GIFs not working properly in the Messages app is a common issue after updating to iOS 17. If your favorite GIFs have gone missing or aren’t animating anymore, there are a few steps you can take to get them back. In this guide, we’ll cover the top solutions for fixing non-working GIFs in iMessage on devices running iOS 17.
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Check If the GIF Keyboard is Enabled
The first thing to check is whether the GIF keyboard is still enabled within your Messages settings after updating. Here’s how:
- Open Settings
- Tap on “Messages”
- Scroll down and tap on “iMessage Apps”
- Check if the GIF Keyboard app is still enabled
<table> <tr> <td>GIF Keyboard</td> <td>On/Off switch</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Apple Pay Cash</td> <td>On/Off switch</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Animoji Stickers</td> <td>On/Off switch</td> </tr> </table>
If the GIF Keyboard app is disabled, tap on the toggle switch next to it to re-enable it. This should restore your ability to find and send GIFs normally in the Messages app.
If the GIF keyboard is already enabled, or if turning it off and back on again doesn’t fix the issue, move on to the next solutions.
Rearrange the GIF Keyboard
Another setting that can sometimes get changed after an iOS update is your keyboard order. Here’s how to check if the GIF keyboard needs to be rearranged:
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Edit
- Find GIF Keyboard in the list
- Tap and drag GIF Keyboard to move it to the top of the list
- Tap Done
Putting GIF Keyboard first in your keyboards list ensures it will be readily available when you go to switch keyboards inside the Messages app.
Use Apple’s #Images iMessage App Instead
If you still can’t get GIFs working normally, a workaround is to use Apple’s built-in #Images app within iMessage instead.
To find it:
- Open a conversation in Messages
- Tap the App Store icon (4 dots)
- Tap the “+” and select “#Images”
- Search for a GIF or pick one from the categories
While not as full-featured as the GIF keyboard, the #Images app does give you access to Trending and Recently Used GIFs, letting you still send animated images without third-party keyboards.
Remove and Re-Add the GIF Keyboard
An issue with the GIF keyboard app itself may be the culprit behind non-working GIFs. In that case, removing the keyboard entirely and then re-adding it can often resolve problems.
Here is what to do:
- Open Messages and swipe left on the bottom app bar to show the full list
- Tap Edit > the minus icon next to GIF Keyboard > Remove from Favorites
- Tap the green toggle switch to turn GIF Keyboard to the Off position
- Tap the toggle again to re-enable GIF Keyboard
Toggle the keyboard off and back on essentially refreshes the app and clears any corrupted data that may be causing issues. Nine times out of ten, this will have GIFs working again on iOS 17.
Check Internet Connectivity
While it might seem obvious, verifying that you have a solid internet connection is never a bad idea if you experience problems after an update.
- Open Settings
- Tap Wi-Fi and confirm you are connected to a network
- Run a quick internet search in Safari to confirm connectivity
- Toggle Airplane mode on, wait 15 seconds, then toggle it back off
Connecting to a different Wi-Fi network than you normally use or briefly enabling Airplane mode can kickstart the connection and get things working properly again.
Force Quit Messages
Sometimes clearing app data and processes that are stuck in the background is all it takes to fix strange issues like GIFs not working properly after an update.
To force quit Messages:
- Double-click the Home button to show open apps
- Locate Messages and swipe up on it to close
- Re-open Messages
After force quitting an app, its cache and background processes are cleared out. So upon re-launching Messages, the GIF functionality has a chance to start fresh.
Update to the Latest iOS Version
Apple is continually tweaking and refining iOS to fix bugs, so always make sure you’ve installed the very latest iOS 17 update:
- Go to Settings > General > Software Update
- Download and install any available updates
Sometimes subsequent smaller updates will actually resolve issues that occurred right after a major iOS release. So after updating to iOS 17 originally, newer 17.x versions could contain critical fixes.
Restore From a Backup
If all else fails in getting GIFs working normally again, a last resort can be fully restoring your device from an iCloud or iTunes backup taken before updating to iOS 17 originally.
- This will wipe your device and revert settings back to their earlier state
- Make sure you have a current backup before proceeding
- Connect to a computer to initiate and complete the full restore process
While drastic, wiping your device and reverting to a pre-update backup should get GIFs functioning again in Messages after updating to iOS 17.
Contact Apple Support
If you still can’t get GIFs working properly after trying all troubleshooting steps, your only remaining option may be to contact Apple support directly:
- Visit https://support.apple.com
- Select iOS > Messages from the menus
- Click “Contact Apple Support” and select Request Support
- Choose iPhone > Messages as the product
- Complete the on-screen steps to set up a support case
Apple support can investigation further into iOS issues and has additional tools at their disposal for troubleshooting problems like GIFs failing in Messages.
Getting in touch with them directly after exhausting self-help steps is a good way to finally get GIFs working again after updating to iOS 17.
While GIFs suddenly stopping working in the Messages app after an iOS update is irritating, hopefully the solutions covered here get them functioning for you again. Taking the time to check keyboard settings, app permissions, connectivity status, and perform forced restarts can all help restore missing GIF functionality. And should problems persist, consulting with Apple support can get to the bottom of even the most stubborn issues that occur after installing major iOS releases like iOS 17.