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 Compose button 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 to a message 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 Pro 11-inch or iPad Pro 12.9-inch, 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.

Forward a message

Open a message conversation and follow these steps:

forward a message

Touch and hold the message bubble that you want to forward, then tap More.


forward a message

Tap  forward message and enter a contact. Tap send message to send.


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 delete message 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.

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.


Keep your messages in iCloud

iCloud now keeps your entire message history updated and available on all your devices — even when you set up a brand-new device. 

Messages in iCloud are updated automatically, so you have the same messages everywhere you use iMessage. When you delete a message, photo, or conversation on one device, it’s removed from all of your devices. And since all of your attachments are stored in iCloud, you can save space on your device.

You can use Messages in iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Use Predictive text

With Predictive text, you can write and complete entire sentences with just a few taps. As you type, you'll see choices for words and phrases you'd probably type next, based on your past conversations and writing style. You can also adjust additional keyboard settings

To turn off Predictive Text, touch and hold emoji button  or globe button, tap Keyboard Settings, then turn off Predictive.

Hide Alerts

Turn on Hide alerts

To stop receiving message notifications:

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

When Hide Alerts is on, 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 info button
  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 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.

Share your location

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 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.

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