Use Messages on your iOS Device

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 the write new message icon and enter a contact or go to an existing conversation.

  3. Tap the text field, then type your message.
  4. When you're ready, tap the arrow up icon to send.

Reply to a message from the Lock screen

  1. From the Lock screen, swipe left on the message.

  2. Tap View.

  3. Type your message, then tap the arrow up icon to send.

If you can't reply to a message from the Lock screen, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Allow Access When Locked, and turn on Reply with Message. If you have an iPhone X, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, and turn on Reply With Message.

Forward a message

Open a message conversation and follow these instructions:

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

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Tap the arrow facing right icon and enter a contact. Then tap the arrow facing up icon to send.

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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, follow these steps:

  1. In a message conversation, touch and hold the message bubble that you want to delete, then tap More.
  2. Tap the bin icon, 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, then tap Delete. Want to delete more than one conversation at a time? Open Messages and tap Edit in the upper-left corner. Then tap the circle next to the conversation and tap Delete in the bottom-right corner.

If you want 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.

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. 

To turn off Predictive Text, touch and hold the smiley icon or the globe icon, tap Keyboard Settings, then turn off Predictive.

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Hide alerts

 To stop receiving message notifications, you can use Hide Alerts. Go to the conversation that you want to mute, tap the information icon, then turn on Hide Alerts and tap Done. When Hide Alerts is on, the crescent moon icon 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.

You can also hide alerts for all your conversations by turning on Do Not Disturb. Go to Settings and tap Do Not Disturb or Scheduled to set up a specific timeframe. This stops all notifications on your device.

Find attachments from a conversation

Open the conversation and tap the information icon in the upper-right corner. You'll see sections for Images and Attachments. Tap an image or attachment to open it. You can also touch and hold the image or attachment to show options like Copy, Delete, and More.

Send and share your location

To send or share your location in a message, follow these steps:

  1. In a message conversation, tap the information icon, in the upper-right corner.
  2. 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. You can share for one hour, one day, or indefinitely. Messages will set up temporary or permanent location sharing with Find My Friends depending on what you choose.