Skip to Content
How to send GIFs from your phone
© Antonio Guillem |
Tech tips

Tech tip: How to send GIFs without downloading any extra apps

Messaging has come a long way since the first text was sent. You no longer need to be witty or expressive with just your words. Your phone has built-in features to help you show your meaning and mood. Tap or click here for ways to create your own emoji.

You can send a number of emojis to show different moods or ideas and make your text message more appealing. Both Android and iOS have several stickers, some that even resemble you.

But what about GIFS? There is no funnier way to express a response than with the fun-filled animated world of GIFS. Do you struggle to find GIFS to send? It’s easy to send GIFS from your phone (hint: they’re built right in. We’ll show you how to use them.)

What’s a GIF?

GIFs are animated stickers that usually represent an emotion or reaction. They can be cartoons or real-life clips from television or movies. With some apps, like Reface, you can even make your own GIFs.

RELATED: Best site for easily turning videos into GIFs

GIFs have become standard across almost all messaging apps in recent years, a universal and fun way to react to messages and get your point across. From Slack to WhatsApp to Google Messages, you can easily use a GIF to spice up your conversation. Here’s how to find and use them on Android and iOS.


If you belong to the iPhone nation, you can send GIFs through messages on your phone. There are lots of options built-in, which you can sort through by searching for key phrases in the GIF section of the Messages app.

There are quite a few buttons in the app, so you have to look carefully to find the right option:

  • Open the Messages app on your iPhone.
  • Enter the text box to bring up the keyboard and your messaging shortcuts panel.
  • Click on the red search icon below the text box to pull up GIFs.
  • Search to find the GIF you want or scroll down for common options.
  • Select the GIF you want and it will appear in the text box.
  • Add a comment or send it alone by hitting the Send button.

GIFs on Android

There are multiple ways to send GIFs through Android, with apps like WhatsApp and GIPHY, but the easiest way will always be through Google Messages. In addition to searching for keywords like you can on iOS, in Google Messages, you can also search by category, choosing from emotions, trending, or specific styles.

Sending a GIF in Google Messages is relatively similar to that in iOS:

  • Open Google Messages on your Android phone.
  • Open a message that you will send your GIF in.
  • Tap the face symbol inside the messaging box.
  • Select the GIF icon.
  • Search and find the GIF you want.
  • Select it.
  • Hit Send.

Other ways to have fun with messages

You can send GIFs in hundreds of other apps on your phone, like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, in the same way you send them on iOS and Android, and there are also some third-party apps, like GIPHY.

GIPHY is an app available on Android and IOS that gives you access to a library of thousands of GIFs you can send from your phone. Once you download the app, it will appear as an option in both the Messages and Google Messages apps. You’ll need to select it and search through the library like you would with the natively built-in GIFs.

You may also like: 15 new Alexa commands you’ll wish you knew about sooner

Tech smarts in 2 minutes a day

Get my Daily Tech Update and the Digital Life Hack. Just one minute each and arm you with the tech knowledge you need to impress your boss and friends with how smart you are.