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How To Fix iMessage Effects Not Working [9 Solutions]

Jul 12, 2024 • Filed to: Mobile Repair Solutions • Proven solutions


iMessage effects have become an integral part of the messaging experience for many iPhone users. These playful and engaging animations add a touch of personality to conversations, making them more fun and expressive. These effects range from playful screen effects like confetti and lasers to more immersive bubble effects like echoing and slamming.

However, there have been instances where iMessage effects stop working, leaving users wondering why these visual enhancements aren't appearing. Whether you cannot see the iMessage effects or can't send or receive them from others, this guide will tackle the common causes and solutions to address not working iMessage effects for iPhone users.

imessage 3d icon

Part 1: Identifying iMessage Effects Problems

Using iMessage is not only about sending and receiving text messages; it's also a platform for expressing yourself through various engaging effects. However, like any software feature, iMessage effects can sometimes encounter glitches or malfunctions.

Types of iMessage Effects

iMessage effects encompass a breadth of visual enhancements that transform ordinary messages into captivating experiences. Familiarize yourself with the four main types of these effects:

  • Bubble Effects

Bubble effects apply to the individual message bubbles in a conversation. These effects can change the appearance of the bubbles, such as making them larger, smaller, or animated.

imessage send with effect

  • Screen Effects

These effects take over the entire screen, creating an immersive experience. For instance, sending a "Happy New Year" message might trigger a celebratory fireworks animation.

  • Animated Memoji

These are animated versions of your personalized Memoji characters, which can mimic your facial expressions and movements to convey emotions or reactions.

  • Digital Touch Effects

These effects allow you to send interactive messages, such as drawing on the screen or sending a gentle tap to the recipient's device.

Common iMessage Effect Problems

When iMessage effects malfunction, it can manifest in various ways. Common iMessage issues include:

  • Effects Not Showing

Have you typed phrases like "congratulations" or "happy birthday" expecting to see confetti or balloons shower the screen, only to be met with a plain text message like "sent with balloons"? This indicates that the effects aren't appearing at all.

missing imessage effect

  • Can't Send or Receive iMessage Effects

Sometimes, users can send iMessage effects successfully, but the recipient might not receive or see the effects. In contrast, others can receive iMessage effects but cannot send iMessage. This could be due to device compatibility, iOS versions, or network connectivity differences.

  • Display Glitches

You might see animations like still images or lagging, or the full-screen effects might not fill the entire screen. Causes include device compatibility issues or overloaded device performance.

To effectively troubleshoot an iMessage effect not working, it's essential to identify the exact nature of the problem. Are bubble effects not displaying the chosen style after updating the iOS version? Can't send or receive full-screen effects on iPhone? Or do you only receive text descriptions of the iMessage effects? Knowing the cause will help narrow down the troubleshooting steps and identify the most appropriate solution.

Part 2: 9 Solutions To Fix iMessage Effect Not Working Issues

You're not alone if you've encountered issues of iMessage effects not working. It is a common problem many iPhone users have faced, including those on iOS 17. Before trying more solutions, check your device settings to ensure iMessage effects are enabled. It might seem like a simple step, but you'd be surprised how often this simple oversight can be the culprit.

turn on auto-play message effects

Once you've confirmed that iMessage effects are enabled, let's explore some common causes why iMessage effects are not working and how to fix them:

Solution No. 1: Close and Relaunch iMessage

One reason iMessage screen effects are not working as they should be a bug with the iMessage app. To fix this, close the app by swiping up on it in the app switcher and relaunching it. It often refreshes the app's connections and resolves minor glitches.

close imessage app

Solution No. 2: Restart Your iPhone

You can't view the iMessage effects sent to you. Instead, you only see a text tag describing the effect. If that's what happens to you, restarting your iPhone can often resolve minor software bugs causing iMessage bubble effects not to work on your device. If you own an iPhone X or later, follow these steps to restart your iPhone:

  • Step 1: Press and hold the Side button and either the Volume Up or Volume Down button until the power off slider appears.
  • Step 2: Drag the slider to turn off your iOS device, wait for a few seconds, then turn your iPhone back on.
  • restart iphone device

    Once your iPhone has restarted, try sending or receiving an iMessage with an effect. If the iMessage bubble effects are still not working, keep reading for other fixes.

    Solution No. 3: Software Updates

    Are you having trouble sending or receiving iMessage effects? In most cases, iMessage screen effects are not working because of outdated iOS software. When your device's software is not updated, it may encounter compatibility issues with certain features, including iMessage effects. Another solution to this issue is to update your iOS software to the latest version.

    On your iPhone Settings app, go to General > Software Update, and if an update is available, download and install it.

    download and install ios update

    Solution No. 4: Downgrade iOS Version

    Have you recently updated your iPhone to iOS 17 and noticed the iMessage effects are not working? While software updates are recommended, there may be instances where a recent update has introduced compatibility issues with iMessage effects. If iMessage effects are not working on iOS 17, consider downgrading to a previous stable iOS version.

    While Apple doesn't officially support downgrading, tools like Wondershare Dr.Fone can help you achieve this without jailbreaking your iPhone. Here's a step-by-step guide on using Dr.Fone System Repair to downgrade your iOS version:

  • Step 1: Download and launch the app on your computer, then connect your iPhone.
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  • Step 2: Select System Repair from the main menu on the Toolbox page.
  • dr.fone toolbox homepage

  • Step 3: Choose iPhone, then select iOS Upgrade/Downgrade from the set of system repair solutions.
  • dr.fone ios upgrade/downgrade tool

  • Step 4: Choose Downgrade iOS and click Continue.
  • dr.fone downgrade ios feature

  • Step 5: Dr.Fone will detect your iPhone's current iOS version and present you with a list of compatible previous versions. Select your preferred iOS version in the list and click Download.
  • download compatible firmware version

  • Step 6: Once the download is complete, click Repair Now to initiate the downgrading process.
  • dr.fone system repair ready

  • Step 7: Once completed, your iPhone will restart, running the selected iOS version.
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    Solution 5: Turn Off Reduce Motion Settings

    The Reduce Motion feature on iPhone is an accessibility feature that can help reduce or stop motion effects on the screen. So, if you've turned it on before, it can interfere with iMessage effects, such as full-screen and bubble effects. If you're experiencing not working iMessage bubble effects or showing, turn off the Reduce Motion feature.

    To turn it off, go to Settings > Accessibility > Motion, then turn off the Reduce Motion feature.

    turn off reduce motion

    Solution 6: Check Individual Effects

    Sometimes, a specific iMessage effect is not working, while others function normally. To test individual effects, send different iMessage effects to a friend or family member and see if they display correctly.

    Solution 7: Sign Out and Sign Back Into iMessage

    Signing out of iMessage and signing back in can sometimes refresh the connection and resolve the issue of iMessage screen effects not working.

  • Step 1: Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive on your iPhone and tap your Apple ID.
  • imessage settings

  • Step 2: Choose Sign Out and then sign back in.
  • sign out imessage account

    Solution 8: Ensure Stable Network Connectivity

    iMessage effects rely on a stable internet connection to function properly. Check your Wi-Fi or cellular connection and ensure you have a strong signal. If the problem persists, try to connect to a different Wi-Fi network or switch to cellular data.

    Solution 9: Turn Off 3D & Haptic Touch

    iPhone has settings that allow you to adjust how your screen responds to your touch-and-hold gestures. It can also cause iMessage effects not working on iOS 17 problems. Disabling it can potentially resolve the issue.

  • Step 1: Open the Settings app, then go to Accessibility> Touch > Haptic Touch or 3D & Haptic Touch.
  • Step 2: If you see 3D Touch, turn it off. Otherwise, select Slow if you see Haptic Touch.
  • turn off 3d and haptic touch


    Encountering iMessage effects not working issues, like not being able to send or receive effects or only seeing text descriptions, can be frustrating. While basic troubleshooting steps, like restarting the iPhone, turning off Reduce Motion, and 3D & Haptic Touch, can often resolve these issues, more complex problems may require advanced solutions or technical support.

    For a comprehensive solution, including downgrading the iOS version, consider using Dr.Fone System Repair or consulting Apple's official support.

    Daisy Raines

    staff Editor

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