How do I disable GIFs (#images) in the iPhone® text Messages app?

Sydney W.
Sydney W.
  • Updated

You must have iOS (iPhone® operating system) 12-16 to disable GIFs. You cannot disable GIFs on an iPhone® with iOS 17.

Covenant Eyes cannot monitor GIFs (short, looping videos) on iPhone®, so some people disable GIFs (also called #images) due to their adult humor and themes.

Part One: Turn off #images in Messages

  1. Open the Messages app and open a new text message.
    messages-Icon-iOS-7.png
  2. Tap the “A” App Store® icon to open the “Favorite Apps” bar.tap the A.png
  3. The “Favorite Apps” bar will appear. Swipe left across the bar until you locate the “More” option. (The icon is three gray dots.)
    fav apps bar.png
  4. On the next screen, tap the “Edit” option in the top left corner.
    tap the edit.png
  5. To remove #images from the Favorites bar, tap the red minus sign next to #images. After you tap the minus sign, tap “Remove from Favorites.”
    tap the images option.pngremove from favorites.png
  6. Under MORE APPS, #images will be visible. Turn the toggle switch off for #images to disable it. To remove the ability to use #images, read on to Part Two!more apps before.pngmore apps after.png

Part Two: Disable the Ability to Reinstall #images

Apple provides free device controls, called Screen Time, for iPhone® and iPad®. If you disable the “Installing Apps” feature in Screen Time, you can prevent the member from reinstalling #images. However, disabling "Installing Apps" will hide and disable the App Store® on the device.

  1. If you’re familiar with Screen Time settings, go to the Settings app > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes & App Store Purchases > Installing Apps > Don’t Allow.

  2. If you’re unfamiliar with Screen Time settings, read How do I set up Screen Time with iOS 15.1-16 on an iPhone®?

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