How To Secretly Read A Snap Without Opening It

How To Read A Snapchat Message Without Opening It

Snapchat is a popular social media platform among young people that allows users to send disappearing messages, otherwise known as 'snaps'. While Snapchat creates plenty of fun possibilities, there are times when one wants to read a snap without letting the sender know they've seen it. This could be because you want to respond later or have a moment to think before letting the person know they've seen the message. It can also be because you want to read the snap without opening it so the phone's user will not know you have seen it.

Exploring the Snapchat App: A Brief Overview

Developed by former Stanford students Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, Snapchat was based on the concept of 'ephemeral messaging' - messages that self-destruct after some time. Today, its unique features such as filters, Snap Map and Stories have amassed over 218 million daily active users worldwide.

Cases Where It May Be Necessary To Secretly View A Snap

Secretly reading a snap without opening it can be helpful for maintaining privacy or buying time before reacting. Consider someone asking you about somethining inimate or a friend’s upsetting confession. In less dramatic instances, it could also be as simple as wanting time to gather your thoughts before physically opening a snap.

It can also be necessary in cases where a parent needs to see what is being said to their kids, without their child's knowledge.

Maintaining The Balance Between Curiosity And Privacy

While these techniques are powerful, it's important to respect the privacy of the person receiving the snap. Snapchat was design to be private, and the phone's user is having conversations that they assume will be confidential. You sould only violate this confidence if you are doing so for your child's safety.

3 Expert Methods For Reading A Snap Without Opening It

Method 1: The Quick Glance Technique

The first method involves using the Snapchat app's layout to sneak a partial preview of the snap without alerting the sender. However, bear in mind you'll only see the edges of the snap, but that can be enough to reveal the jist of the message. This method works more effectively for text snaps.

Here's how to do it: First, open your Snapchat app and ensure your chats are fully loaded. Then, gently drag your finger from left to right on the screen to partially reveal the snap, but be careful not to swipe entirely!


This method allows you to see the edges of the snap without triggering any notifications or seen receipts. It provides a sneak peek at what the snap contains, allowing you to decide if you want to open it later or respond accordingly. It can be useful in situations where you want to be discrete and have control over when and how the sender knows that you've viewed their message. For parents, it also keeps the message intact so your child will not know the contents of the message have been seen before they open it.


The quick glance technique has limitations as it only provides a partial preview of the snap, so it may not be suitable for viewing images or videos and can still hide details of text message. Additionally, there is always a small risk of accidentally swiping entirely and triggering a seen receipt, which may compromise your intended privacy.

Method 2: Leveraging Airplane Mode

The second method involves cutting off your internet connection temporarily. First, load your Snapchat and ensure all snaps are fully downloaded. Then, activate airplane mode on your device.

Without an active internet connection, you can view the snaps without sending a 'seen' receipt. After viewing, close Snapchat entirely. This means removing it from currently running apps too. Only enable airplane mode once you are ready for the sender to know you have seen the snap.


Using airplane mode allows you to view snaps discreetly without raising any suspicion from the sender. The lack of internet connection prevents any 'seen' receipts from being sent until you reconnect online. This method is particularly useful when you want to read a snap in its entirety without the sender knowing it has been seen.


This method is useless for parents as the messages will be marked as read within Snapchat. In addition, it is vulnerable to Snapchat patching this work-around and providing the sender with a datestamp of the actual time it was read, regardless of when you disabled airplane mode. It also means that during this time, you will not be able to access any other internet-dependent functions on your device.

Method 3: Harnessing Power Of Third-Party Applications

Other apps exist which allow users to read snaps inconspicuously. However, caution should be exercised when using third-party apps as these often demand access to sensitive data from users, potentially exposing them to cybersecurity threats.


Third-party apps can provide additional features and flexibility for reading snaps without triggering seen receipts. Some apps offer advanced privacy settings and allow you to view snaps within the app without any notifications being sent. They may also provide more many more options for covertly monitoring the phone. This method can be beneficial if you prefer a more comprehensive and customizable approach to reading snaps.


Using third-party apps comes with inherent risks. These apps often require access to sensitive information and permissions on your device, which may compromise your privacy and security. It is crucial to research and use reputable apps from trusted sources when considering this method. This is even more critical when the phone has, or is used for, online banking apps or highly important information.

Potential Pitfalls And Precautions

Assessing Potential Risks

While the techniques above can meet your need, there're potential risks like accidental 'seen' triggers; or worse, rogue third-party apps could expose personal data to criminals.

To minimize these risks:

  1. Stay vigilant when using any method and double-check that you haven't swiped entirely or accidentally triggered a 'seen' receipt.
  2. Be cautious when installing third-party apps, ensuring they come from trusted developers and reading user reviews.
  3. Regularly update your apps and device's operating system to benefit from the most recent security patches.
  4. Consider using parental control software that includes Snapchat monitoring features, allowing parents to read their child's snaps while ensuring their safety online.

Let's remember that maintaining privacy should never infringe upon someone else's. Use these methods sparingly and respectably to protect your child's best interests.


Learning how to view a snap without opening it involves some technical creativity! However, always balance curiosity with privacy considerations and select the method that favors your security priorities most.

Striking a balance between respecting privacy and maintaining meaningful connections isn't always easy, but it's essential. The core of social interaction, offline or online, is respect for others' boundaries. By respecting each other’s digital space just as we would in face-to-face interactions, we ensure that platforms like Snapchat continue to bring benefits, not anxiety, into our lives.

About The Author
Ukrainian born, and a self-taught computer security expert. I started hacking when I was 14 and can write code in 5 languages, but have no formal technical education. The edge of technology is what keeps me interested. I cover cell phone tracking, spy apps, cybersecurity, the dark web, and certain gadgets for The High Tech Society.