMessage service, you might wish to look up when a specific message arrived, especially if you are troubleshooting a connection problem or other configuration issue with Messages. There are several ways to do this both in OS X and in iOS, a couple of which are relatively apparent, and a couple that are not.

First, by simply looking at your conversation you will see time separators for when a recent conversation was started (see the green circle in the screenshot below). While this will show you the time the conversation was started, and may be enough for most purposes to gauge when messages were received, it does not show you the individual timestamps of each message.

Messages timestamps in OS X

These locations show the times conversations were started and messages were received.

The next option is the timestamp that is displayed by your contact’s name (see the blue circle in the screenshot). Similar to the conversation timestamp, this will show you when the last message was received and can be useful to an extent; however, it also does not show you when others in the conversation were received.

Granted, you can use these two timestamps to gauge the entire timeframe of a conversation, but if you would like to view when a specific message came in, simply hover your mouse over the message and after a few seconds a small tool-tips window will appear that shows the time and date of the message.

Timestamps in Messages in iOS

Dragging the conversation to the left in iOS will reveal the timestamp list.

If you are using your iPhone to view your conversation, then you can also show these timestamps. While the first and second options will appear in similar locations on the iPhone, for the individual messages, you simply have to tap and drag the conversation to the left, and the conversation will slide over to reveal the timestamps to the right.

2 thoughts on “View timestamps in Messages on your Mac and iPhone

  1. Ephraim Fithian

    If you use the control key and click (or right click) on the message area, one of the options is to Show as Compact, which shows the time of each message. You can also change whether to show the picture and name of the participants or the name only.

Comments are closed.