How to Text a GIF

Brighten up any conversation

A line of people all using smartphones.

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GIFs are short movies you can text to people. Sometimes they help get a point across better than words can. But mostly they are sent because they are fun and silly. Let's take a look at how to send GIFs on iPhone and Android.

Send GIFs on iOS

Sending GIFs through text messages couldn’t be more accessible on the iPhone. Apple has the GIF feature built into their Messages app, making GIFs for texting a breeze. The following steps work for iOS 10 and newer.

  1. Open the Messages app.

  2. Tap on the Write button (square with a pencil) in the top right corner.

  3. Enter the name of the person you want to message.

    Three iOS Screens showing Messages icon, New message icon, and To: field
  4. Tap the App drawer button (triangle) on the left side.

  5. Tap the #images button (magnifying glass) on the bottom.

  6. Enter your search term for a GIF.

    Three iOS screens showing App drawer, GIF button, and Find Images field
  7. Tap the GIF you want to send.

  8. Tap the Send (arrow pointing up) button.

    Two iOS screens showing choosing a GIF in Messages and the Send button

    Missing the #images?

    If you are missing the #images button in your app drawer, do the following to install:

  9. Tap the App drawer icon (triangle)

  10. Then swipe left on the app drawer and tap the More button (…)

  11. Tap Edit, then tap the plus sign (+) to add the #images app.

    Three iOS screens showing App drawer, More button, and green plus button to add #images to Favorites
  12. For help downloading 3rd party GIF apps, see our article on how to download apps from the App Store.

Send GIFs on Android

With Android devices, you have a few options for texting GIFs. Using the built-in Messages app is very similar to the iPhone Messages. The following steps work for Android Oreo and newer (unless otherwise stated).

  1. Open the Apps drawer (if it’s not on your home screen).

  2. Open Messages.

  3. Tap the text bubble icon on the bottom of the screen.

  4. Enter in the name of the person you want to text.

  5. Click the Start button.

    Three Android screens showing Apps, Speech Bubble, and Start buttons to text a GIF
  6. Click on the built-in GIF button (smiley) which is located within the text entry field by tapping it.

    (For Android Nougat: Tap the Smiley button, then tap the GIF button.)

    You’ll get an option for stickers or GIFs to browse.

    Or to find a specific GIF, tap the search button.

    Three Android screens showing the GIF button, the Search field and the
  7. Enter in the text you desire, then swipe to find a GIF.

  8. Tap the desired GIF.

  9. Tap the Send (looks like a paper airplane or triangle) button.

  10. Alternatively

    Tap the G (Google search) button.

  11. Type in your desired text.

  12. Then swipe to find the GIF you want.

  13. Tap the desired GIF.

  14. If Gboard is installed

    (Gboard is the best way to use GIFs in Android Marshmallow.)

    Tap the smiley on the keyboard.

    Three Android Screens showing Send button, Gboard icon, and emoticon icon on keyboard
  15. Swipe to browse stickers or GIFs.

  16. Or enter search text for your desired GIF.

  17. Tap to select GIF.

  18. Tap the Send button.