Use Messages on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

You can use Messages to send texts, photos, videos, and audio messages. You can even personalize your messages with animated effects, iMessage apps, and more — all within the Messages app.

Send a message

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap  to start a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
  3. Tap the text field, then type your message.
  4. Tap send message button to send.

Reply from the Lock screen

  1. From the Lock screen, firmly press the notification that you want to reply to.
  2. Type your message.
  3. Tap send message button to send.

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 8 or earlier, or iPad, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Allow Access When Locked, and turn on Reply with Message.

Learn how to manage Messages notifications from the Lock screen.

Change your name and photo

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

  1. Open Messages and tap .
  2. Tap Edit Name and Photo. 
  3. Tap the image circle to choose an image or photo. Then tap the text fields where your name appears to add or update your name.
  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 message:

  1. In a message conversation, touch and hold the message bubble that you want to delete, then tap More.
  2. Tap , 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.

To delete a single conversation, swipe left over the conversation that you want to delete, tap Delete, then tap Delete again to confirm. To delete more than one conversation, open Messages and tap Edit in the upper-left corner. 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.


Turn on Hide alerts

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

When Hide Alerts is on, a crescent moon crescent moon button 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 
  3. You'll see Images and Attachments. Touch and hold an image or attachment to show options like Copy, Delete, and More.

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

Send and share your location

To send or share your location in a message:

  1. Tap the name of the contact at the top of the conversation. 
  2. Tap 
  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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