How to Send a GIF with iMessage

Have you heard of GIFs? A GIF (graphics interchange format) is an animated image. They’re very popular online right now, and you may have seen them posted on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Recently, Apple introduced a new feature to iMessage that allows you to search for and send GIFs along with your messages from your iOS device (iPhone or iPad). In this tutorial, we’ll be showing you how to search for and send GIFS using iMessage.

To send a GIF with iMessage’s built-in GIF search:

1. Open the messages app on your device.

Tap the Messages icon to access all of your messages.

Apple Messages app icon

2. Start a new conversation.

Tap this icon in the top right corner of your screen to open a new conversation. Then type in the phone number, email address, or name of the person you want to send a message to.

Start a new conversation in Messages

3. Tap the Grey Arrow button to access attachment options.

You’ll see a grey button with an arrow on it above your keyboard. Tap this button to view attachment options.

Messages attachment options

4. Tap the Multimedia icon to access the GIF search feature.

Tap this icon to open the built-in GIF searching feature.

Open built-in GIF search

5. In the search bar, type in a keyword or theme of what you want to send.

Tap the search bar and type in something you’d like to find a GIF of.

GIF search bar

6. Choose a GIF and tap the blue arrow to send it.

Tap a GIF you like to attach it to your message. When you’re ready, tap the blue arrow button above your keyboard to send it.

Attachment send button

You can also find GIFs online on various websites that may not appear in iMessage’s built-in GIF feature. Now, we’ll show you how you can send GIFs from other websites to your friends.

To send a GIF from the Internet:

1. Open your device’s browser.

Tap the Safari icon to access your web browser.

Open Safari browser on iPhone

2. Browse the Internet for GIFs. You can use a search engine or browse a GIF site.

Use a search engine and type in what you’re looking for, or check out a GIF website to find a GIF you’d like to share with your friends. Check out our list of GIF websites below to find some ideas.

Search for GIFs on the Internet

3. Save one to your device.

Hold your finger over a GIF you find online to reveal a “Save” button. Tap Save to save the GIF to your device’s camera roll.

Save GIF file to iPhone camera roll

4. Open iMessage.

Tap the Messages icon to access your messages.

iPhone Messages icon

5. Open a conversation.

Tap the conversation with the person you’d like to send a GIF message to.

Start a new Messages conversation

6. Tap the right arrow to add an attachment.

Beside the text box, you’ll see this icon. Tap it to add an attachment to your message.

Add an attachment to your message

7. Tap the Camera button.

Tap the Camera button to access your device’s camera roll.

iPhone Camera button

8. Tap the GIF on your screen.

Select the GIF you’d like to send. Tap it to attach it to your message.

Select a GIF from your camera roll

9. Send it off.

Tap the blue arrow button to send the GIF to your friend.

Send attachment in Messages button

That’s all you need to do to send a GIF with iMessage. If you’re looking for GIF websites to browse online, here are 5 great GIF websites to check out.

5 great GIF websites:


GIPHY is a GIF database website where you can find tons of fun animated images. It has millions of users and allows you to search for, save, and share GIFs. It’s also free to use! is an awesome site because you can browse GIFS or make your own. You can upload an image or video, or import media from a website or YouTube video. Whether you create your own or find one created by someone else, you can then save it to your device or share them with your friends.


Reddit is a site that allows users to submit all kinds of content – news articles, images, videos, and more. As you can imagine, there is a TON of content to be found on Reddit. Their site has an awesome GIF section where you can find GIFs submitted by Reddit users. You can search for specific topics or themes, or browse the main GIF page to see popular ones.

Reaction GIFs

Reaction GIFs is a website that provides GIFs you can use to respond to something someone has said to you. If you’re looking for a site that will give you great GIFs to send in response to messages from your friends, this could be the one for you!

What Should We Call Me

This web page is actually a Tumblr feed that’s full of GIFs with funny captions. These GIFs frequently reference movies and TV shows, so if you’re into that kind of thing, you should definitely check out What Should We Call Me.


Those are all the steps to sending a GIF through iMessage. Check out our other iMessage tutorials to learn what else you can do with the app.