Types of group messages
The three types of group messages that you might see are: group iMessage, group MMS, and group SMS. The Messages app automatically chooses the type of group message to send based on you and your recipients' settings, network connection, and carrier plan. For example:
- If you and your recipients are using Apple devices and iMessage is turned on, then the group message is sent as an iMessage.
- If you send a group message to people who aren't using iMessage, then the message is sent as an MMS or SMS message.
These messages appear in blue text bubbles, go through Apple instead of your carrier, and are protected by end-to-end encryption. In a group iMessage, everyone can:
- Send and receive photos, videos, and audio messages
- See all responses from the group
- Send and receive message effects, like sketches, animations, bubble effects, and more
- Share their location with the group
- Give the group a name, add or remove people from the group, mute notifications, or leave the group
These messages appear in green text bubbles and go through your carrier instead of Apple. In a group MMS, everyone can:
- Send and receive photos and videos
- See all responses from the group
- Mute notifications
These messages also appear in green text bubbles and go through your carrier. Group SMS messages don’t support multimedia attachments, like photos or videos. All responses in a Group SMS are sent as individual text messages and the recipients can’t see the other responses from the group.
Send a group message
- Open Messages and tap to start a new conversation.
- Enter the recipients' names or tap to add contacts.
- Enter your message, then tap Send .
To send a group MMS message on an iPhone, make sure MMS Messaging is turned on. Go to Settings > Messages and turn on MMS Messaging. If you don’t see an option to turn on MMS Messaging or Group Messaging, contact your carrier to see if your plan supports Group MMS Messaging.
You won't see read receipts in group messages.
Respond to a group iMessage with Tapback
With Tapback in iOS 10 and later, you can quickly reply to messages with expressions, like a thumbs up or heart. To reply with a Tapback:
- Open Messages, and tap a group iMessage.
- Double-tap a message bubble or photo.
- Tap one of the six responses that appear to reply to the message.
To see who sent a Tapback, just tap on the Tapback.
Name your group conversation
Have multiple group iMessages? Name your group iMessages so they're easier to find. To name your group:
- Tap a group conversation, then tap .
- Tap Enter a Group Name.
- Enter a name, then tap Done.
Add or remove someone from a group conversation
Anyone in a group iMessage can add or remove someone from the conversation. You can remove a person from a group iMessage that has at least three other people. You can’t add or remove people from group MMS messages or group SMS messages.
Add a person
- Tap the group conversation you want to add someone to.
- Tap , then tap Add Contact.
- Enter the contact information for the person you want to add. Then tap Done.
Remove a person
- Tap the group conversation that has the contact you want to remove.
- Tap , then swipe left over the name of the person you want to remove.
- Tap Remove, then tap Done.
Are you getting too many notifications from your group? If you don’t want to leave a conversation, you can turn on Hide Alerts:
- Open Messages and tap a group conversation.
- Tap .
- Turn on Hide Alerts.
When Hide Alerts is on, will appear next to the conversation. This stops notifications only for that message conversation, not your device. You'll still receive all other messages and see notifications for them on your Lock screen.
Leave a group conversation
To leave a conversation, tap Details, then tap Leave this Conversation. You can only leave group iMessages that have at least three other people.
- Learn more about Messages on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
- Learn how to use Messages on your Mac.
- Learn what to do if you can't send or receive messages on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.