How to Send Invisible Ink Messages from iPhone and iPad

Jun 26, 2017 - 2 Comments

Invisible Ink messages on iPhone and iPad

iOS Messages includes the Invisible Ink feature which allows people to send obfuscated messages to and from iPhone and iPad. The invisible messages arrive visibly obscured, and the content of the invisible message can only be revealed by swiping a finger on the blurred message(s) to temporarily reveal the message text, image, or video. And yes, that means invisible messages can send not just as invisible text, but also as invisible photos and invisible videos too.

Invisible Ink offers simple privacy in a fun way to share secrets or otherwise personal information through the Messages app of iOS without having them be visible to an onlooker. The feature is part of the Message Effects set and is available on releases of iOS for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


For Invisible Ink to work as intended, both the sender and the recipient must be using iMessage to send and receive invisible messages. Devices that are not using iMessage will receive the message as usual without the obfuscated Invisible Ink effect.

How to Send an Invisible Ink Message on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the Messages app in iOS and go to any message conversation thread (you can also send yourself a message to test this feature out)
  2. Type any message as usual and then tap and hold on the blue arrow to access iMessage Effects, or use 3D Touch on the arrow*
  3. Send an invisible ink message on iOS

  4. From the message effects screen, choose “Invisible Ink”
  5. How to send an invisible ink message on iOS

  6. Tap the arrow button next to “Send with Invisible Ink” to immediately send the message with the invisible ink obfuscated feature on that message
  7. Sending the invisible ink message on iPhone

The message will be sent obfuscated in invisible ink, and it will stay blurred and obscured until it is read through a touch or swipe.

Invisible Ink messages on iPhone and iPad

* Alternatively, you can also include a photo, picture, video, or GIF and make those invisible too. Note you will tap and hold on the arrow icon if the device is not 3D Touch equipped or if 3D Touch is disabled, whereas you must 3D Touch on the arrow if 3D Touch is enabled.

How to Read an Invisible Ink Message on iPhone or iPad

  1. When you receive an invisible ink message that is obfuscated with the sparkling blurred pixels…
  2. Tap to read the invisible ink message on iPhone or iPad

  3. Tap or swipe on the invisible ink message to reveal its contents
  4. Invisible ink message revealed on iPhone or iPad

  5. Repeat with other invisible ink messages as necessary

The invisible ink messages will be visible for a short while after tapping them or swiping on them, and then they will become invisible again after a few seconds until they are touched or swiped again.

Invisible Ink messages on iPhone and iPad

If you do not have the Invisible Ink feature available you either turned off message effects, iMessage is disabled, you’re not able to access it due to improper pressing and/or 3D Touch, or you’re on an older version of iOS and need to update to any modern release past iOS 10.0. If you’re on an older version of iOS and do not have this feature at all, the next best thing is probably to turn off iMessage previews on the lock screen and then use a passcode to lock the device all the time.

If you’re having any trouble with Invisible Ink, are not able to access it, or or if Messages effects are not working, read this how to possibly fix that in iOS, it usually comes down to toggling a few settings to resolve such an issue.

Invisible Ink is one of a variety of fun message effects and features, some of the other more interesting and entertaining iPhone and iPad message features are handwritten messages, plastering stickers in messages, and using Tapback to send little icon replies.

Do you have any interesting tips, fun advice, or thoughts about receiving or sending invisible messages from iPhone or iPad? Let us know in the comments!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

2 Comments

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  1. Me says:

    When I tab and hold the send button there is a gray field coming up, but it only contains the text, no GUI components to change style..

  2. Dave says:

    Does not work with videos, does work with pictures / text. If you do a share from photos the option isn’t available if you share by text, but if you -copy- the picture into a messages message, it works. Apparently you can’t select / copy videos.

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