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iOS iMessage Effects Not Working? Here’s Why & Fix

iOS iMessage Effects Not Working? Here’s Why & Fix

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iMessage effects are quite dramatic so when they are at work, they are impossible to miss when exchanged between iOS devices. If you find that the message effects are not working on the iPhone or iPad, there is probably a very simple reason why, and an equally simple solution is available.

First of all, realize that iMessage Effects requires iOS 10 or later, which can be iOS 13, iPadOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11, iOS 10 or later, and everything in between. Hence, you must have a modern version of iOS on iPhone or iPad to have iMessage effects.

For a quick background, the Messages app in iOS 10 and later includes full-screen visual effects ranging from a bunch of balloons to fireworks, lasers, confetti, and a shooting star. In addition, there are other visual effects that apply to text and images, making the messages strike the screen, appear larger or smaller, or appear up with an invisible ink feature. All of these visual effects are new to iOS 10 (and later, of course) and work on the iPhone and iPad… or they should.

Why Message Effects Not Working in iOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11, iOS 10

For the vast majority of users, the reason iMessage screen effects and bubble message effects are not working is because they have the Reduce motion setting enabled. The Reduce Motion setting in iOS, which eliminates the zips and zooms of animations flying around the OS when opening and closing apps, is also the only way to turn off iMessage effects.

So if you turned on Reduce Motion because you get motion sickness, you want to speed it up up iOS 10 on the device a little bit, or just prefer the blurring effects, you can’t have iMessage effects.

The other more obvious reason why iMessage Effects may not work is if the device you are on is not running iOS 10. have the feature.

Fix i Message effects not working in iOS 13, iOS 10, iOS 11, iOS 12

The simple solution to make the effects work on the Messages screen is to turn off the Reduce Motion setting:

  1. Open the “Settings” app and go to “Accessibility” then to “Reduce Motion”
  2. Set the Reduce Motion setting to OFF and exit the settings

Enable message effects by turning off Reduce Motion in iOS 10

Now if you go to Messages and send a message by long tapping the blue arrow button, you should be able to access the various screen effects and bubble effects.

It’s a bit disappointing that you can’t enable system-wide Reduce Motion for now while still experiencing message effects. Hopefully a future version of iOS will fix this and give a separate iMessage option to turn off or turn on the Messages effect features without affecting any other visual animations on iPhone or iPad.

Message effects still not showing?

If Reduce Motion is turned off and the iMessage effects are still not working, try the following:

  • Exit and restart Messages (double tap home button and wipe up on the Messages app)
  • Force restart the iPhone or iPad (hold the Power and Home button until you see the  Apple logo)
  • Turn iMessage OFF and back ON in Settings> Messages
  • Turn off 3D Touch (if applicable to your iPhone) by going to Settings> General> Accessibility> 3D Touch> OFF

Some mixed reports also indicate that restoring a device from a backupup can also work when all else fails.

Have you gotten message effects on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 13, iPadOS 13, iOS 10, iOS 12 or iOS 11? Let us know in the comments below.

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iOS iMessage Effects Not Working? Here’s Why & How to Fix: FAQ

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