iMessage Effects Not Working On iPhone? Here’s The Fix!

It’s your best friend’s birthday and want to send her a “Happy Birthday!” text message with balloons. You press and hold the send arrow in the Messages app, but nothing happens. No matter how long you hold it down, the “Send with effect” menu just won’t appear. In this tutorial, I’ll explain why the “Send with effect” menu won’t appear in the Messages app and why iMessage effects are not working on your iPhone.

Why Are iMessage Effects Not Working On My iPhone?

iMessage effects are not working on your iPhone because you’re trying to send a text message to someone with a non-Apple smartphone or an accessibility setting called Reduce Motion is turned on. iMessage effects can only be sent between Apple devices using iMessages, not with regular text messages.

How Do I Fix iMessage Effects On My iPhone?

1. Make Sure You’re Sending an iMessage (Not A Text Message)

Even though iMessages and text messages live side-by-side in the Messages app, only iMessages can be sent with effects — not regular text messages.

If you’re trying to send a message to someone and the “Send with effect” menu won’t appear, make sure you’re you’re sending them an iMessage, not just a regular text message. iMessages appear in blue chat bubbles and regular text messages appear in green chat bubbles. Make sure you're sending an iMessage for iMessage effects.

The easiest way to tell whether you’re sending an iMessage or a text message is to look on the right side of the text box in the Messages app on your iPhone. If the send arrow is blue Blue send arrow in Messages app, you’re going to send an iMessage. If the send arrow is green Green send arrow in Messages app, you’re going to send a text message.

Can I Send Messages With Effects To Android Users?

iMessage only works between Apple devices, so you can’t send iMessages with effects to non-Apple smartphones. If you’d like to learn more, check out our article about the differences between iMessages and text messages.

What If None Of My Messages Appear In Blue? Can I Still Send Effects?

If the text messages you send to other people’s iPhones appear in green bubbles in the Messages app, there may be a problem with iMessage on your iPhone. If iMessage isn’t working, then iMessage effects won’t work either. Read our article about how to fix problems with iMessage and you may end up fixing both problems at once.

2. Check Your Accessibility Settings

accessibility motion reduce motion

Next, we need to take a look at the Accessibility section of the Settings app on your iPhone. Accessibility settings are designed to help people with disabilities to use their iPhones, but turning them on can sometimes have unintended side-effects. Case in point: The Reduce Motion accessibility setting turns off iMessage effects completely. To re-enable iMessage effects on your iPhone, we need to make sure that Reduce Motion is turned off.

How Do I Turn Off Reduce Motion And Turn On iMessage Effects?

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Motion.
  4. Scroll down and tap Reduce Motion.
  5. Turn Reduce Motion off by tapping the on/off switch on the right side of the screen. Your iMessage effects are now turned on!

Happy Messaging With Effects!

Now that iMessage effects are working again on your iPhone, you can send messages with balloons, stars, fireworks, lasers, and more. Let us know if you have any other questions about your iPhone in the comments section below — we’d love to hear from you.


About Author

I'm Andrew Kunesh, a technology writer and IT professional from Chicago. My goal is to help you fix the many errors and problems your Apple devices may face. Thanks for checking out our work!