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How to See Text Message Previews on the Galaxy S5 & Galaxy Note 4



The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the bigger Galaxy Note 4 are both packed full of features and sensors. From a fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, to even an infrared blaster to act as a remote control. These phones can do a lot of fancy things, but one thing many want is text message previews on the lockscreen. For whatever reason all you see is “New Message” and there’s no preview like older versions of the Galaxy S line.

Recent updates to the Galaxy S5 by Samsung, and the Galaxy Note 4 by default, don’t show text message information or previews on the lockscreen. Instead you just see a new message notification. Below we’ll explain why it does this, and how to get previews and message details on the lockscreen.

Read: How to Take a Screenshot on the Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 4 both use Samsung’s own Messages app for sending and receiving text messages, vs the stock Hangout messenger in Android 4.4 KitKat or Android 5.0 Lollipop. As a result things are handled a little differently, and we constantly get questions about how to see your message previews on the lockscreen. Below are the few easy steps you’ll need to take.


For security reasons Samsung devices by default don’t show text message details or previews on the lockscreen. Instead owners only have a little message icon and the words “new message”. This is to prevent prying eyes from seeing your information. It’s a nice touch, but thankfully also an option that can be changed.

Read: How to Change the Galaxy Note 4 Lockscreen

Most third party text messaging apps show previews by default, and our personal favorite is Textra, available from the Google Play Store. Download that or any other 3rd party text app, and you’ll see previews and all text information on the lockscreen. However, if you want to keep using Samsung’s built-in text message app you’ve been using all along, below are the instructions to enable text previews on the lockscreen.


It’s actually very easy to change this and get more information on your lockscreen. Users will simply need to open the “Messages” app on their Samsung device, and change a few settings. It only takes a few taps.

Open the Messages app, then tap the three dots near the top right which is menu, and tap settings. In settings (inside the messages app) scroll down and select Notifications and simply check the box for Lock screen. This will show previews of new messages on the lockscreen. You can also check the status bar option, but it’s typically enabled by default.


For those needing a visual to help them complete this task, the image above shows you all you’ll need to do on the Galaxy S5 or Note 4. And these steps will likely be the same for the new Galaxy S6 that’s arriving next week. It only takes a few moments to head into settings and tap the lockscreen option, and you’re all done.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 10.30.57 AM

As you can see above, now when you get a new text message on the Galaxy S5 or the Note 4 you’ll see message previews or details right on the lockscreen. Whether you have a password, pin, or pattern, it doesn’t matter. You now see the name of the incoming message, as well as a short preview of the text message.

However, if you have more than two they’ll bundle together and you’ll just get a notification for how many new messages, and the preview once again disappears. While this isn’t the best way to handle things, it’s better than nothing. In Android 5.0 Lollipop Google revamped the lockscreen notifications, but Samsung didn’t carry all those awesome new features over to its devices.

For more details about the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Note 4, be sure to check out all of our how to coverage.



  1. Dan

    04/08/2015 at 6:30 am

    I have a galaxy note 4 from Verizon. The option that you show for turning on lock screen text messaging previews does not exist on my phone. This update is terrible!

  2. Dwain Wuerfel

    04/28/2015 at 5:46 pm

    How do you enable the microphone when sending a text message using the standard verizon message app so it translates your voice into a text to send rather than just sending a recorded message onthe samsung note 4?

  3. Hayley

    04/30/2015 at 1:40 am

    I have the s5 and I tried all that.

    On the lock screen it has the message icon and says contents hidden? Not sure what to do.


  4. er

    05/10/2015 at 9:18 pm

    Boo, updated os this weekend and the setting says it will show a preview but doesn’t. Lame.

  5. Mark Z

    06/20/2015 at 9:18 am

    I followed the instructions above, but still nothing showing up on the lock screen. Bummed that I can’t see it like on my old Galaxy.

  6. kirsty cowan

    06/27/2015 at 12:49 am

    Mine is the same, I physically have to unlock my phone to see if I have a new message! It’s so frustrating as my Facebook notification and text message have the same notification sound and the same blue light! There must be a way to make this work!!

  7. Laura

    07/08/2015 at 6:34 pm

    This upgrade is lame. I want to see my texts and not unlock my phone every time if it can wait. You need to do a new upgrade and a better one at that.

  8. billellis88Bill

    07/13/2015 at 9:32 pm

    Open on your Samsung Galaxy S5 (Also works on other Android Lollipop smartphones) the app menu and then the settings. Tap here on “sounds and notifications”. Now scroll all the way down to the section “notification” and tap there on “While locked”. A window opens in which you can now select “Show All Content”. Finish!
    If you now receive a new sms or new WhatsApp message on your Samsung Galaxy S5, then the content of it is directly displayed on the lock screen.

    • smiriusz

      07/29/2015 at 1:10 am


    • lynn lane

      07/30/2015 at 8:40 am

      i did that the message pops up but then i have to slide it can it do it without having to slide it

  9. lynn lane

    07/30/2015 at 8:32 am

    I have a samsung galaxy s5 and i want mine to show text messages up when i have my screen locked so i don’t have to go slide it to unlock it and then go to text messages i want to be able to click the message on the front of the phone and then read it so how do i do that

    • Rebecca

      08/05/2015 at 10:43 am

      Did you find an answer Iynn?

  10. Phil Kinnersley

    08/31/2015 at 5:05 am

    Is there anyway someone can read your messages without them getting knowing your password or thumbprint

  11. jcbillanes

    03/03/2016 at 2:29 pm

    Open on your Samsung Galaxy S5 (Also works on other Android Lollipop smartphones) the app menu and then the settings. Tap here on “sounds and notifications”. Now scroll all the way down to the section “notification” and tap on “Notifications on lock screen”.

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