Animated GIFs are a fun and expressive way to communicate on digital platforms. However, for some users, they might become a source of visual discomfort, especially when they play automatically. You might also want to stop them from loading automatically when they're hampering your browsing speeds.

No matter what your reasons, you no longer have to resort to third-party apps for this simple feature. Users now have the option to disable the automatic playing of GIF Images in Safari and other apps, like Messages. It's a new feature in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma that can enhance user experience by allowing you to control the automatic playback of animated images, making browsing and messaging more comfortable.

Automatically Pause GIF Images on iPhone

The option is slightly buried in the Accessibility settings, so it's easy to miss it. To pause the automatic playing of GIF Images in Messages and Safari in iOS 17, follow these steps:

  1. Open the 'Settings' app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap the option for 'Accessibility'.
  1. From the Accessibility settings, navigate to 'Motion'.
  1. You will find an option for 'Auto-Play Animated Images'; toggle this switch to the off position.
  1. That's it. This will disable animated GIFs in Messages and Safari, ensuring they remain static for your visual comfort. GIFs will now have a 'Play' button that you can tap to animate them from the thumbnail itself.

You can easily reverse this setting by following the same steps and toggling the switch back on.

Automatically Pause GIF Images on Mac

The feature is also available on macOS Sonoma, and while it's mostly similar to enable it, there's one small difference that can stump you. Hence, for your ease of convenience, we've mentioned the steps below:

  1. Open the 'Settings' app on your Mac.
  2. From the menu on the left, click 'Accessibility'.
  1. Then, go to the 'Display' settings from the right (you'll notice the difference from iOS 17).
  1. Here, turn off the toggle for 'Auto-play animated images'.

Automatically playing GIFs can be an issue for some users, especially when it comes to maintaining visual comfort. With this simple setting, you can easily customize your experience.