iOS: Understanding group messaging

Learn about group messaging.

You can send a message to multiple recipients using SMS, MMS, and iMessage.

Group messaging allows you to send messages to multiple people and have any responses delivered to everyone in the group. Group messaging works with iMessage and MMS.

If you send a message to multiple recipients without group messaging in use by the sender and all recipients, an individual message will go to each recipient using either SMS or MMS. Responses to these messages will be delivered only to the original sender in separate messaging threads. 

Starting a group message

To send messages to a group, start a new conversation, then enter multiple recipients or tap the plus icon to select from your contacts.

Group messaging on iPhone

Group messages will be sent using iMessage if all recipients have iMessage enabled. If not, the conversation will be sent as MMS. Group messages use MMS even if the content is text only.

You can disable Group Messaging in Settings > Messages.

The Group Messaging setting applies only to MMS messages.

  • Your wireless carrier may restrict the maximum number of recipients allowed in a group message with MMS.
  • Disabling Group Messaging has no effect on iMessage behavior. Responses to group iMessages are always sent to all recipients.
  • Group messaging with MMS requires an appropriate plan from your carrier for use on iPhone.
  • Carrier messaging rates may apply when using group messaging with MMS. 


Additional Information

  • It is not possible to remove yourself from a group message.
  • To add or remove recipients, you must create a new group message conversation.
  • If you experience an issue with iMessage, SMS, or MMS messaging, try the steps outlined in this article.
  • To learn more about SMS, MMS, and iMessage see iOS: Using Messages.
Last Modified: Sep 9, 2013
  • Last Modified: Sep 9, 2013
  • Article: HT5760
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