How To Create and Manage Group Messages on your iPhone or iPad

Group messages let you communicate with a group of people (3 or more people) at once. This can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family members. With group messaging, group members can send and receive text messages, videos and photos.

See also: Messages Showing Numbers, Not Contact Names? Fix

This article explains (a) how you can create group messages, (b) how you can name your group and (c) how you can add or remove users participants.

iMessage Groups vs MMS Groups

But first let us explain the differences between Group iMessage and Group MMS:

If all members of your group consist of participants using Apple devices (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch), group messages will be sent as iMessages. If you have at least one participant using other type of mobile devices (e.g, Android phones), then group messages will be sent as MMS (or SMS) messages. Here are the some differences between them:

  1. Group MMS messages appear in green bubbles while group iMessages appear in blue bubbles.
  2. You cannot name MMS groups while you can name iMessage groups.
  3. You cannot add or remove participants from MMS groups while you can do so iMessage groups.

See also: Crescent Moon Icon in Messages: What Does It Mean?

How to Create Group Messages

  1. Open the Messages app on you iOS device
  2. Start a new message by tapping the new message icon.
  3. In the To: field, enter the name of the contacts (your group members). You can tap the plus sign to add contacts.
  4. In the Text Message field, type your message
  5. Then tap the arrow send icon. group messages iOS

How to Add and Remove Group Participants

As stated above, you cannot add or remove participants from MMS groups. This means that if you do not see the “Add Contact” or “Remove” options, it is because of this. If your group is a iMessage group, anyone in the group can add or remove participants. There is no admin or any type of super user. Here is how:

Adding participants

To add participants:

  1. Tap the Group messages to open the conversation
  2. Tap the top of the messages showing the group members or name (if you named it already)group settings
  3. Tap the (i) info icon
  4. And then tap Add Contactadd contacts
  5. And then type a new member in the Add: field

Removing Participants

  1. Tap again group messages and then info (i) icon
  2. Find the member that you want to remove and swipe left, note that you need to have at least three members.
  3. Tap red Remove

remove group members

How to Name Groups

You can name your group. You can especially want to do this if you have multiple iMessage groups. Again, as note above, MMS groups cannot be named. Here is how:

  1. Open the group messages
  2. Tap the (i) info icon
  3. Enter your group name in the Name fieldname your group

How to exit a group

You do not want to participate in your group and you want to exit? Doing so will prevent you from receiving and sending messages and other stuff like photos etc from or participating in the group messages.

Note you cannot exit MMS messages.

Here is how:

  1. Again open the group messages and tap the (i) icon
  2. Scroll down
  3. and tap the red “Leave this Conversation” icon.Exit a group

See also: Text Messages Are Disappearing? Fix

Please note that if this is a very active group, you may want to turn off notifications, if you are getting too many new message alerts.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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21 thoughts on “How To Create and Manage Group Messages on your iPhone or iPad”

  1. What is the limit of numbers in a group text that has both apple and android users. We want to set up a neighborhood group text but it is about 45 numbers…need to know what the limit is please.

    • At the top where it lists the number of people in the group text, click on that and it opens a drop down list — scroll down to HIDE ALERT and set that! You will still get the texts but no alert

  2. I set up groups on for iPhone texting. It worked fine, but I had to send the messages in smaller groups, as the group was apparently too big. After yet ANOTHER iPhone update, it stopped working. I went back to and changed the group to smaller groups. It appears that group texting is totally not available unless it is done manually. With such a large group this is not possible. Why has this feature been removed? How can I get this back?

  3. I was put in a group message text and all the people are showing with phone numbers, not names. So when anyone sends a text or reply I have no clue who is talking. Most of the names in the group message are already in my contacts so I don’t understand why at least those names aren’t showing up.

  4. I have a group text that includes someone with a gmail address but they are not getting the messages. Anyone know why this might be happening?

  5. I had a new group text iMessage that I started creating but had to look at info on next contact ~ it said ‘cancel’. I did. Now when I type same contact, it’s not just putting name at top, it’s including a prior text with that person. Need to start typing name and it was automatically showing them with no prior text with the contact.

  6. Is there a way to delete groups? For instance, if I type my brother’s name to send him a text I get several group texts he is on but not him individually. He is not on an ios device.

  7. Can remove individual FB Private messages from group texts? I know those who read them will already be able to read them, but Id like to add a new person, but will that new member be able to read old texts which I’ve removed before adding them?

  8. PART 1 – I followed instructions I found in a video to setup a group in my contacts in my iPhone. So, now when I go to my contacts list at the top the words Groups appears. When I touch that it shows choices of All iCloud, or the group that I created, each with a check mark next to them. If I touch the group it unchecks All iCloud, then I click Done in the top right and the list is the people I added to that group.

    PART 2 – How do I send a text to that group? When I open my text box and click the box with the pencil in the top right corner to start a text, the New Message window opens with the TO: to add recipients. To the right of that is a + that I can click and check the box of the group I named, which then gives me the list of everyone in the group, but I have to add them one at a time.

    Here is my question. Is that the only way I can do this, or is there a way to just type the group name in the TO: line to send everyone in the group a message without having to select each individual every time?

  9. How do I send a group message but set it up where all replies only go to the sender and not to everyone in the group like you can do on android

    • That IS the way group SMS messages work. ONLY the sender sees the reply (unfortunately). I would like tyo have ALL members see ALL replies, but that is not how it works for me.

      • I don’t want members of the group to see the others replies. But if I try to send a group text to people who are all on iphones it wont send unless I have imessage turned on. In which case everyone can see the replies. How can I change this?

  10. How can I set up a group of contacts for texting WITHOUT sending a ‘text’ at this time. I only want to have the contacts there when it becomes necessary.


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