How to Text in Group Chats Using the iPhone

Group texts can be fun and useful

You can chat with all your friends with a single group text message sent to multiple people at the same time and have them all reply in one conversation. No phone tag required. Here's how to text multiple people using the iPhone Messages app.

Instructions in this article apply to the Apple Messages app that is bundled with the iPhone in iOS 10 and later. Third-party text messaging apps also support group texting.

How to Group Text People Using The iPhone

Follow these steps to send a group text:

  1. Tap Messages to open it.

  2. Tap the new message icon, which looks like a pencil and paper.

  3. If the people you want to text are in your address book, go to the To field, type a recipient's name or phone number, and select a name from the autocomplete list. Or, tap the + icon, then tap the name of the person you want to add to the group message.

    If the people you want to text aren't in your address book, tap the To field and enter their phone number. Enter an Apple ID to text someone on an iPod touch or an iPad without cellular support.

    Creating a new message in Messages for iOS
  4. After you add the first recipient, repeat these steps until everyone you want to text is listed in the To field.

  5. Write a message as you would for a single-person text.

  6. Tap Send (the up arrow next to the message field) to deliver the text message to everyone listed in to To field.

    Entering text in a new group message in Messages

A few things to keep in mind:

  • If you text a group of people, every response to your original text is sent to everyone on the original text unless someone starts a separate conversation.
  • If everyone in the conversation is an iPhone user, the text appears with a blue background, to indicate that the text was sent using the Apple iMessage protocol. The message is encrypted, and it doesn't count against any monthly texting limits.
  • If one person in the group isn't an iPhone user, you won't be able to send through iMessage. In that case, the background of the message is green, and all the messages are sent as standard text messages.
  • Anything that can be sent to a single person can be sent in group chats, including photos, videos, and emoji.
  • Not everything that works on one iPhone works on another phone. For example, Animoji don't work on Android phones or iPhones with iOS 10 or earlier. Some animations won't work for Android users either. Your messages will always work, but add-ons sometimes won't.

If you have problems sending texts to a group or to one person, find out what causes that and how to fix iPhone text messages that won't send.

How to Name Your Group Text Conversation in iMessage

By default, group texts are named using the names of the people in the chat. If everyone in the chat owns an iOS device, you can name the chat.

  1. Open Messages and open the chat you want to name.

  2. Go to the top of the screen, tap the icons of the people in the chat, then tap the i info icon.

  3. Tap Enter a Group Name.

  4. Enter a name, then tap Done.

    Three iOS Messages screens showing Group, Info, and Done buttons

How to Mute Alerts From an iMessage Group

Depending on your notification settings, you may get a notification every time you receive a text. If there's a busy group conversation, you may want to mute those alerts.

  1. Open Messages and open the group chat you want to mute.

  2. At the top of the screen, tap the pictures of the people in the chat or the name of the chat to reveal a group of icons.

  3. Tap the i icon.

  4. Turn on the Hide Alerts toggle switch.

    Hiding alerts in a group text in iOS
  5. A moon icon appears next to this conversation in the Messages list so you know it's muted.

To hide alerts, swipe left on a group conversation in the list of Messages and tap Hide Alerts.

How to Add or Remove People From an iMessage Group Chat

If you start a group text and after a few messages realize you need someone else in it, add that person to the group.

  1. Open Messages and open the chat you want to add people to.

  2. At the top of the screen, tap the pictures of the people in the chat or the name of the chat.

  3. Tap the i icon under the pictures.

  4. Tap Add Contact.

  5. In the Add field, start typing and either select autocomplete suggestions or enter a full phone number or Apple ID.

  6. Tap Done.

    Adding a contact to a Group message in iOS Messages
  7. The same process removes people from a conversation, except instead of tapping Add Contact, swipe left on the person's name and tap Remove.

There must be at least three people in the group to remove a contact.

How to Leave an iMessage Group Text Conversation

If you want to leave a group conversation, there must be at least three other people in the group.

  1. Open Messages and open the chat you want to leave.

  2. Tap the i icon.

  3. Tap Leave this Conversation.

    Leave this Conversation item in Messages for iOS