How to Send Messages with Effects on iPhone (2023)

Did you know that there are some secret code words that trigger text effects in iMessage?

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

You may have heard of Message Effects, the fun animations you can add to any text sent through the Messages app by pressing and holding the blue send button. But do you know the secret code words you can type to automatically trigger iPhone text effects? Not only is this a fun way to impress your friends, iMessage tricks are a super convenient way to make your messages a bit more snazzy with basically zero effort. 

Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Quickly send cute or fun message effects for someone's birthday or celebration by using a secret code word.
  • No need to go looking through all the animations built into iMessage. Using the code words is a massive shortcut!

Related: 7 Fixes for When Camera Is Not Working on iPhone (2023)

How to Send iPhone Text Effects in iMessage

You may have accidentally stumbled upon the hidden code words that trigger iMessage tricks, but I will provide you with the full list of code words to use the next time you want to send a pretty animation. If you like tips about how to use your iPhone, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day! Here are all the words that trigger effects on iPhone.

  1. On your iPhone, open the Messages app.

    On your iPhone, open the Messages app.
  2. Choose any one of the code words below and send your message. You will see the effect produced immediately. Now, I will reveal the secret code words and their effects:
  3. ‘Pew pew’ – laser light show

    ‘Pew pew’ – laser light show
  4. ‘Happy birthday’ – balloons

    ‘Happy birthday’ – balloons
  5. ‘Congratulations’ – confetti

    ‘Happy birthday’ – balloons
  6. ‘Happy New Year’ – fireworks

    ‘Happy New Year’ – fireworks
  7. ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ – red explosion

    ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ – red explosion
  8. ‘Selamat’ – confetti

    ‘Selamat’ – confetti

And that's all there is to it! Hopefully, you can have some fun with friends with this hidden tip!

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Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life, a published poet, and a longtime Apple enthusiast. Before graduating in the spring of 2021 with her Master’s degree in Literature, specializing in early 20th-century American and British Modernism, she was a college writing tutor and University English professor. Her latest piece, "Temporizing: Self Portrait" can be found in the Winter '21 edition of New Note Poetry. Although an enthusiastic traveler, you can most often find Rachel curled up under a blanket with a glass of red wine, reading a book with her cat Blue in Charlotte, North Carolina.