Are you worried that somebody may be able to see the text messages you send or receive from others?

While sending messages on our phones, we all want to feel like our privacy is protected, and nobody can read our private conversations. Therefore, if you’re not the one that handles your cellular bill, it can become a cause for concern.

So, are text messages shown on the phone bill and if so, what exactly can be seen?

In this article, I’ll be answering all of these questions and more!

Can You See Text Messages On The Phone Bill?

Person On Mobile Phone

No. For most carriers, the contents of your text messages do not show up on the phone bill in any shape or form.

However, some information about who you’ve been texting – such as the phone numbers and the quantity of messages sent / received, may be visible in some situations.

This was tested by looking at the bills for major cell phone providers like AT&T and Verizon. While most cell phone carriers only show total usage, the contents of the actual messages are safe.

That being said, if privacy is a concern, it is important to understand how SMS – or standard texting works.

Unlike iMessage for example, SMS messages are handled by your cellular provider – not over the internet. They are sent completely unencrypted and technically, your provider could see what you were sending / receiving if they wanted to.

So, for maximum security, consider sending messages over a platform with full end-to-end encryption. iMessage, Google Messages, and Signal are all great examples.

What About Picture / Video Messages?

Now that we’ve covered regular SMS text messages, what about messages containing media? Will the person accessing the phone bill be able to see the photos or videos you’ve sent?

Thankfully the answer is no. There is no way for anyone to view the pictures or videos you’ve sent or received, unless they physically have access to your phone.

Even in these instances, the phone must be unlocked, and they must be able to freely browse through it.

So, you don’t need to worry at all about photos or videos showing up on the bill – it simply doesn’t happen!

So, What Does Show Up On The Phone Bill?

Now that we know that the contents of text messages – even those including photos / video (MMS) do not show up on your phone bill, what does?

Typically, there are a few things.

First things first, it is often possible to see a record of calls that were made. This may include the phone number, the frequency / timestamps of the calls, and who the call was with. The exact details provided may vary depending on the cellular provider.

Additionally, as far as text messages go, someone with the bill may be able to see the phone numbers and the quantity of messages sent / received from each number.

If you are trying to hide the fact that you’re texting someone, your phone bill may give it away – hence the importance of using an alternative way to chat!

Finally, your phone bill may also show the total amount of data used.

Even encrypted services that operate over the internet may use cellular data, if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. So, the phone bill may show the total amount of data used, which may indicate that you’ve been sending or downloading large files.

However, like text messages, the actual contents of what the data was used for will not be visible.

What About iMessages?

Person Sending Text Message Or iMessage On iPhone

Finally, let’s talk about iMessage – the most popular messaging service for iPhone.

You can tell when a message is being sent with iMessage because the chat bubble will be blue, whereas messages sent via regular SMS will be green.

So, do iMessages show up on the phone bill?

Thankfully, the answer is no! In fact, they are even more secure than regular SMS messages.

Because iMessages are encrypted, not even the cellular provider can read the contents of them. Additionally, they will not be able to list the phone number or the quantity of messages sent either, and will only be able to display your total data usage.

iMessage Send Button Example

You can check whether a message will be sent via SMS or iMessage by looking at the color of the arrow, before you tap to send your message.

In this instance, the arrow is already blue, which means it will be sent via iMessage instead of as a regular text!

For more information, click here to learn more about what shows up on the bill when you use iMessage!


Thankfully, the contents of your text messages do not show up on the phone bill.

However, the phone numbers you texted – as well as the quantity of messages sent or received may show up, depending on the provider. Therefore, it’s recommended to used an internet-based messaging service if you want this information not to be present on the bill.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered all of your questions.

If you have any other questions about texting – or about your phone bill, please ask them using the comment form below and I’ll respond as quick as I can.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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