Send and receive messages - iPad User Guide

Use Messages to send and receive texts, photos, videos, and more through iMessage or SMS/MMS services. With the iMessage service, you can enhance your messages with bubble effects, invisible ink, full-screen effects, your own handwriting, Digital Touch, iMessage apps, stickers, and more.

The Messages list on the left and a conversation on the right. At the top of the Messages list, in the left and right corners respectively, are the Edit and Compose buttons. At the top right of the conversation window is the More Info button. Along the bottom of the conversation window, from left to right, are the Attach Media, Digital Touch, and Messaging Apps buttons, the text field, and the Record Audio button.

Start a conversation. Tap the Compose button. Enter the recipient’s phone number or email address, or tap the Add button and choose a contact. Tap the text field, then enter your message. Tap the Send button to send.

Alternatively, to start a conversation from Mail, Calendar, or Notes, touch and hold a phone number, then tap Send Message.

Send a message to a group. Tap the Compose button, then enter multiple recipients.

Tip: To see what time a message was sent or received, drag a bubble to the left.

Note: An alert Alert badge appears if a message can’t be sent. Tap the alert to try sending the message again.

Manage a group conversation. Tap the More Info button. You can name the conversation, add someone to the conversation, or leave the conversation.

Resume a conversation. Tap the conversation in the Messages list.

Ask Siri. Say something like:

  • “Send a message to Eliza saying how about tomorrow”

  • “Reply that’s great news”

  • “Read my messages”

  • “Read my last message from Bob”

Use emoji. When typing a message, tap the Next Keyboard, Emoji button or the Next Keyboard button to switch to the Emoji keyboard. To automatically replace text with emoji, tap the highlighted words.

Hide the keyboard. Tap the Hide Keyboard button in the lower-right corner.

Respond with a Tapback. To send a quick response that lets people know what you’re thinking, double-tap a message, then choose your response.

A message bubble with the tapback choices showing above it.

View and manage conversation details. Tap the More Info button. You can:

  • Tap a contact to view the contact card.

  • Perform quick actions such as making a call.

  • Send your current location or share your location for a specified length of time.

  • Hide alerts.

  • Send read receipts.

  • View images and attachments.

Search conversations. Scroll to the top of the Messages list to reveal the search field, then enter the text you’re looking for. You can also search conversations from the Home screen. See Search.

Delete a conversation. In the Messages list, swipe left on the conversation, then tap Delete.

Note: You can’t recover a deleted conversation.