How to Send GIFs in iMessage

GIFs are awesome features to use to convey a special message to someone. Whether it’s to describe your emotions or a situation, it’s much more effective to do so with an animated image than a simple emoji. If you’re looking for ways to send GIFs via your iMessage app, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Send GIFs in iMessage

This article shares detailed instructions on sending GIFs in iMessage using an iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You’ll learn how to use your device’s default keyboard but also share GIFs from third-party websites.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

How to Send GIFs in iMessage on an iPhone

There are two different ways to send GIFs on iPhone – using the default keyboard or via third-party apps. The iOS default keyboard supports GIF search directly in iMessage. All iPhones running on iOS 10 and beyond have this feature. If you belong to this category, follow the steps below.

Send GIFs Using iOS Default Keyboard

Here’s how to send GIFs in iMessage using the default keyboard settings:

  1. Open the iMessage app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the chat where you want to send a GIF.
  3. A list of icons will appear at the bottom of the screen. Select the red icon featuring a magnifying glass. It’s the “#images” feature.
  4. Enter the keywords for your GIF into the search box. For example, if you want to send a congratulations GIF, you may type “Happy Birthday,” or “Congratulations,” or similar keywords depending on the occasion.
  5. Choose the GIF you like by tapping on it.
  6. Tap “Send.”

The iMessage app also lets you add comments to a GIF. Just type a message under the GIF before hitting “Send,” and the message will get delivered together with the GIF.

As you can see, sending a GIF using iOS’ default keyboard only requires a few simple steps.

However, maybe you didn’t find a GIF you like and decide to search the web instead. If so, let’s explore how to share a GIF to iMessage from another app.

Share GIFs From Another App

Maybe the iOS default gallery doesn’t have a GIF that transfers the emotion you want to convey. Fortunately, you can search outside the iOS box and choose just about any GIF on the internet. For example, GIHPY is the world’s leading database of GIFs, and you can send one from there as well.

Just follow the steps below:

  1. Find the GIF you like on GIPHY or any other website.
  2. Tap on the GIF to open it.
  3. Tap and hold the GIF and select “Copy.”
  4. Open the iMessage conversation where you wish to send that GIF.
  5. Tap on the text box. It will bring up your keyboard.
  6. Tap on the text box again. It will bring up the “Paste” prompt.
  7. Tap on “Paste” as it appears.
  8. You’ll see a preview of the GIF image in your text box. Press “Send” when ready.

How to Send GIFs in iMessage on an iPad

GIFs add a dose of fun and dynamics into conversations. Sometimes, there’s no better way to convey our feelings than with an animated image. Fortunately, sending GIFs on an iPad is a genuinely straightforward task. If you use iOS 10 or beyond, you’ll be able to send animated images using your iPad’s default keyboard.

Just follow the steps below:

  1. Open the iMessage app on your iPad.
  2. Navigate to the chat thread in which you want to send a GIF.
  3. You’ll see a list of icons on the bottom of your screen. Select the red one featuring a magnifying glass in the middle.
  4. Type the keywords for your GIF into the search box. For example, if you want to send a special message GIF, you may type “Get well soon,” or “Congrats,” or other keywords depending on the situation.
  5. Choose the GIF you like by tapping on it.
  6. If you want to add a comment to go along the GIF, do so by typing your message in the text box before hitting “Send.”
  7. Tap “Send.”

Maybe you’re using an older iPad running on versions before iOS 10, or you didn’t find the appropriate GIF from the gallery. In that case, continue to the following section.

Send GIFs Using Third-Party Apps

You can always visit third-party websites and send GIFs from there. For example, GIPHY has millions of GIFs you can search for and send via iMessage.

Here’s how to search and send GIFs on iMessage using third-party tools:

  1. Visit the website featuring a GIF you like.
  2. Tap on the GIF to open it.
  3. Tap and hold the GIF, then select “Copy.”
  4. Open the iMessage thread where you want to send that GIF.
  5. Tap on the text box to bring up the keyboard.
  6. Tap on the text box again to bring up the “Paste” prompt.
  7. Tap on the black “Paste” prompt.
  8. A preview of the GIF image will appear in your text box. Press “Send” when ready.

If you go with a website other than GIPHY, the GIF you send may appear as a link rather than an image. Unless you’re okay with that, make sure the address of the animated image you share ends with “.gif” so your iMessage can load it as such.

How to Send GIFs in iMessage on a Mac

Finding and sharing GIFs on a Mac is no different than doing so on any other iOS device. You just have to search for a GIF in the gallery and press the send button. If your Mac runs on an iOS 10 and beyond, you’ll be able to do so from within the system’s default keyboard. If not, you can find one online and send it to the chat.

Depending on your needs and operating system, follow the steps below:

Send GIFs Using Mac Default Keyboard

The easiest way to send GIFs on an iMessage chat is via the “#images” function. Just follow the steps below for detailed instructions:

  1. Open the message thread you wish to send a GIF to on your Messages app.
  2. Tap on the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box.
  3. Select “#images.” It’s the red icon with a magnifying glass in it.
  4. Type the keywords for the GIF in the search box.
  5. Tap on the GIF you’d like to send.
  6. (Optional) Enter a message to go along with the GIF.
  7. Press the “Return” key on your keyboard to send the message.

Send GIFs Using Third-Party Apps

If you didn’t find a GIF you like, you could always search the web and send the GIF to your iMessage chat. The Messages app recognizes all links ending with “.jpg” and features them as such once you send the link. But if the link doesn’t have that ending, it will be sent as a regular link.

You can use GIPHY to send GIF images to your chat box without worrying about the format, as they always get delivered as GIFs.

Here’s how to do so:

  1. Go to www.giphy.com and search for the GIF you like. You can use other websites, but know that your GIF may not be delivered as an animated image.
  2. Click on the GIF you want to send.
  3. Click on the “Share” button next to the GIF.
  4. Select “Copy GIF Link.”
  5. Open the iMessage thread where you want to send that GIF.
  6. Paste the GIF into the text box.
  7. Hit the “Return” button to send the GIF.

iMessage GIFs Explained

Sometimes, stickers and emojis aren’t enough to convey our emotions, and sending GIFs is the best way to go. Fortunately, doing so on iPhone, iPad, and Mac is a breeze. Most users use the default keyboard and search for GIFs from the “#images” feature. Others just copy the GIF link from any website and paste it into the text box.

What’s your favorite way to send GIFs? Do you use the default feature or search for the perfect GIF online? Let us know in the comments section below.

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