Are you planning an event? Keeping in touch with school friends? Heading up a team project at work? We often need a way to communicate with many people at once. Fortunately, iMessage group chat lets us do just that.
iMessage lets you send texts, photos, audio clips and video — whatever’s needed to get your message across! In an iMessage group chat, multiple people can receive and reply to these things, all in the same conversation. All that’s needed is for users to have an Apple ID and internet access.
iMessage group chat has countless valuable uses. We’ll show you exactly how to use it from creation to deletion and everything in between. Read below to find out more.
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How to Create an iMessage Group Chat
First things first, let’s create a group chat.
Ideally, everyone you wish to contact has an Apple device allowing them to use iMessage. If not, you’ll be limited to SMS or MMS groups: your network may charge to use these. Either way, the group chat creation process is the same.
Open the Messages app on your Apple device of choice. Tap the pencil and paper icon to compose a new message. In the “To:” field type the name, number, or email address of everyone you wish to add, or tap the plus icon and find them in your Contacts list.
As you add contacts their names will appear in blue or green. Blue means they have access to iMessage — great! Green means they don’t have access and you’re limited to SMS or MMS.
The maximum number of people you can add may be restricted by your mobile network. I was able to create a group of over 25 people as a test. However, other users have noted a limit of 10 or 20 members.
With your list of contacts added, type a message below and tap send. Your group chat has just been created and anyone in the group can read and reply to your message.
How to Name a Group Chat
Now that you know how to create iMessage group chats, you’re going to want to learn how to name them. It’s simple enough to see who you’re talking in one-on-one conversations, but group chats and their various configurations can be tough to keep track of.
By default, the group is named after all of the members, causing it to quickly run off the edge of an iPhone screen. This can be particularly confusing if you have multiple groups with slightly different members. A better option is to change the name to something relevant, such as Work Buddies, or Cinema Club. Just keep in mind that any name you choose will be visible to everyone in the group!
To change the name, open the group chat and tap the information button at the top of the screen. This takes you to the Group Chat Details Page — a screen we’ll be visiting a lot throughout this post. Tap the Enter a Group Name button and type your desired name.
How to Add Someone to the Group
It’s common to need to add additional members as the group chat develops. Perhaps you didn’t have the contact details for someone initially, or maybe the focus of the group has shifted to include more people. Either way, you’ll want to know how to add people to the chat.
To do so you need to visit the same Group Chat Details Page from before, this is found by tapping the information button at the top of the group chat screen. From here you have the option to Add Contact. Just as before this is achieved by entering specific details or searching through your Contact List.
Once added to the group, new members won’t be privy to previous messages but they can receive and reply anything new sent to the group.
How to Remove Someone from the Group
Inevitably, you’ll want to remove people from your group chats. This could be because they were added by mistake or have grown disruptive. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to give them the boot.
You’re only able to remove users if there are more than two other members to begin with — otherwise you may as well just message the remaining person privately.
Once again you need to visit the Group Chat Details Page. From here, slide left on the person you want to kick out and tap the red remove button. After doing so, the removed user will be notified that they have Left the Conversation and won’t be able to send or receive messages with that group anymore.
How to Mute Notifications
If the group conversation is lighting up you may want to mute your notifications for a while. This could be if you aren’t able to respond right away, or perhaps you’re just sick of hearing your ringtone so much.
You can mute notifications for any conversation in the Apple Messages app using one of two methods.
The first is to swipe left on the chat name from the initial list of conversations in the Messages app. This presents you with the option to Delete the conversation or to Hide Alerts. Choose Hide Alerts.
The second method is to visit the same Group Chat Details Page. At the bottom of the page, turn on the option to Hide Alerts.
A moon icon will appear next to conversations that are muted. You can still read and reply to messages, but you won’t receive notifications for that chat anymore. Make sure you don’t neglect a group once you’ve turned the alerts off. You can switch them back on at any time by following the same steps again.
How to Leave a Group Chat
Eventually a group chat will have no use for you anymore. It could be that the purpose behind its creation has passed, or simply that you’ve had enough of the barrage of messages to keep up with.
If you want to leave a group chat you need to visit the Group Chat Details Page a final time. At the bottom of the screen you’ll have the option to Leave this Conversation. Doing so will notify the other members that you have left, and you’ll no longer receive any messages added to the group — unless somebody in the group adds you again.
You should be very comfortable using iMessage group chat by now! However, if you do find yourself with any questions or if it isn’t working as expected, make sure to let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to help out.