Use Messages on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Stay connected to the conversations that matter the most. Send texts, photos, videos, and more. Then personalize your messages with animated effects, pin your important conversations, send inline replies, and add mentions.

Send a message

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap the Compose button  to start a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
  3. Type your message.
  4. Tap the Send button send message button.

With iOS 14, you can also use inline replies and mentions to call attention to specific messages and people within the messages.

Reply from the Lock screen

  1. From the Lock screen, touch and hold the notification that you want to reply to. Or depending on your device, you might need to swipe left over the notification and tap View.*
  2. Type your message.
  3. Tap the Send button send message button.

If you have an iPhone X or later, or an iPad with Face ID, and can't reply to a message from the Lock screen, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, and turn on Reply with Message. If you have an iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 8 or earlier, or an iPad, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Allow Access When Locked, and turn on Reply with Message.

* Touch and hold is available on most devices that support iOS 13 and later, or iPadOS. On iPhone SE (2nd generation), you'll need to swipe left on the notification, then tap View to reply to a message from the Lock screen.

Learn how to manage Messages notifications from the Lock screen.

iPhone showing how to pin a message by swiping left over the message.

Pin important messages

With Messages in iOS 14, you can pin up to nine conversations. When you pin a conversation it shows up at the top of the Messages app, so it's easy to get to.

To pin a conversation, open Messages, then swipe right over the conversation. Or follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages, then tap Edit or the More button .
  2. Tap Edit Pins , then tap the Pin button .
  3. Tap Done.

iPhone showing how to change your name or photo in Messages.

Change your name and photo

With iOS 13 and later, and iPadOS, You can share your name and photo when you start or respond to a new message. You can use a Memoji, or a custom image for your photo. Here's how:

  1. Open Messages and tap Edit in the upper-left corner.
  2. Tap Edit Name and Photo Tap Edit Name and Photo
  3. Edit your name. Or tap the image circle to choose an image, photo, emoji or Memoji.
  4. Tap Done.

Your name and photo can be shared with anyone using iMessage, but you'll be asked to confirm that you want to share with someone when sending or replying to a new message. You can also turn sharing on and off. Just complete steps 1-2, and turn Name and Photo Sharing on or off.

Delete a message or conversation

When you delete a message or conversation, you can't get it back. So make sure that you save important information from your messages. To delete a single message:

  1. Touch and hold the message bubble that you want to delete, then tap More .
  2. Tap the Trash button , then tap Delete Message. If you want to delete all messages in the thread, tap Delete All in the upper-left corner. Then tap Delete Conversation.

As long as the conversation isn't pinned, you can also swipe left over the conversation, tap Delete, then tap Delete again to confirm. To delete more than one conversation, open Messages and tap Edit in the upper-left corner. Tap Select Messages, then tap the circle next to the conversations and tap Delete in the bottom-right corner.

To keep your messages for a certain amount of time, go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages. Then select how long you want to keep your messages.


iPhone showing how to turn on Hide Alerts by swiping left over a message.

Turn on Hide alerts

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Swipe left over the conversation that you want to mute.
  3. Tap the Alerts button .

When Hide Alerts is on, a crescent moon icon Crescent moon indicates Hide Alerts is on for a specific Message thread. will appear next to the conversation. This stops notifications only for that conversation, not your device. You’ll still receive all other messages and see notifications for them on your Lock screen.

Learn how to manage Messages notifications from the Lock screen.

Find attachments from a conversation

  1. Open the message.
  2. Tap the name of the contact at the top of the message, then tap the Info button 
  3. You'll see Photos and Links. Touch and hold an image or attachment to show options like Save, Copy, Share, and Delete.

To save an attachment outside of Messages, tap the attachment, tap the Share button , then select an option like Save Image or Save to Files. When you tap Save Image, it saves it to your Photos app.


iPhone showing how to send and share your location in Messages.

Send and share your location

  1. Tap the name of the contact at the top of the conversation. 
  2. Tap the Info button 
  3. Tap Send My Current Location. Your recipient will see your location on the map. Or tap Share My Location. Then choose the length of time that you want to share your location for.

Do more with Messages

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