How To Add Someone to a Group Text on the iPhone

Group messaging (AKA group texting)  is a pretty awesome feature o iPhones and iPads running iOS 10 and iOS 11. Group messaging is an excellent feature that allows cell phone users to stay connected with multiple friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

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As your message evolves you may want to include more people. It’s important to mention that there is a difference between Group iMessage and Group Messages. In the Apple lingo: a Group iMessage is when everyone in the group is using an iPhone. This makes it possible to add/delete members from your text group.

Group messages are actually sent using the SMS functions of the cellular network because active users are using a mixture of iPhones and Android devices. If this is your predicament; you’ll have to create a new text thread with or without the contacts.

How to Begin a Group Message on iOS 10 or iOS 11

There are quite a few other apps on the market that support group texting but for this particular article, we’ll be focusing on the ubiquitous iMessages app that most iPhone and iPad users use every day.

One of the great things about Apple products is the ability to use the iMessage application on various devices. The options listed below apply to all Apple products such as; Mac, MacBook, iPhone, and iPad.

So, if you’re ready to invite people to your group chat, please follow these instructions:

  1. From your iPhone, locate the Messages app and tap to open it

  2. Back out of any conversation you may already be in by tapping the arrow key at the top-left. From the “Messages” screen tap on the ‘New Message’ icon located in the top-right corner (looks like a note pad with a pen).
  3. You can begin typing in the individual’s names you want to invite in the To: area. If the invitees are people already located in your address book, it should autocomplete as you type in their name or number. You can also tap the + icon in order to browse through your list of contacts.

    For those not in your address book, inside the To: field, type the phone number of the recipient. If you’re intending on adding individuals who are using an iPad, you can type in their Apple ID instead.
  4. Repeat the above steps until all intended recipients have been added into the To: field.

  5. Type out the message you want to send out. You’ll only need to type it in once.

  6. Finally, hit the Send button.

Now each member you added will receive that message. This allows all members of the text group to reply and see one another’s replies as well. Of course, recipients can opt-out of the group text at any time or you can remove them from the group yourself (see the TechJunkie article on removing someone from a group message).

If anyone in the group text isn’t an iPhone user, then they aren’t using the iMessage app. You’ll be able to tell who is and is not using the iPhone by the color of the Send button. If the Send is blue, they are an iPhone user. If it’s green, then the person is not an iPhone (or iOS in general) user and you’re instead receiving standard texts.

Keep in mind that not all emojis or animations will work for all individuals within the group. This is especially true for those with different versions of iOS or alternate operating systems in general. However, the text messages themselves should be fine.

Adding/Removing Group Chat Members

If you’re already actively engaged in a conversation with one or more people, or simply forgot to add someone originally, I can walk you through how to add them. What you do is:

  1. From your iPhone, locate the Messages app and tap to open it.

  2. Select the conversation you want to add an individual to and tap to open it.

  3. Tap on the Details icon (looks like I in a circle), which is located in the top right corner of the screen.

  4. Tap on Add Contact.
  5. Within the Add: field, type out the name of the person you’re adding (if they’re already located in your address book) or type of their full phone number.

    Again, for those using iPad, you can type in their Apple ID if it makes things easier.
  6. To finish it up, go ahead and tap Done.

If you’d prefer to remove a contact from the conversation follow the same steps listed above to access the details of the group. Once you’ve reached the contacts list you can swipe the contact name left which will bring up a red remove option. Tap on the option to Remove, and confirm the task when it pops up. MacBook and Mac users will see an option to “delete” rather than using the swipe method.

Leave The Group Message Conversation

Too much going on in a conversation that you no longer care to listen to? It’s actually quite simple to leave a group conversation so long as that group consists of three or more people. If a particular conversation has run its course, you can:

  1. Open up the Messages app and head to the conversation in which you wish to liberate yourself.

  2. Tap the Details icon(that i within a circle, located in the top right corner of the screen.)

  3. Quickly mash on the option to Leave this Conversation listed in bright red and located at the bottom of the page.

  4. Tap the confirmation option when it appears and you’ll no longer be notified of the activity.

Group messaging is an outstanding feature but some people do not enjoy constant updates and alerts on their phone. It’s a great feature, it just has to be used carefully to avoid overwhelming yourself and others with messages to groups.

Troubleshooting for Group iMessages

Some users have reported that they’re unable to add more than a certain number of contacts to their text messages on an iPhone. This may surprise you but certain carriers have created these limitations to protect users from spam messages.

If you need to network with large groups of people it’s best to choose another messaging application. Google Hangouts, Slack, and more are available in the App Store. Many of these third-party applications are more versatile and user-friendly for communicating across various platforms and operating systems.

If you’re having issues adding multiple members it may be due to carrier limitations. It may also be attributed to incorrect contacts.

If you’ve ever synced your contacts with your email you may have some with email addresses rather than phone numbers. This may work with iCloud accounts but not other emails. Check that the contact you’re trying to add is the right one.

Another issue you may have adding a contact to a group iMessage is trying to add someone with Screen Time limits. With the addition of Apple’s Screen Time comes users’ ability to shut down functions on their Apple devices including iMessage. If you’re having trouble adding a contact it’s a good idea to ask them if they have these limitations set.

3 thoughts on “How To Add Someone to a Group Text on the iPhone”

Avatar Pamela Nickson says:
I’m having this problem with my family planning group. Our younger generation leans more toward androids so I can’t add them to the group.
Avatar Joseph says:
It’s actually a flaw in the programming. When you add several contacts to a group chat, the list begins to truncate and for some reason, the “add contact” option disappears. It seems to happen more often when adding a non-apple user to the group chat. Where you should have an “add contact” you’ll find a “show more (#)”. This has been an issue since at least early 2017 and Apple has yet to correct it. The only known alternative is to download a better group chat app.
Avatar Millie says:
I am trying to add a person to a group text chat. There is no ‘add contact’ button from the details i button. There are 7 people now. Is there a limit?
Avatar Glenn Purnell says:
I agree. I’m an iPhone user using ios 12 and I don’t have that option to add or delete someone from the group. Can anyone help?
Avatar Hank E Panky says:
Unfortunately Apple has yet to find a way or include a way to add people that are not iPhone users themselves. So if you start a group text and one person in that group isn’t an iMessager than you cannot add or delete anyone to that group, you can also not add a non-iMessager to a group chat

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