How Many People Can Be in a Group Text on an iPhone or iPad?

We know that group messages on your iPhone or iPad are a great way to communicate with several people at one time; but one question remains, how many people can join an iMessage on an iPhone or iPad?

We've already gone over how to create a group text on iPhone, how to name a group text, and how to remove someone from a group text, but how many people can join an iMessage on an iPhone or iPad? We'll go over the difference between a group iMessage chat, SMS, and MMS before learning about iMessages group chat limits. These limits are set by your cell phone carrier, so we'll reveal the limits set by the top four carriers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. For other guides and tips to help you better understand the features of your iDevices, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Now, let's get started!

Related: How to Leave a Group Chat on iPhone

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What's a Group iMessage vs a Group MMS or Group SMS?

Group iMessage

iMessage settings screen for a group chat

So, what's the difference between a group iMessage, an MMS message, or a group SMS? The distinguishing feature of a group iMessage is that every member is using an Apple device. All your sent messages show up in blue bubbles, while the messages your receive are gray. Messages are end-to-end encrypted and don't use data if you're connected to a Wi-Fi network, which means people can message from a Mac or a Wi-Fi iPad. Everyone can see all the responses from every group member; share their location; and send pictures, videos, and audio messages that can include features like animations, sketches, and more. The person who starts the group iMessage can name the group message and add or remove group members, and group members can mute notifications or leave the group if it has four or more members. 

Make sure to turn on iMessages on your iPhone to use this feature.

Group MMS

If not everyone in your group chat has an iPhone, your group text will be in MMS, or multimedia messaging service, format. This type of group chat goes through cell service rather than Wi-Fi, and sent messages show up in green text bubbles. Group members can still send and receive pictures, see all responses from everyone in the group, and mute notifications. You can't leave this type of chat.

Group SMS

SMS stands for short message service, sends in green text bubbles, and also uses cellular service. You can't send photos or videos via this method. Still, one benefit is that the group message is sent as individual messages to group members, so each group member isn't notified about every reply. 

What Is the Group Message Limit for Different Cell Services?

Different people have given me varying feedback on this question, and the answer seems to depend on which cell phone service provider you use. I get my phone coverage through US Cellular, and can't add more than 32 members to a group iMessages chat. Once I reach that limit, the plus sign at the upper-right corner of the screen turns from blue to gray, and I can't add any more contacts. As a side note, you probably shouldn't be adding this many people to a group text, anyway. Check out our article on texting etiquette for more tips about polite texting. Now, let's learn about other major cell service providers. 

AT&T Group Message Limit

According to this article on the AT&T website, the company limits group texts to 10 members to "protect our customers from spam and/or malicious software". Some devices support up to 30 member group chats.

Verizon Group Text Limit

Verizon allows customers to make chat groups of up to 20 members at this time. 

T-Mobile Group Chat Options

T-Mobile offers customers two options, a 20-person limit with its Advanced Messaging plan, or a 100-person limit with the Universal Profile 1.0 plan.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.