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How to send emoji reactions to iMessages on your iPhone

Published Nov 5th, 2023 3:56PM EST
iOS 17.2 iMessage sticker reaction
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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With iOS 17.2, Apple is adding some of iOS 17 delayed features. One is the ability to react with any emoji or sticker on iMessage. Apple teased this feature in a support document listing all iOS 17 features, and this one might be released later this year.

Since iOS 17.2 isn’t out yet, only developers and public beta testers can try this feature. If you’re not enrolled in the program, here’s how to do that:

  • On your iPhone, open the Settings app
  • Tap on General and Software Update
  • Tap on Beta Updates and enable iOS 17 Developer Beta or iOS 17 Public Beta
  • Download iOS 17.2 beta build

Now that you have done that, here’s how to send emoji reactions to iMessage on your iPhone:

  • On an iMessage chat, tap and hold a message
  • Choose Add Sticker
  • You can choose any sticker from your iMessage library
  • Then, a little sticker will appear on the message
Image source: José Adorno for BGR

If you don’t plan to run iOS 17.2 at this moment, there’s a workaround that’s been available for ages:

  • Open the iMessage’s Menu
  • Select Stickers, then choose the one you want to send
  • You need to tap and hold, then drag and drop the sticker into a message

By doing that, you can have a similar – although not exact – way to react with a sticker. That said, your sticker might cover a part of the message, so this is not as good as actually using a tapback reaction.

iOS 17.2 is full of new features, including the long-awaited Journal app, more Apple Music tweaks, such as Collaborative Playlists, a revamp to the TV app, a new feature for the Action Button, and improvements to Memoji and Messages.

BGR will keep reporting the latest features for iPhone users, including how to benefit from them. Once iOS 17.2 is available to all users, we’ll update this story to reflect that.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.