Send gifs in the iMessage Messages app on iPhone or iPad

You can search and send GIFs (animated images) in the Messages app on iOS. In this tip, we’ll explain how to use iMessage gifs.

iMessage gifs

The Messages app includes a ton of fun features, such as full screen animations, stickers, and its own App Store. One of the new functions that you may find less easy to find is the ability to search and send gifs (moving pictures). In various countries Apple has for this the # images function, but it only works in Germany, France, Italy and some other countries. In the Netherlands and Belgium you will have to do it in a slightly different way.

  • Gifs with #images
  • Gifs with third-party apps
  • Giphy
  • Gboard
  • Save gifs
  • Animoji

Sending gifs with #images

If you have set your iPhone to Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the Philippines, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom or the United States, you can easily use the #images functions . This gives you access to hundreds of popular gifs.

Here’s how to add a gif to messages:

  1. Open the Messages app and go to an existing conversation.
  2. Tap the App Store icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Then tap the pink red #images icon with magnifying glass.
  4. Enter a search term with the search function, for example ‘happy’.
  5. Tap the gif to add it to the message.

Can’t see the pink red #images icon? Then you have to set your language and region to, for example, UK via Settings> General> Language and region.

Gifs in iMessage

The gifs sent with #images will only move if the recipient has iMessage on an Apple device. If it doesn’t work, you’ll find it at Apple more info. The strange thing is that this feature has been around since iOS 10, but still hasn’t made the switch to the Dutch and Belgian version of iMessage.

Sending gifs with iMessage in the Netherlands and Belgium

Unfortunately, you cannot use the above method with #images in the Netherlands and Belgium, even though Apple describes it on its own website. You need a separate app to send gifs from the Messages app. We show you how this works with the Giphy app (link), but there are many alternatives. For example, you could install the apps GIF Keyboard link) or GIF Maker (link) from the iMessage App Store. If you have Gboard from Google installed, you can also search for gifs with it. Later we’ll discuss how this works.

Using giphy for gifs in iMessage

First of all, it is necessary to install the Giphy from the App Store of the Messages app. This works as follows:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to the Messages app.
  2. Tap any conversation.
  3. Tap the App Store icon to the left of your message input box.
  4. Tap on Visit Store to go to the App Store.
  5. Use the search function to go to ‘giphy’.

iMessage gifs with Giphy

  1. Now tap Download to install Giphy and confirm the installation.
  2. The text in the screen will change to after downloading Open.
  3. Above the search bar, tap the down arrow to return to the Messages app.

If you want to know more about installing apps in iMessage, you will find more information in the tips below.

Searching GIFs with Giphy

After you install Giphy, you can search and send the app for GIFs directly from the Messages app. This works as follows:

  1. In any conversation window, tap the App Store button to the left of the input field.
  2. Swipe left until Giphy appears.
  3. Tap the search field at the top to search for a GIF, for example Steve Jobs.
  4. Tap the GIF you want to use, add some text if you like, then tap the round blue button with the up arrow to send your GIF.

Giphy: Search for poison

Sending gifs with Gboard

It gets even easier when you install Google’s Gboard keyboard. You no longer have to install a separate iMessage app, but use the extra keyboard that you probably already have on your iPhone.

This is how sending gifs with Gboard works:

  1. Tap the globe on the keyboard until Gboard appears.
  2. Tap the smiling face (see arrow).
  3. Tap at the bottom of the screen Poison and enter a search term.
  4. Preview the gif and tap it to use in the message.

Gboard: Using gif in iMessage

Save gifs in iMessage

Did you receive a nice gif that you would like to use more often? You can: you save the gif in the Photos app so you can use it again later.

Here’s how to save a poison:

  1. Open the Messages app and go to the message you want.
  2. Hold your finger on the gif and tap Save.
  3. If you have an iPhone 6s or newer, you can use 3D Touch for this.
  4. The gif is now in the Photos app, ready for reuse.

Special gifs in iMessage: Animoji

Since iOS 12, it is possible to use very special gifs in iMessage, namely Animoji. These are characters that move to the beat of your face. You can choose from different animal characters, a robot, skeleton and more. Since iOS 12 it is even possible to create characters that look like you. You choose which skin color, hair color and hairstyle you want. These characters are called Memoji.

Want to do more with gifs? Then read our tip on using gifs in WhatsApp and the best gif apps for iPhone and iPad.


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