How to Use Stickers for Text Messages on iPhone & iPad

Text message stickers for iOS devices are a great way to add an extra personalized touch to your iMessages. If you have an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 or later, then you have access to the plethora of texting stickers that are available in the Messages App Store.

Related: How to Get the Same Stickers That Your Friend Just Sent You in Messages

To get yourself some text message stickers, you'll have to download them from the iPhone's Messages App Store. Within the Messages App Store you'll find a wide selection of texting stickers that include stickers for text messages in a variety of themes and from numerous brands. Text stickers can be stuck to images or text bubbles and even stuck to other text stickers themselves. You can also rotate, resizes and layer your text message stickers for fun, collage-like effects.

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To get started with iMessage stickers for text:

  • Open or begin a conversation in the iPhone Messages app.

  • Tap drop-down arrow next to your conversation window.

  • Tap the App Store icon next to your conversation window, then tap on the four dots at the bottom left corner of your screen. This will open your app drawer, which houses any installed apps, and provides access to the Messages App Store.

  • Tap the "+" icon to go to the Messages App Store if you want to buy new text stickers.

  • You can purchase and install stickers for text messages under the Featured tab, browse all text sticker options under the Categories and manage the texting stickers you've already installed under the Manage tab. 
  • Installation is done by toggling the switch next to the text sticker name to the on (green) position, while deactivating a text sticker is done by tapping the toggle off.
  • When finished selecting the stickers that you'd like to be able to access in Messages, click Done in the upper right corner. Your new text sticker pack is now available when you tap the App Store icon in Messages and open up your app drawer.
  • When composing a message you can access your stickers for text messages by tapping the drop-down arrow next to your message window, then tapping the App Store icon. From there you can either swipe to the left or right and view all of your text stickers (and other Messages apps) or by tapping the four dots icon in the lower left corner of your device screen. Your stickers will be displayed in place of your keyboard, where you'd also find your emojis.

  • To send your sticker you can simply tap the texting sticker and then tap the blue up arrow to the right of your Messages window, sending it out as you would any other text.

Advanced functions of Text Message Stickers

  • You can add multiple layers of your text message stickers to text bubbles by tapping and holding the sticker, then dragging it to wherever you want it over pre-existing text bubbles, photos, or text stickers. And in identical fashion to how you would use a two-finger control gesture to twist and pinch to resize or rotate, you can hold a text sticker and reposition and resize it, which comes in particularly handy when placing a sticker over a photo. Just be sure not to let go of the text sticker until you have it where you want it, because once you let it go, it sends instantly and can't be repositioned!

  • If you want to add text stickers to a photo or message, or another text sticker, it's important to note that stickers have to be added to messages after a message has been sent or received. It is not possible to add layers of text message stickers to photos, text, or other stickers while composing a message.

  • Once sent, it's possible to view details on the text stickers via a long press on the layered sticker itself. Doing this will present your message reactions, such as your thumbs-up or exclamation marks, as well as a Sticker Details tab. Tapping the Sticker Details button gives you the options of viewing the sticker in the Messages App Store, or deleting the layered text sticker(s) from over the text bubble or photo, via a left-swipe gesture.


One last thing to keep in mind

Texting stickers only work when sending iMessages to or from iOS devices running iOS 10 or newer software versions and the appearance and exact steps will change with iOS 11. (Not sure you have iMessages enable on your iPhone? Find out how.) Stickers for texting on iPhone or iPad will not show up accurately on older iOS versions, or for anyone receiving the text message on a different phone platform, such as Android or Windows smartphones.

Top image credit: Ellica /

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Author Details

Dig Om's picture

Author Details

Dig Om

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech