How To Use Messages - iPhone 5S
Learn how to use messages on your iPhone 5s.
SMS, MMS, and iMessages
Messages lets you exchange text messages with other SMS and MMS devices using your cellular connection, and with other iOS devices using iMessage.
Note: For important information about avoiding distractions while driving.
- iMessage is an Apple service that lets you send unlimited messages over Wi-Fi (or cellular connections) to others using iOS 5 or later, or OS X Mountain Lion or later. With iMessage, you can see when other people are typing, and let them know when youve read their messages.
- iMessages are displayed on all of your iOS devices logged in to the same account, so you can start a conversation on one of your devices and continue it on another device. For security, iMessages are encrypted before theyre sent.
Send and receive messages
- Start a text conversation. Tap Edit text icon , then enter a phone number or email address, or tap + iconand choose a contact.
- An alert badge ! icon appears if a message cant be sent. Tap the alert in a conversation to try sending the message again. Double-tap to send the message as an SMS text message.
- Resume a conversation. Tap the conversation in the Messages list.
- Use picture characters. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard, then tap Emoji to make that keyboard available. When you type a message, tap input method icon to change to the Emoji keyboard.
- See what time a message was sent or received. Drag any bubble to the left.
- Make a voice call or FaceTime call to the person youre texting. Tap Contact at the top of the screen, then tap call icon or video icon.
- See a persons contact info. Tap Contact at the top of the screen, then tap i icon . Tap info items to perform actions, such as making a FaceTime call.
- See earlier messages in the conversation. Tap the status bar to scroll to the top. Tap Load Earlier Messages, if necessary.
- Send messages to a group (iMessage and MMS). Tap Edit text icon , then enter multiple recipients. With MMS, group messaging must also be turned on in Settings > Messages, and replies are sent only to youthey arent copied to the other people in the group.
- Block unwanted messages. On a contact card, tap Block this Caller. You can see someones contact card while viewing a message by tapping Contact, then tap i icon . You can also block callers in Settings > Phone > Blocked. You will not receive voice calls, FaceTime calls, or text messages from blocked callers.
Conversations are saved in the Messages list. A blue dot indicates unread messages. Tap a conversation to view or continue it.
- View the Messages list. Swipe to the right.
- Forward a message. Touch and hold a message or attachment, tap More, select additional items if desired, then tap Right forward icon .
- Delete a message. Touch and hold a message or attachment, tap More, select more if desired, then tap bin delete icon . To delete all text and attachments without deleting the conversation, tap Delete All.
- Delete a conversation. In the Messages list, swipe the conversation from right to left, then tap Delete.
- Search conversations. In the Messages list, tap the top of the screen to display the search field, then enter the text youre looking for. You can also search conversations from the Home screen. See "How To Configure Search - iPhone 5S.
Share photos, videos, and more
With iMessage or MMS, you can send and receive photos and videos, and send locations, contact info, and voice memos. The size limit of attachments is determined by your service provideriPhone may compress photo and video attachments when necessary.
- Send a photo or video. Tap camera icon . You can choose an existing photo or video on iPhone, or take a new one.
- See full-size photos or video. Tap the photo or video. To see other photos and videos in the conversation, tap List icon . Tap < icon to return to the conversation.
- Send items from another app. In the other app, tap Share or upload icon , then tap Message.
- Share, save, or print an attachment. Tap the attachment, then tap upload icon .
- Copy a photo or video. Touch and hold the attachment, then tap Copy.
- Add someone to your contacts. From a conversation, tap Contact, then tap Create New Contact.
- Save contact info. Tap Contact at the top of the screen, tap i icon, then tap Create New Contact or Add to Existing Contact.
Go to Settings > Messages to set options for Messages, including:
- Turning iMessage on or off
- Notifying others when youve read their messages
- Specifying an Apple ID or email address to use with Messages
- SMS and MMS options
- Turning group messaging on or off
- Showing the Subject field
- Showing the character count
- Blocking unwanted messages
Manage notifications for messages. See How To Use Do Not Disturb Settings - iPhone 5S.
Set the alert sound for incoming text messages. See How To Configure Sound - iPhone 5S.