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How to schedule a text on Android - quickly and easily

This handy Android feature can reduce your worries about waking or interrupting your text message recipients.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
A woman looking at her phone and watch
d3sign/Getty Images

Have you ever composed a text message and thought, "I should send this later"? Maybe you want to reply to a message late at night or during someone's work day but you worry you'll disturb the recipient, so you don't send it. And then when later comes, you forget all about it?

It's happened to us all.  

Also: 5 simple ways to improve your Android phone security today

Fortunately, scheduling texts on Android is very simple. (The same can't be said of iOS - for now.) Here's everything you need to know to up your Android texting game without interrupting anything. 

How to schedule text messages on Android

What you'll need: The only things you'll need to make this work are an Android device with a data plan (for the sending of texts). The feature is found in Android Messages, which is pre-installed on all Android phones, so there are no apps to install. It's all there, ready to go.

1. Unlock your phone and open Messages

The first thing to do is unlock your Android phone and open the Messages app.

2. Start a chat

For this, you can either create a new chat (by tapping the Start chat button) or open a pre-existing chat. If you create a new chat, you'll then select the recipient as you normally would.

The Android Start chat button.

Start composing a new chat or open a pre-existing chat.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Type your message

On the resulting window, type the message you want to send. 

The Android message compose window.

Start typing the message you want to schedule.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Open the scheduler

After you've completed typing the message, long press the Send button (right-pointing arrow at the bottom right of the screen). 

Also: Change this one Android setting to instantly make your phone feel twice as fast

From the resulting popup, select either later today (5:00 PM), later tonight (9:00 PM), Tomorrow (8:00 AM), or a custom time.

The Schedule send popup on Android 13.

If you want a custom date/time for sending, tap Pick date and time.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

5. Set a custom time

If you opt for a custom time, tap Pick date and time. In the next popup, you'll first select the date, tap Next, and then set the time.

The date picker for scheduling a text.

First select a date and then you'll select a time for custom schedule sending.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

6. Save the custom time

In the last window of the custom time wizard, verify the time and date and then tap Save. Once you've done that, you'll see the text and time at the bottom of the window. 

Also: How to enable read receipts in Android Messages

Tap the Send button and your text is scheduled to be sent. It will appear in the chat timeline with a special Schedule icon.

The verification window for a custom date/time for scheduled sending of texts.

If all is correct, tap Save to schedule the custom time.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And that's all there is to scheduling text message sending in Android. You can use this to either schedule a message to a friend or family member or even to send yourself reminders, without having to rely on an awkward (and sometimes jarring) alarm. I use this feature regularly to ensure I don't miss or forget something when a noisy alarm won't do.

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