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How to Send GIFs in iMessage on iPhone

When you’re talking to someone via texts, sometimes it can get really hard to communicate your emotions. And there is nothing more frustrating. But thank god for the internet! It has a solution for everything. Did you know you can send GIFs in iMessage? GIFs are a really cool way of expressing yourself. These animated images have been on the WWW for decades, partly due to their wide support, and wide availability of options, but also because they are so much fun!

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You can send GIFs in iMessage directly from your message text box or you also have the option of sending them from other apps. We’ll discuss both methods here.

Sending GIFs using iMessage built-in app

iMessage has a built-in app namely “#images” that lets you send GIFs easily to people. To send a GIF, first open the Messages app on your iPhone from the home screen, then open the conversation thread for the person whom you want to send the GIF to.

Open messages and click on the conversation you want to send the GIF to

At the bottom of the screen, below your text box, you will find all of your iMessage apps lined together. Click on the red icon with a little magnifying glass with a hashtag in it. You might have to scroll through your apps to find the said “#images” icon.

Click on the icon for the #images app.
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Once you click on it, a small section showing a few GIFs will pop-up from the bottom. You can swipe it up to make it appear on the full-screen, or you can use it as it is. You can now scroll through thousands of GIFs at your disposal, or you can click on the search bar displaying the text ‘Find images’ and type in the exact keyword related to the GIF you want to send.

Tap “Find Images” to search for GIFs by keyword

Once you type in the keyword and tap search on the keyboard, dozens of GIFs will appear in a grid pattern.

Type the keyword and click on Search.

Tap the GIF you want to share. It will appear in your iMessage text box from where you can send it with the blue ⬆️ arrow icon. It might take a second to load, so just be patient. You can also add a comment with the GIF before sending it.

You can send the GIF by itself or also add some comment with it

💡 Tip
If you want to see the enlarged GIF before sending it, hold down the GIF for a couple of seconds and it will show a full preview of the GIF. Tap on the blue arrow next to it if you like it, and it will appear in your text box, ready to be sent.

Sending GIFs from Other Apps

If you couldn’t find your intended GIF in the #images iMessage app, or you simply came across a GIF on the internet that you want to share with someone, you can use this option.

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In Safari, if you find a GIF image on a website like giphy.com and you want to use it, then tap and hold your finger over the GIF and select Copy from pop-up menu.

Hold the GIF and click on Copy.

After copying the GIF to your iPhone’s clipboard, open the iMessage conversation to which you want to share the copied GIF, then either tap once inside the typing box or tap and hold until you see the tool-tip menu with option to paste the copied GIF.

Tap the text box to bring up the Paste option.

Tap Paste and the copied GIF image will be ready to share. Add a comment if you wish, and hit the send button on the right.


There are plenty more ways to share GIFs in iMessage on iPhone. You could even use the Gboard keyboard by Google to search for GIFs directly from the keyboard itself without using any app.