Gifs on iPhone
Gifs on iPhone

To easily use fun and expressive GIFs from your iPhone keyboard, follow these steps. First, make sure your iPhone has the latest iOS update. Then, check if the GIF keyboard is enabled in your keyboard settings. If you’re still having trouble, try restarting your iPhone or reinstalling the GIF keyboard app.

Using GIFs on Your iPhone Keyboard

Built-in GIF Search (iOS 17 and later)

  1. Open a conversation: Launch the Messages app and start a new message or enter an existing conversation.
  2. Tap the “+” icon: Look for the “+” icon to the left of the text field and tap it.
  3. Access #images: A menu will appear. Tap on “#images” (it has a red icon with a magnifying glass).
  4. Search for GIFs: Type a keyword related to the GIF you want (e.g., “happy,” “celebration,” “dance”) in the search bar.
  5. Select and send: Browse through the GIF results and tap the one you like to add it to your message. Hit the send button to share it with your recipient.

Third-party GIF Keyboards (Alternative)

  1. Download a GIF keyboard app: Head to the App Store and search for “GIF keyboard.” Popular options include GIF Keyboard by Tenor, Giphy, or Gboard.
  2. Install and enable: Download your chosen app and follow the on-screen instructions to enable it as a keyboard in your iPhone settings.
  3. Access in any app: When you want to use a GIF, switch to your downloaded GIF keyboard (just like you would switch between regular keyboards).
  4. Search and send: Browse the app’s GIF collection, search for specific ones, or even create your own. Once you find the perfect GIF, tap it to insert it into your message.


  • iMessage exclusive: The built-in GIF search is only available for iMessage conversations. For other messaging apps, you’ll need a third-party keyboard.
  • Data usage: GIFs can consume data, so be mindful if you have a limited data plan.
  • Variety: Third-party GIF keyboards often offer a wider selection of GIFs compared to the built-in option.
  • Customization: Some third-party keyboards allow you to create personalized GIF collections and add text to GIFs.

Using GIFs on iPhone: It’s Easier Than You Think

Built-in #images Feature

Apple conveniently includes a GIF search function right within your keyboard:

  1. Open Messages: Start a new message or enter an existing chat.
  2. Tap the Apps Icon: Locate the ‘A’ (Apps) icon to the left of your text field.
  3. Locate #images: Tap the four-bubble icon in the bottom-left corner if the #images app doesn’t appear automatically.
  4. Find and Send: Search for the perfect GIF or browse by category, then tap to send!

Important Notes

  • Only Works in iMessage: The #images function is exclusive to Apple’s iMessage platform. Regular text messages won’t support sending GIFs.
  • Region Matters: Make sure you’re in a supported region (like the U.S.). You can switch regions in your settings if needed.

Third-Party Keyboard Apps

If you want even more GIF options, App Store has got you covered. Here’s the scoop:

  1. Get a GIF Keyboard App: Popular choices include GIPHY, Tenor GIF Keyboard, and others.
  2. Keyboard Integration: Follow the app’s instructions to give it access to your keyboard.
  3. Search and Send: You’ll usually find a new GIF icon within your keyboard that lets you access a huge library.

GIF Keyboard Pros and Cons

Huge GIF VarietyRequire App Installation
Fun Additional FeaturesMay need “full access” permissions (be careful which app you choose)

Now you’re ready to bring some GIF magic to your conversations!

Recap: Getting GIFs on The iPhone Keyboard

Built-in iOS 17 feature (US only)1. Open any app where you can type (Messages, Notes, etc.). 2. Tap the text field to activate the keyboard. 3. Tap the “+” icon on the bottom left corner of the keyboard. 4. Scroll down and tap the “Images” section (red magnifying glass icon). 5. Search for your desired GIF by keyword or browse categories. 6. Tap the GIF you want to insert.This feature is currently only available in the US with iOS 17.
Third-party GIF keyboard app1. Download a GIF keyboard app from the App Store (e.g., Tenor, GIPHY). 2. Follow the app’s instructions to enable it in your keyboard settings. 3. Open any app where you can type. 4. Switch to the GIF keyboard app by tapping the globe icon on the keyboard. 5. Browse or search for the GIF you want. 6. Tap the GIF to insert it into your text.Many free and paid GIF keyboard apps are available, each with its own features and interface.
#images in Messages app1. Open the Messages app and start a new message or open an existing conversation. 2. Tap the text field to activate the keyboard. 3. Tap the App Store icon next to the text field. 4. Search for “#images” and tap it. 5. Enter a keyword to search for GIFs. 6. Tap the GIF you want to insert.This method only works in iMessage conversations, not for SMS/MMS messages.
images option imessage 1

Additional notes:

  • You can save GIFs you receive in messages to your Photos app by tapping and holding the GIF and selecting “Save.”
  • Some GIF keyboard apps offer additional features like creating your own GIFs or saving favorites.
  • Be mindful of your data usage when using GIFs, as they can be large files.

Introduction to GIFs on iPhone

GIFs have become a staple of online communication, allowing users to express emotions and reactions through animated images. On an iPhone, these animated delights are readily accessible, and Apple’s iOS has streamlined the experience for sending and receiving GIFs.

To start using GIFs on an iPhone, the iOS keyboard comes equipped with a feature that allows users to search and send GIFs right from the message app. This is particularly handy when text just doesn’t cut it, and a looping snippet can get the point across with more flair and humor.

Enabling the GIF function on an iPhone is a straightforward process. Users need to ensure that the built-in #images feature is added to their keyboard. For those who desire more variety, third-party keyboards available on the App Store can be installed, such as Giphy or Tenor, which offer a wider array of animated images to choose from.

Here’s a quick guide to get started:

  1. Open Settings: Navigate to your iPhone’s Settings app.
  2. Keyboard Settings: Select ‘General’ and tap ‘Keyboard’.
  3. Enable GIF Keyboard:
    • Click on ‘Keyboards’, then ‘Add New Keyboard’.
    • Choose ‘#images’ to add and enable it.

Once done, users can tap the ‘A’ icon next to the text field in Messages to access their GIF arsenal, picking just the right one for the moment. With a touch of a button, the iPhone enriches text conversations with colorful, moving images, making communication more dynamic and fun.

Installing GIF Keyboards

Adding a GIF keyboard to your iPhone spices up your messaging with fun and dynamic content. It’s easy — you’ll just download an app and tweak your settings.

Using the App Store

To install a GIF keyboard app:

  1. Open the App Store on your iPhone.
  2. Use the search function to look up “GIF keyboard”.
  3. Choose the app you prefer, such as GIPHY or GIF Keyboard by Tenor, by tapping on it.
  4. Tap Download to install the app onto your device.

Enabling GIF Keyboards in Settings

Once you’ve downloaded a GIF keyboard app, make it accessible through your iPhone’s keyboard:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on General, then select Keyboard.
  3. Hit Keyboards and then Add New Keyboard.
  4. Locate and select the GIF keyboard from the list of keyboards.
  5. Toggle the switch to enable it, allowing it to be used in messages and other apps.

Using #Images in Messages App

The Messages app on your iPhone includes a built-in #images feature that lets you find and send GIFs in your conversations. It’s an easy and fun way to express yourself when texting.

Accessing #Images Gallery

To start browsing GIFs, open the Messages app on your iOS device. In an existing conversation or a new one, look for the apps icon (resembling an ‘A’) next to the message input field. Tap on it. Select #images to reveal a library of GIFs, right there within your keyboard area. You can then search for any GIF by using keywords that fit what you’re feeling or want to convey.

Sending a GIF with #Images

After finding the right GIF in the #images gallery, send it simply by tapping on it. This adds the GIF to your message. Hit the send button (a blue or green arrow) to share your chosen GIF with the person you’re texting. They’ll see your GIF right in the conversation, adding a dynamic twist to your chat.

Exploring Third-Party GIF Keyboards

When iPhone users want to spice up their conversations, they have the option to use third-party GIF keyboards which offer a vast library of GIFs. These keyboards easily integrate with apps like iMessage and WhatsApp, providing seamless support for social media interactions.

Giphy Integration

Giphy is a popular service that brings a massive selection of animated GIFs to the fingertips of iPhone users. Once Giphy’s keyboard is installed, users can browse and search for GIFs using a simple search bar, finding the perfect reaction for any conversation. The app not only supports iMessage but also works well with other social media platforms, extending the reach of its expressive library.

Tenor GIF Keyboard

Similarly, Tenor offers a GIF Keyboard app with a focus on helping users find timely and relevant GIFs. They can search across a broad array of categories and what’s currently trending. Tenor’s keyboard app is designed for quick browsing, ensuring that users can find and share a wide variety of GIFs in just a few taps, whether they’re chatting on iMessage or sharing on WhatsApp.

These apps make finding and sending the right GIF straightforward and fun, enhancing digital communication with ease.

Managing GIF Keyboard Settings

When customizing your iPhone’s keyboard to include GIFs for more dynamic messaging, two essential steps must be taken: adding the keyboard and adjusting its access.

Adding Keyboards

To introduce a GIF keyboard to your typing arsenal, one begins by tapping their way through the Settings app. Under Settings, users should navigate to the General category, then proceed to scroll down to and select Keyboard. Here lies the option to Add New Keyboard, where selecting #images incorporates the GIF keyboard into the list of active keyboards.

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.
  • Tap Add New Keyboard.
  • Choose #images from the list.

Allowing Full Access

Giving a GIF keyboard full access enables its full suite of features, including a broader array of GIFs to express oneself vividly. To allow full access, the user must return to the keyboard settings, find their newly added GIF keyboard, and toggle Allow Full Access. It’s essential to review any privacy considerations as this may grant the keyboard permissions to transmit data over the internet. During this process, users may need to authenticate themselves using Face ID, Touch ID, or their Apple ID password.

  • Find the GIF keyboard under Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
  • Toggle Allow Full Access and provide confirmation if prompted.
  • Authenticate via Face ID, Touch ID, or Apple ID password if necessary.

Finding and Sharing GIFs

Sharing GIFs on your iPhone can add excitement and humor to conversations with friends and family. It’s a great way to convey emotion and creativity without using solely text. In this section, we’ll cover how to use search functions to find the perfect GIF and the ease of sharing them directly to social media platforms.

Using Search Functions

To find a GIF, the Messages app on your iPhone is a solid starting point. It has a built-in search feature for GIFs that’s pretty straightforward to use. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and start a new conversation or select an existing one.
  2. Tap on the ‘App Store’ icon next to the text input field.
  3. Select the ‘#images’ app.
  4. Use the search bar here to type in what kind of GIF you’re looking for. For example, type “happy dance” to find a GIF that expresses joy and excitement.

Finding that perfect animated GIF to express your reaction to a text can enhance your digital conversation like nothing else. If your search leaves you hungry for more, you can also download third-party apps like GIPHY from the App Store, which expands your GIF library even further.

Sharing Directly to Social Media

Once you’ve snagged the perfect GIF to capture the moment, sharing it is a breeze. Here’s a quick way to share GIFs from your keyboard:

  • While in the social media app of your choice, tap on the text field as if you’re going to type a message.
  • Hit the ‘GIF’ button on your keyboard if it’s already enabled. If not, you might need to add it from your keyboard settings first.
  • Search for your specific GIF, then tap to select it.
  • Hit send, and you’ve just added some extra flavor to your post.

Most social media platforms support GIFs, so whether you’re tweeting, posting on Facebook, or sending a direct message, these animated enhancements are ready to help you connect with your digital circle in a more personalized and entertaining way.

Creating and Adding Personal GIFs

Creating your own GIFs adds a touch of fun and creativity to your messages. Use your iPhone to turn your favorite photos and moments into animated expressions that convey your emotions and reactions better than text alone.

Creating GIFs from Photos

You can create animated GIFs directly from the Photos app on your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Photos app: Find the photo sequence you’d like to animate.
  2. Select your photos: Choose a series of photos that capture your desired motion.
  3. Animation options: Use an app like GIPHY or online services that can turn your selected photos into a GIF.
  4. Save your new GIF: Once created, save it to your photo gallery on your iPhone.

Using Live Photos and Shortcuts App

Live Photos capture a snippet of video along with the still image, giving you material to create a GIF that’s full of life.

  1. Capture a Live Photo: Take a Live Photo by ensuring the Live Photo feature is enabled on your camera app before taking a photo.
  2. Find a Live Photo: In the Photos app, look for the Live Photos album or identify them by the concentric circle icon on the top-left.
  3. Shortcuts App: Open the Shortcuts app and search for the “Convert Live Photo to GIF” shortcut.
  4. Run the Shortcut: Select a Live Photo and let the Shortcut work its magic, turning it into a shareable GIF.

By crafting GIFs from your photos or Live Photos, you can inject your communications with something uniquely yours, using just your iPhone and a bit of ingenuity.

Optimizing the GIF Experience

Getting the most out of your iPhone’s GIF keyboard means knowing how to pick the perfect animation for the moment and keeping your collection easy to navigate. A well-organized library of GIFs enhances your ability to express emotions, reactions, and humor quickly and efficiently.

Choosing the Right GIF for the Moment

When you’re looking to convey a specific feeling or reaction, the right GIF can speak volumes. Here are some tips to help you choose:

  • Consider the context: Will the GIF be appropriate and understood by the receiver?
  • Reflect your identity: Pick a GIF that mirrors your personality or the identity of the group you’re messaging.
  • Keywords are key: Use specific keywords to browse categories and pinpoint the GIF that perfectly captures the sentiment you want to express.
  • Humor is powerful: If it fits the situation, a humorous GIF can lighten the mood and show your playful side.

Organizing Your GIF Library

A well-maintained library of GIFs allows you to find and share animations with ease. Follow these recommendations to organize your collection:

  • Categories work wonders: Sort your GIFs into categories based on emotion, occasion, or any other system that makes sense to you.
  • Prune regularly: Keep your collection relevant by removing GIFs that you no longer use or that have lost their appeal.
  • Wide range wins: Ensure you have a wide range of content to cover all types of emotions and reactions.
  • Favorites first: Mark your most-used GIFs as favorites so you can access them quickly when you need to respond on the fly.

Keyboard Tips and Tricks

Accessing and sharing GIFs on an iPhone can be a fun way to spice up conversations. These tips will help you quickly deploy your favorite animations and harness the full potential of iPhone’s keyboard shortcuts.

Quick Access to Favorites

One can streamline their typing experience by marking frequently used GIFs as favorites. On the iPhone keyboard, users can launch the Messages app and select the ‘A’ (Apps) icon. If the #images don’t show up, they might need to tap the icon with four bubbles in the lower-left corner, then they can browse and hold a GIF to add it to their favorites for easy access in the future.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

To customize one’s typing even further, shortcuts can be a powerful tool. Within the iPhone’s settings, users navigate to General, select Keyboard, and then tap Text Replacement. Here, they can create custom shortcuts for common phrases. For instance, typing “lolgif” could automatically suggest a funny meme. By setting these up, users can swiftly express emotions through GIFs without interrupting their typing flow.

Troubleshooting GIF Issues

When GIFs refuse to work on the iPhone keyboard, it can be frustrating. This section offers helpful guidance to get things back on track with a focus on checking for software updates and ensuring the keyboard has the right permissions.

Software Update Checks

Always begin by checking that your iPhone is running the latest iOS version. To do this, head to Settings > General > Software Update. If an update is available, tap Download and Install. Staying up-to-date can solve many issues, as updates often include fixes for known bugs that could be affecting your GIF keyboard’s performance.

Ensuring Proper Keyboard Permissions

Next, ensure that the GIF keyboard is actually allowed to function on your device. Navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards. If the GIF keyboard isn’t there, you need to add it by tapping Add New Keyboard and selecting the GIF keyboard from the list. Make sure it has full access if required, which allows the keyboard to connect to the internet and provide a full range of GIFs.

Safety and Privacy Considerations

iPhone Keyboard Plus Menu (iMessage Apps)
iPhone Keyboard Plus Menu

When adding a GIF keyboard to an iPhone, users should be aware of the safety and privacy implications. It’s crucial to check the settings and permissions the keyboard app requires. Some apps might ask for full access, which can include everything from keystrokes to access to other data on the device.

Privacy: Users should carefully read the privacy policy of any GIF keyboard app to understand what data the app collects and how it’s used. This information could range from search terms to more sensitive data.

Permissions: Be selective with the access you grant. Full access permissions can sometimes enable the keyboard to convey data back to its servers, which might include personal information. This doesn’t necessarily mean something nefarious will happen, but users should be comfortable with what they agree to.

Apple Watch: If one uses Apple Watch, be informed that settings and permissions on the iPhone often sync across to the watch as well.

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Read Reviews: Look at what others say about the app’s reliability and privacy practices.
  • Access Settings: Only give access necessary for the app to function properly.
  • Regularly Check Permissions: Over time, apps may update their terms or change how they handle data.

This keyboard can make it fun and easy to express emotions and reactions in a conversation. Just ensure that convenience doesn’t compromise your digital safety and personal privacy.

Staying Up-to-Date with GIF Trends

Keeping track of the latest GIF trends can add an extra layer of fun to your messaging experience. GIFs have become a staple in digital conversations, often used to convey humor and excitement. To make sure you’re not falling behind, here are some simple ways to ensure your GIF game remains fresh and relevant.

Search Features: Most keyboards with a GIF function have a built-in search feature. Use it to find trendy GIFs by typing in current, popular search terms that resonate with Internet culture and social media posts.

Social Media Platforms: Platforms like Twitter and Instagram are hotspots for the latest trends in Japan, worldwide culture, and beyond. Checking out the trending hashtags can give you insight into what GIFs might be making waves.

Explore GIF Libraries: Dedicated apps like Giphy and Tenor update their libraries regularly with new content. They categorize GIFs based on different emotions and events, so browsing through their collections can be a quick way to stay updated.

  • Key Sources to Check Regularly:
    • Giphy’s Trending Section
    • Tenor’s Explore Tab
    • Social Media Trending Hashtags

Subscribe to Newsletters: Some websites offer newsletters that highlight trending digital content, including popular GIFs. Signing up can deliver fresh inspiration right to your inbox.

Remember, staying current with GIFs is all about being active and engaged with the Internet and social media. It’s about effortlessly integrating a bit of visual fun into daily conversations to keep them lively and vibrant. By paying attention to these sources, you’ll become the go-to person for the latest and greatest in the world of GIFs.

GIF Integration in Other Apps

Most social media applications now support GIF communication directly within their platforms. For instance, Facebook and WhatsApp allow users to search for and share GIFs without leaving the app. This seamless integration makes expressing emotions or reactions much more enjoyable and efficient.

In iMessage, users can access GIFs by tapping the Apps icon next to the chat field and selecting the #images function to search for the perfect GIF. From here, a vast library of animated images is available to make conversations lively and entertaining.

GIPHY Cam, an app designed for creating and personalizing GIFs, also offers an easy way to embed or share these images across various platforms. Whether someone wants to share a quirky reaction on social media or add a funny touch to a chat, GIPHY Cam provides the tools to do so.

Most apps follow a simple process to integrate GIFs:

  1. Launch the app you wish to share a GIF in.
  2. Tap on the designated GIF or + icon, typically located within the text field.
  3. Use the search function to find a suitable GIF.
  4. Select the desired GIF and tap send.

For those who often use GIFs, third-party keyboard apps are available that support GIF search and integration. Users can copy and paste GIFs from these keyboards directly into any text field across different apps.

To sum it up, GIF integration across apps provides a fun and interactive way to communicate. With a simple tap on an icon, users can access a plethora of animated images ready to be shared in any conversation.

Navigating Licensing and Copyright

Homer Gif
Homer Gif

When enjoying GIFs on your iPhone keyboard, understanding the legal landscape is a must. Users often download and share GIFs without considering the copyright implications. The App Store provides apps that offer access to vast libraries of GIFs, allowing you to search, download, and embed these animated images directly into messages.

Licensing: Not all GIFs are free to use. It’s wise to confirm whether a GIF is copyrighted before sharing. Some creators allow their GIFs to be used without restriction, while others require attribution or restrict use to non-commercial messages.

  • Create and Share: If you create a GIF, consider how you would like others to use it. When sharing, ensure that you respect the creator’s terms.
  • Privacy: When downloading apps to get GIFs on your keyboard, review the privacy policy to understand how your data will be handled.
  • App Store Downloads: Apps should comply with copyright laws. However, it’s up to users to stay informed about the apps they use.
  • Internet Sources: If pulling a GIF from the internet, verify its licensing to avoid legal issues.

As a user, your responsibility is to respect these guidelines. Be mindful when you download or share GIFs, and enjoy personalizing your conversations with peace of mind.


With the steps described, anyone can easily customize their iPhone to send GIFs, enhancing the messaging experience. This guide walks users through the simple process of enabling a GIF keyboard. Adding GIFs to conversations allows for more creative and expressive chats.

The integration of GIFs into the iPhone’s keyboard is straightforward:

  • Navigate to Settings: Open the iPhone’s Settings app.
  • General Settings: Scroll and tap ‘General,’ followed by ‘Keyboard.’
  • Keyboards Menu: Select ‘Keyboards,’ then ‘Add New Keyboard.’
  • Enabling GIFs: Choose ‘#images’ or any other GIF keyboard you prefer to include in your keyboard list.

Following these steps ensures quick access to a vast selection of GIFs right from the keyboard. It boosts users’ confidence in spicing up their conversations with just the right animated images. Plus, the knowledge to personalize the messaging style with GIFs is a handy skill.

Remember that the quality of the messaging experience is often enhanced not by the quantity of GIFs but by choosing the right moments to use them. Use this newfound access responsibly, and enjoy making your conversations more colorful and lively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Adding GIFs to your iPhone’s keyboard can spruce up your conversations. Here, you’ll find how to do it and troubleshoot common issues.

How can one add the GIF keyboard functionality on newer iOS devices?

On the latest iOS, enabling the GIF keyboard is straightforward. Navigate to your Settings app, then to General, and select Keyboard. Finally, tap ‘Keyboards’, ‘Add New Keyboard…’, and choose ‘#images’.

What steps are needed to text someone a GIF from an iPhone?

Texting a GIF is really simple. Open your Messages app, select the chat you want, and tap the ‘A’ (Apps) icon next to the text box. Then, just choose the #images option, pick your GIF, and send it.

What can cause GIFs to not appear on the iPhone’s keyboard and how can one fix it?

If the #images function isn’t showing, make sure you’ve added it in ‘Keyboards’ under General Settings. Also, confirm that your region supports this feature since it might not work in some locations.

How can GIFs be enabled when messaging on WhatsApp with an iPhone?

To send a GIF in WhatsApp, just open a chat, tap the ‘+’ icon next to the text box, and select ‘Photo & Video Library’. Then, use the GIF option at the bottom left to choose and send your GIF.

Is there a way to send GIFs via the keyboard on Snapchat for iPhone users?

Unfortunately, Snapchat does not directly support sending GIFs through the keyboard. Instead, you can use the app’s Giphy integration to add GIFs to your snaps or messages.

Where can one find GIFs to use for free on an iPhone?

You can find a wide selection of free GIFs by using the #images feature in the Messages app. Third-party apps also offer GIFs, but be sure to check their terms and conditions.

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