How to Use Tapback Messages on Mac

Dec 16, 2016 - Leave a Comment

Tapback messages on Mac

Tapback messages offer an in-line visual icon response to any message, it’s a fun feature on iOS Messages app that is also one of the few message effect features available on the Mac.


The currently available tapback message responses are a Heart, a Thumbs Up, a Thumbs Down, a “Ha Ha”, “!!”, and “?”. You can use one tapback message response per message at a time, but you can also change them by choosing a different tapback icon. The tapback icons on Mac are the same as those available on iOS, and one sent from a Mac will be visible on iPhone and vice versa.

Using Tapback Message Icons in Mac OS

The tapback message feature on Mac is very similar to iOS but initiating it is with a click rather than a tap and hold. You’ll need a modern release of Mac OS system software to have this feature, 10.12 or later is sufficient.

  1. Open any Messages thread in Messages for Mac
  2. Click and hold on any message, picture, or video
  3. Tapback message on Mac

  4. Choose your Tapback icon response: Heart, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, “Ha Ha”, “!!”, “?”

The tapback message will be inserted in-line atop the message you assigned it to, complete with a little bubble indicator.

Tapback Messages on Mac

This feature is fairly simple but it can be fun and offer a quick way to respond to a message without having to type out a response, and it can be particularly relevant if something is deserving of a simple indicator of your feelings towards it (assuming those feelings are satisfactorily displayed by a little icon anyway).

Tapback messages on Mac

You can also remove a tapback response from a message by clicking and holding and then selecting the highlighted and previously chosen tapback icon.

Tapback messages are fun, and perhaps in the future the Mac Messaging app will get more of the iOS messaging features, like stickers, screen effects, and GIF search. Until then, you’ll have to use a lot of copy and paste, or your imagination.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

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