Skip to Content

How To View Messages On Snapchat

In the early days of social media, your online profiles and phone messaging apps were separate. With time, the introduction of “direct messaging” merged the two services. As a result, today, most social media platforms offer convenient messaging options. So how do you view messages on Snapchat without them knowing?

If you want to open your messages but keep them marked “unread,” turn on Airplane Mode and open the app. You can also uninstall and reinstall the app. You can also mark messages as “unread” after reading them, but that’s typically only reflected on your side and they will still appear as seen.

Social media and direct messages open new opportunities and security risks. So, you should be clued up on some tips and tricks for navigating and investigating Snapchat for your and your loved ones’ safety. But Snapchat makes this more challenging because messages are transient; they disappear. So, let’s look at how you can get around this problem.

Can You View Snapchat Messages Without Opening Them?


Inconspicuously viewing messages on Snapchat is more complicated than on other platforms. As with other platforms, the notification for a message goes away when you open it. However, Snapchat goes a step further.

Messages on Snapchat disappear after a set duration, usually after 24 hours (There are ways for premium subscribers to customize how long their messages (and other content) are available). Unfortunately, these features make opening messages without leaving a trace more challenging. 

There are innumerable opinions on how to do this. For example, the simplest trick is sliding the message to a side to see the entire message. Only, if that ever worked, it no longer does. The same goes for most tips.

Why Snapchat Makes it So Difficult?

Snapchat is frustratingly difficult when trying to monitor a loved one’s safety. And that is the point. Snapchat markets itself as a safe, secure, private platform. It certainly lives up to that.

While it protects the recipient’s privacy to some degree, Snapchat’s features go above and beyond for sender security and privacy. All of this is good news for the user. However, it does not always protect one from other ill-intentioned users.

What are Your Options?

Despite all the security measures, some potential methods exist to view a Snapchat message without “opening” the chat. That said, Snapchat constantly addressed these exploits, so what works today may not work tomorrow.

Airplane Mode

The Airplane Mode toggle on your phone is not only convenient for flights. What this toggle does is disconnect your phone from almost everything. The emphasis is “almost.” 

While most users think they are disconnected from the world when airplane mode is active, they are only truly disconnected from their data service provider. Their Wi-Fi remains active. 

To disconnect a phone from all possible connections, enable airplane mode and disable Wi-Fi and other connections like Bluetooth and NFC. The last two don’t matter too much, but rather safe than sorry.

Follow these steps:

  1. First, before disconnecting the phone, open the Snapchat app and let it run in the background.
  1. Once you have disconnected the phone, switch back to Snapchat.
  1. Open the message you want to view, then return to the app’s home page. You will notice that the message got marked as Read, and any notifications for the message are gone. 

The app knows the message was read, but that information can’t sync with the Snapchat servers because the device has no connection. 

However, once the device reconnects, it will update the server, and the message will show as read. You have to make the phone “forget” before that can happen.

The following steps are crucial, and it is here most people struggle.

On Android:

  1. Go to Device Settings.
  1. Navigate to Apps.
  1. Select Snapchat and tap on Storage.
  1. Select Clear Caches.
  1. Tap on Clear Data.
  1. Tap on Delete to confirm.

On iOS:

  1. In the app, navigate to the setting gear icon.
  1. Scroll to Account Actions.
  1. Tap on Clear Cache.
  1. Select Clear All.

If everything goes to plan, the device no longer holds information about the interaction. It should request to synchronize from the server. 

Because you had no connection when reading the message, the server doesn’t know about it, and Snapchat reverts to how it was before you disconnected the device in the first place.

Delete the App

Snapchat on the phone

A more extreme option is to delete the Snapchat app. First, make sure you wipe all of the app’s data. Now you can reconnect the phone to the internet and reinstall the app on the device. 

For this to work, you need to be able to log back into the account. Fortunately, most users’ login details get saved to their devices. 

If all else fails and you can’t log back in, you can leave the app like that. Most people will think the app logged them out of their accounts randomly. The ethical considerations depend on the circumstances. 

Note: Depending on your location and relationship with the Snapchat account holder, attempting to follow this method may constitute a criminal act. Please check your federal laws, local laws, and by-laws.


Various apps can spy on a device. Using such software, you can read and review every action on someone else’s phone. Much of this kind of software gets marketed as parental control suites. And there is a good reason for that.

While parents in some countries are legally permitted to monitor their children’s online interactions, using stalkerware is almost always illegal. Private investigators and police services use such software during cases, but there are restrictions on the information they can disseminate. 

So, how does it work?

  1. First, you must install a spyware app on the target device. During the installation, you will get a prompt to hide the “app.” However, the app will still show under the list of running apps.
  1. Next, you will need to create and log in to the account you will use with the suite. That will take you to some form of a dashboard. 
  1. From here, you will have access to messages, calls, the device camera, etc.

So, it is clear why this is a criminal act in most situations. But if you are sure it is legal to use such methods in your country or state, this software will give you access to all of a user’s Snapchat data. 

Can You Mark a Snapchat Message as Unread?

Suppose you use a method that blocks the device from contacting the server first, then yes. Otherwise, there is no way to revert the server data so that the message shows as “unread.”

Can You Read a Snapchat After You’ve Opened it?

Yes, however, it is a matter of time. Because Snapchat messages disappear after a set amount of time, they are only available temporarily. 

Before you consider taking a screenshot of a Snapchat message, note that Snapchat will notify the sender that you have done so. 

How to Save Messages on Snapchat

Despite what many people claim, there is no native Snapchat feature that allows you to save messages indefinitely. The best you can do is set a conversation with a friend to keep messages for up to 24 hours.