How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac

Oct 22, 2021 - 3 Comments

How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac

Someone celebrating an event or birthday? Bored in the middle of an iMessage conversation? Not sure what to talk about or just want to make things interesting? Using iMessage screen effects can help to emphasize and spice up your conversation, and you can use these right from your Mac Messages app.

For those who aren’t aware, iMessage effects have been available on the iPhone and iPad for years now. To be specific, it was first introduced alongside iOS 10 back in 2016, but the feature never made its way to the Mac until recently. As the saying goes, it’s better late than never right? If you keep your Mac updated, you should be able to try this feature out while using iMessage.

A lot of users may have trouble finding this feature at first since it’s neatly hidden. Here, we’ll be taking a look at exactly how to use iMessage effects on your Mac.

How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac

Make sure that your Mac is running at least macOS Big Sur or later to use iMessage effects features.

  1. Launch the stock Messages app on your Mac.

    How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac
  2. Open the conversation or the thread where you want to send the effect. Next, type out the text that you want to send first and click on the app drawer as shown in the screenshot below.

    How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac
  3. This will bring up the context menu which is normally used to attach images. Here, select “iMessage Effects” to proceed to the next step.

    How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac
  4. Now, you’ll be able to preview all the iMessage effects that are available. Scroll through them and select the one that you want to use for the message you typed out. When you’re ready, click on the blue arrow icon to send the message. Or, if you want to cancel it and exit the effects menu, click on the X button here.

    How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac
  5. Once you send the message, the effect will play on your screen just once. The recipient will experience the same when they open the iMessage thread to read your text.

    How to Use iMessage Effects on Mac

You’re all set to use iMessage effects. That was pretty easy, right?

There’s a total of 12 iMessage effects that you can choose from and they include both screen effects and bubble effects. Unlike the iOS version of the Messages app, the screen and bubble effects aren’t separated.

The steps we covered here show you how you can manually add an iMessage effect to any text message you send on the platform. Additionally, iMessage effects can also be triggered by typing and sending common phrases like Congratulations, Happy Birthday, and more. Here’s the full list of iMessage keywords along with the respective effects you’ll see.

If you haven’t ever used this feature on your iPhone or iPad yet, you can check out how to use iMessage effects on your iOS/iPadOS device too. Sometimes, iMessage effects may fail to play automatically on your Mac. This is likely a result of enabling Reduce Motion in macOS settings. In that case, just disable it and try again. You can do this on iOS too if you’re facing the same issue on your iPhone.

Hope you had a lot of fun using iMessage effects for the first time on your Mac. How long were you waiting for this feature to arrive on macOS? Do you use these message effects features? What do you think of them? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Public Librarian says:

    In earnestness to Paul and company, thanks for posting this. The heads-up about this feature on MacOS will come in handy when library patrons happen to ask about it.

  2. nooo says:


    • Paul says:

      As the article mentions, using iMessage Effects on Mac require macOS Big Sur or newer. Older system software versions do not support the feature.

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