How to Fix Message Reactions Not Working for iMessage on iPhone

Don’t know how to fix Message Reactions not working for iMessage on iPhone?

Just as the water passes through a cycle and changes forms, so do the means for humans to express themselves. In current times, we’re back to thinking that symbols are a better tool to communicate, hence Apple introducing the feature of Message Reactions on iMessage.

They do add a bit of fun in chatting with our friends and family. We may get irritated if any hindrances cause them to stop working due to our strong reliance on their usage. This issue is commonly reported by iPhone users, and we’re here with just the right fixes.

So without further ado, let’s jump straight to ‘em!

1. Ensure Auto-Play Message Effects Are Enabled.

In case the Message Reactions were working perfectly fine before, but due to some unknown reason, you can no longer react to messages anymore. You might want to head over to your device’s settings. 

It’s possible that you may have accidentally or unconsciously disabled the Auto-Play Message Effects option. Since Message Reactions is part of the many Message Effects on your iPhone, it will not work if you disable the feature.

To start off with the simple methods, we recommend you ensure the feature is enabled in the first place. Here’s how:

  1. First, launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Then, look for Accessibility and tap on it.
  3. After that, select Motion.
  4. Then, switch on the toggle for Auto-Play Message Effects.
Auto-Play Message Effects

However, if the Auto-Play Message Effects option is not disabled. The reason could be something else that requires serious fixes, as explained below.

2. Force-Quit Messages App.

Most of the time, unknown and temporary bugs find their way into your device or target specific applications. If that’s the case, you can quickly eliminate them by force-quitting the affected program and restarting it. By doing so, the software is refreshed, and temporary data is removed, possibly eliminating the bug or glitch alongside.

Follow the steps below to do it:

  1. Swipe up from the middle of your iPhone’s Home screen to view the App Launcher.
  2. Then, swipe through the apps and locate the Messages app. 
Message Reactions Not Working for iMessage on iPhone
  1. Swipe it up to force-quit the app.
  2. Then, open the Messages app again from the Home screen and see if the issue persists.

If the Messages app continues to malfunction, the bug could be in the device rather than in a single application. For that, continue to the next method.

3. Restart Your Device.

iPhones are prone to many issues, which are mostly resolved by a simple restart of the device. The issue of Message Reactions not working for iMessage on iPhone could be fixed following the same method.

Restarting the device allows it to eliminate all temporary data and cache files, giving the device a fresh restart. It often removes any temporary bug or glitch in the software.

Here’s how to restart your iPhone:

  1. Press and hold the Side button until the slider appears on the screen.
restart iPhone
  1. Drag the slider across the screen to turn your iPhone off.
  2. Press and hold the Side button again until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

Launch the Messages app and check if you can react to messages.

4. Restart iMessage Service.

The iMessage service could be encountering a hindrance due to which the Message Reactions are not available to you. In this situation, simply restarting the service could eliminate the culprit and fix the issue.

Below are the steps you must follow:

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Then, locate Messages and tap on it.
  3. Switch off the toggle for iMessage to disable it.
Message Reactions Not Working for iMessage on iPhone

After a few seconds, re-enable the iMessage service by following the same steps.

5. Disable 3D Touch.

Apple introduced the 3D Touch technology with the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. It allows you to explore various other options depending on the intensity and duration of the touch. Since Message Reactions also uses 3D Touch. Some users were able to fix the issue by disabling the feature.

Here’s how you can do it as well:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your device.
  2. Next, scroll down and locate Accessibility, then tap on it.
  3. Then, select Touch.
  4. After that, tap on the 3D & Haptic Touch option.
3D & Haptic Touch
  1. Switch off the toggle for 3D Touch.
  2. After that, go to the Touch Duration section and choose Slow.
3D & Haptic Touch
  1. Once done, return to the Home screen and launch the Messages app to see if the issue is fixed.

In the later iPhone models, 3D Touch was renamed to Haptic Touch, which can be disabled by following the instructions below:

  1. First, open Settings.
  2. Then, select Accessibility.
  3. After that, tap the Touch option under the Physical and Motor section.
  4. Then, select Haptic Touch.
  5. Under the Touch Duration section, opt for Slow.
3D & Haptic Touch
  1. Go back to the Home screen and check if the problem is resolved.

Now go back to the Messages app and check if you’re one of the lucky ones who resolved their problem by following this method. 

6. Disable Reduce Motion.

iPhone uses motion effects to create a sense of depth to the Home Screen and several applications’ interfaces. This accounts for screen movements, motion effects, and even animation effects. Many users may notice too much screen movement and might prefer disabling it by activating the Reduce Motion feature.

However, it also reduces or disables certain screen effects and motion, like the Message Effects. Hence, try disabling Reduce Motion to see if that fixes the problem. Here’s how:

  1. Start by opening the Settings app.
  2. Then, look for Accessibility and tap on it.
  3. After that, select Motion.
  4. Switch off the toggle for Reduce Motion to disable it.
Reduce Motion

In case this method wasn’t effective, continue reading.

7. Re-Login to iMessage.

For many people, the Message Reactions became available upon logging out and back into their Apple ID. Since the Messages app is part of the many iCloud services, a glitch in the Apple ID could affect the iMessage features.

Here’s how to re-login to iMessage on iPhone:

  1. Launch Settings on your device.
  2. Then, look for Messages and tap on it.
  3. Go to Send & Receive.
  4. Tap on your Apple ID.
  5. Then, tap on Sign Out.
Message Reactions Not Working for iMessage on iPhone

After that, provide your credentials to sign in again and check if the issue is resolved.

8. Update Messages App.

Outdated applications bring along several issues, and the Message Reactions not working for iMessage on iPhone could be one of them. Since Messages is a stock app, the only way to update it is by updating your device’s iOS version. By doing so, you’re preventing your iPhone from encountering any other issues as well.

Here’s how to check for updates and install them on iPhone:

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. From there, select General.
  3. Then, tap on the Software Update option.
Update iOS
  1. If there is any pending, tap on Download and Install to update to the latest iOS version.

In an unfortunate case, if the issue still persists, move to the last fix explained below.

9. Reset All Settings.

If all the listed fixes were useless in resolving Message Reactions not working for iMessage on iPhone, then your last resort is to reset your device’s settings. You might have unconsciously tweaked the wrong settings in your iPhone, due to which you’re experiencing the stated problem. Resetting it will bring them back to their default state.

Use the instructions below to do it:

  1. First, open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Then, go to General.
  3. Tap on Reset.
  4. Next, select Reset All Settings.
Reset iPhone
  1. Tap on Reset All Settings again to confirm your action.

This ends our guide on how to fix Message Reactions not working for iMessage on iPhone. If you have any confusion, feel free to contact us via the comment section below. We’ll be happy to provide further assistance to our readers.

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Author

  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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