How To Text In Group Chats Using the iPhone

Group texts can be fun and useful

Four chat bubbles above four user icons on a white background

geralt / Pixabay

 

You can hit up all of 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!

If that sounds like what you want to do, read on for step-by-step instructions on how to text multiple people using the iPhone.

This article assumes that you're using the Messages app that comes bundled with the iPhone. Lots of other text messaging apps support group texting, but it wouldn't be practical to provide instructions for every one of them. It's safe to assume that they probably all use a process relatively similar to what's described here.

How to Group Text People Using The iPhone

Follow these steps to send a group text:

  1. Tap Messages to open it.

  2. If you're already in a conversation, tap the back arrow in the top left corner to see the list of all of your conversations.

  3. Tap the new message icon(it looks like a pencil and paper) in the top right corner.

  4. If the people you want to text are in your address book, there are two ways to add their names: Begin typing each recipient's name or phone number in the To: and it will autocomplete, or tap the + icon and browse through your contacts. Tap the name of the person you want to add to the message.

  5. If the people you want to text are not your address book, tap the To: field and type in their phone number or Apple ID (if you're texting someone on an iPod touch or iPad).

  6. After the first recipient has been added, repeat these steps to add more people. Repeat until everyone you want to text is listed in the To: line.

  7. Write your message as you normally would for a single-person text.

  8. Tap the Send button (the up-arrow next to the message field) and you'll text everyone listed in to To: line.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • If you text a group of people, every response to your original text will be sent to everyone on the original text (unless one person starts a separate conversation).
  • If everyone you're texting is an iPhone user, their names and the Send button turn blue. This means you're sending the text using iMessage. This means the message is encrypted and it won't count against your monthly texting limit (if you have one).
  • If one person in the group you're texting is not an iPhone user, you won't be able to send via iMessage. In that case, the Send button is green and all messages are standard texts.
  • All of the things you can send to a single person — photos, videos, emoji, etc. — can be sent to groups.
  • Not all things that work on your iPhone will work on other people's phones. For instance, Animoji don't work on Android or on iPhones running iOS 10 or earlier. Likewise, some iMessage apps and animations won't work for Android users. You can feel confident that your messages will always work, but add-ons sometimes won't.

    Those are just the basics. Read on for some advanced tips for managing your group texts.

    Name Your Group Text Conversation

    By default, group texts are named using the names of all the people in the chat. If everyone on the chat owns an iOS device, you name the chat. It's definitely better to have a chat named "Family" than named "mom, dad, bobby, sally, and grandma." Here's what you need to do:

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

    2. Tap the i icon in the top right corner.

    3. Tap Enter a Group Name.

    4. Type in the name and tap Done.

    Hide Alerts From The Group

    Depending on your notification settings, you may get a notification every time a new text comes in. If there's a particularly busy group conversation, you may want to mute those alerts. Here's how:

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

    2. Tap the i icon in the top right corner.

    3. Move the Hide Alerts slider to on/green.

    4. A moon icon appears next to this conversation so you know it's muted.

    Add Or Remove People From The Group Chat

    Ever started a group text and after a few messages realized you need someone else in it? No need to start a new conversation. Just add that person to the group by following these steps:

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

    2. Tap the i icon in the top right corner.

    3. Tap Add Contact.

    4. In the Add: field, start typing and either select autocomplete suggestions or type in a full phone number or Apple ID.

    5. Tap Done.

    The same process works for removing people from the conversation, except instead of tapping Add Contact in step 3, swipe left. Then tap the Remove button.

    Leave a Group Text Conversation

    Sick of all the chatter? You can leave a group conversation — but only if it has at least 3 other people in it. If it does, follow these steps:

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

    2. Tap the i icon in the top right corner.

    3. Tap Leave this Conversation.