How Do I Use Group Messages on iPhone?

How to get the most out of iPhone group messages.

Group chats are one of the best features of iPhone messaging. It’s not only convenient to have one place for a running conversation among a bunch of family and friends, it can also be pretty fun (and sometimes, um, frustrating), too.

First you have to create the group:

  1. Start by opening Messages and tapping the Message icon at the top-right of the screen.
  2. Where it says To: start typing in the names of people in your contact list you want to include in the chat.
  3. Once everyone’s in, type a message to begin a conversation and tap the blue arrow to send it to the people you’ve included.

Name Your Group

Giving your group a clever — or even straightforward — nickname can make it easier to find in your message history. You can also create more than one group with the same people under a different name, which is super helpful.

  1. In the group chat, tap the group of names at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the Info icon.
  3. At the top of the screen, tap Enter a Group Name and enter your clever handle for the group. Be creative and fun, but just know that it will show up for everyone. You’ve been warned.

Add Someone to the Conversation

But wait! You forgot someone really important! Do you have to start over? Nope.

  1. In the group chat, tap the group of names at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the Info icon.
  3. Tap Add Contact, located near the bottom of the screen, and search for the person you wish to add. If you add an Android user to your group, it will make the conversation a regular text chat (you’ll know this happened when the text bubbles, which were blue, start showing up green) and you won’t be able to add reactions (like thumbs up or hearts) to messages.

Share Your Location

One of the valuable, and powerful, features of Messages is that you can share your location with whoever you’re chatting with — and that includes a group. This is especially useful if the group chat was setup to coordinate a party or meetups.

You have two options for sharing location inside a group text:

  1. In the group chat, tap the group of names at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the info icon.
  3. If you want to only share your current location, tap Send My Current Location.
  4. If you want to share your location for an extended period of time, tap Share My Location and pick one of the options: Share for One Hour, Share Until End of Day, or Share Indefinitely.

Mute the Conversation

As great as group chats can be, they can also prove… troublesome — especially if the group is large and fully of chatty people. Maybe you don’t want your phone dinging with every “Congrats!” or commentary on last night’s events. And even if you silence your phone, it will still vibrate and light up every time someone sends through a new message.

If your group chat is getting to be too much, you can mute the conversation — and no one will know:

  1. In the group chat, tap the group of names at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the Info icon.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap the switch next to Hide Alerts.

If you’re totally over the group all together, you can also take yourself out of the chat by tapping Leave This Conversation at the bottom of the screen.

But make sure you’re really ready to bounce — the last thing you want is to have an awkward conversation with a friend or family member about rejoining that group chat you desperately miss.

Now it’s time for you to put your new skills to work. Happy messaging!

Previous Article: