Mastering iMessage Effects: How to Add and Troubleshoot iMessage Effects on Your iPhone

iMessage, Apple's built-in messaging app, offers a range of special texting effects that can add excitement and creativity to your messages. These effects include animations, lighting effects, and more. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps to use these special effects to make your messages stand out.

It's crucial to understand that you can exclusively share special effects with fellow iPhone users through iMessages, as opposed to regular text messages or Android users. You'll know you're sending iMessages when the text field displays "iMessage" or when your conversation features blue message bubbles. Conversely, if you observe "Text Message" in the text field or notice green message bubbles, you're sending regular text messages.

What to Do If You Can't See Special Texting Effects

If you're unable to see special texting effects on your iPhone, it's likely because you have certain settings disabled. Here's how to turn them back on:

Step 1: Access Settings

  1. Unlock your iPhone and locate the "Settings" app on your home screen. It's represented by a gearwheel icon.

Step 2: Navigate to Accessibility Settings

  1. Scroll down the Settings menu and tap on "Accessibility." This section contains various settings related to enhancing the usability of your device.

Step 3: Adjust Motion Settings

  1. In the "Accessibility" screen, scroll down until you find the "Vision" section.
  2. Within the "Vision" section, tap on "Motion."

Step 4: Enable Message Effects

  1. Inside the "Motion" settings, you'll see the "Reduce Motion" option. This setting can sometimes interfere with special texting effects.
  2. Toggle off "Reduce Motion" by tapping the switch next to it. This will allow motion and animations to work as intended.

Step 5: Enable Auto-Play Message Effects

  1. Below the "Reduce Motion" setting, you'll find "Auto-Play Message Effects." This option controls whether message effects play automatically or require a tap to activate.
  2. Toggle on "Auto-Play Message Effects" by tapping the switch next to it. This ensures that message effects play automatically when you send them.
    iPhone 15 Enable Auto Play Message Effects

Step 6: Test the Special Effects

  1. Return to your Messages app and try sending a message with a special effect, as described in the previous sections.
  2. The effects should now be visible and functioning correctly. 

How to Add Special Texting Effects

Step 1: Open the Messages App

iMessage logo

Unlock your iPhone and locate the Messages app on your home screen. It's represented by a green icon with a white speech bubble.

Step 2: Choose a Contact or Start a New Conversation

Tap on an existing conversation or start a new one by tapping the compose button (pencil icon) in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Step 3: Compose Your Message

Type the message you want to send in the text field at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: Access the Effects Menu

Touch and hold the Send button, then tap Screen

    Step 5: Choose a Special Texting Effect

    Swipe to the left to see full-screen effects.

    You'll find a variety of special texting effects to choose from:

    • Echo: Your text is multiplied and zooms around the screen.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Echo
    • Spotlight: Your message is highlighted by a single light while the background turns dark.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Spotlight
    • Balloons: Different-sized and multicolored balloons float across the screen.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Balloons
    • Confetti: Small pieces of colored paper rain down from the top of the screen.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Confetti
    • Love: A 3D heart appears on the screen and floats away.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Love
    • Lasers: Color-changing lasers shoot out from your text message bubble and travel up and down the screen.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Lasers
    • Fireworks: Bright fireworks explode all over your screen.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Fireworks
    • Celebration: Golden sparks rain down from the upper-right corner of your device's screen.
      iPhone 15 Special Texting Effect Celebration

    Tap the effect you want to use. You'll see a preview of the effect in the message bubble.

    Step 6: Send Your Message

    Once you've selected the effect and previewed it, tap the blue send button (the upward-pointing arrow) to send your message with the chosen effect. Your recipient will see the message with the special effect applied.

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