How to Send Gifs on iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sending GIFs on your iPhone is a piece of cake! You just need to open your Messages app, tap on the ‘A’ (App Store) icon next to the text field, then choose the ‘Images’ option and search for your desired GIF. Once you find the perfect one, just tap on it to add it to your message, and hit send. Your friends will be laughing in no time!

After completing these actions, your recipient will receive the GIF you’ve chosen, adding a fun and animated element to your conversation.


Ever wanted to step up your texting game and make your conversations more lively and fun? Well, sending GIFs is a fantastic way to do just that! GIFs, or Graphics Interchange Format, are those little animated images that loop endlessly, and they can express emotions, reactions, and jokes in a way that words sometimes cannot. Whether you’re an iPhone newbie or a seasoned user, learning how to send GIFs can add a whole new dimension to your chats.

Now, if you’re scratching your head wondering, “Why do I need to know this?” – trust me, you’re not alone. But consider this: according to a survey by Harris Poll, over 36% of millennials find GIFs more effective than words at expressing their thoughts and feelings. That’s a huge chunk of people opting for a picture over a thousand words! Plus, it’s not just millennials; people of all ages are jumping on the GIF bandwagon.

So, whether you want to keep up with the kids, impress your friends, or just have more engaging conversations, sending GIFs on your iPhone is a skill worth having. And don’t worry, it’s super easy. Let’s get started!

How to Send GIFs on iPhone Tutorial

Before you dive into the steps, let’s clarify what you’ll achieve by following them. You’ll learn to send a GIF in a text message using the Messages app on your iPhone. This will work for both iMessage and SMS, and it will certainly spice up your texting game.

Step 1: Open the Messages app

Start by opening the Messages app on your iPhone.

Opening the Messages app is your gateway to communication on your iPhone. It’s where all your conversations are stored, and it’s the place you’ll go to start new ones.

Step 2: Choose a conversation

Select the conversation you want to send a GIF in, or start a new one.

Picking the right conversation is crucial. You don’t want to send a GIF meant for your best friend to your boss by mistake!

Step 3: Tap the ‘A’ (App Store) icon

Once your conversation is open, tap on the ‘A’ (App Store) icon next to the text field.

This action opens up the iMessage app drawer, which is home to all sorts of fun extensions, including GIF keyboards.

Step 4: Choose the ‘Images’ option

From the app drawer, tap on the ‘Images’ option to access the GIF library.

The ‘Images’ option is your portal to a vast library of GIFs covering pretty much any emotion, reaction, or meme you can think of.

Step 5: Search for a GIF

Use the search bar to find a GIF that fits what you want to say, or browse through the collection.

The search function is a powerful tool that can help you find the perfect GIF to match your mood or the context of your conversation.

Step 6: Tap on the GIF to add it to your message

Once you find the right GIF, tap on it, and it will be added to your message.

Tapping the GIF inserts it into your message field, and from there, it’s just one step away from being sent.

Step 7: Press send

Hit the send button, and your GIF will be on its way to delight your recipient.

Pressing send dispatches your animated message into the digital universe, sure to bring a smile to whoever receives it.


Adds EmotionSending a GIF can often convey emotions better than text alone, adding depth to your conversation.
Breaks the IceA well-chosen GIF can serve as a great conversation starter or a way to lighten the mood.
Quick to SendSending a GIF is a fast and efficient way to communicate, saving you from typing out long messages.

Adding emotion to your conversations is a huge plus. GIFs can express excitement, sarcasm, sadness, and more, often more effectively than emojis or words.

Breaking the ice can be tough, especially over text. GIFs can help bridge that gap by providing a shared laugh or a point of connection.

The speed of sending a GIF is unmatched. It’s much quicker than trying to articulate the perfect response, and often, a GIF says it better anyway.


Can be MisinterpretedWithout context, a GIF might be misinterpreted, leading to confusion or unintended offense.
Not Always AppropriateIn certain conversations, especially professional ones, sending a GIF might be deemed unprofessional.
Limited by Recipient’s TechnologyIf the recipient’s device doesn’t support GIFs, they won’t be able to view what you’ve sent.

Misinterpretation is a real risk. What might be hilarious to you could be baffling or even rude to someone else, particularly if they don’t share your sense of humor or cultural references.

Appropriateness is key. While sending a GIF to your friend is one thing, sending one to your boss might not always be received well.

Technology limitations can be a bummer. If the person you’re texting doesn’t have a smartphone or has certain features disabled, your GIF won’t have the desired effect.

Additional Information

When sending GIFs on your iPhone, there are a few extra tidbits that could come in handy. For instance, did you know there are third-party GIF keyboard apps you can download? These apps often have an even more extensive library of GIFs compared to the default ‘Images’ option in the Messages app. Some popular ones include Giphy and Tenor, which can be installed from the App Store and set up as part of your keyboard options.

Another tip is to consider the size of the GIFs you’re sending. Overly large GIFs can take longer to send and might chew through your (or your recipient’s) data allowance. Also, if you’re messaging someone with limited internet speed or a cap on their data usage, consider whether that hilarious but hefty GIF is worth it.

Lastly, remember that while GIFs are generally loved and appreciated, they’re not always necessary. Sometimes, a well-crafted message can be just as effective. The key is to balance your GIF usage so that it enhances your conversation rather than overwhelming it.


  1. Open the Messages app
  2. Choose a conversation
  3. Tap the ‘A’ (App Store) icon
  4. Choose the ‘Images’ option
  5. Search for a GIF
  6. Tap on the GIF to add it to your message
  7. Press send

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send a GIF in a group chat?

Yes, you can send GIFs in group chats just like in individual conversations.

What if I can’t find the GIF I want?

You can try using different keywords in your search, or download a third-party GIF keyboard for a wider selection.

Will GIFs work on all iPhones?

GIFs will work on any iPhone that can run a recent version of iOS and has access to the Messages app.

Can I save GIFs from the internet and send them?

Absolutely! You can save GIFs to your Photos app and send them via Messages like any other image.

What if the recipient doesn’t receive the GIF?

Ensure they have a compatible device and that their carrier supports MMS if it’s sent as an SMS.


Sending GIFs on your iPhone is more than just a way to pass the time; it’s a form of self-expression, a bridge to better communication, and honestly, it’s just plain fun. Whether you’re a GIF newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s always something new to discover in the world of these animated images.

So go ahead, dive into your Messages app and start sending GIFs today. Your friends (and your conversations) will thank you. And remember, the next time you’re at a loss for words, let a GIF do the talking!