How to Save GIFs on iPhone

You can easily save and play GIFs on your computer. But have you ever wondered how you can save GIFs on your iPhone? If you have tried to do that before, then you already know that it’s not as simple as downloading and opening. You can still save them like how you save normal photos, but when you open these images in the Camera Roll, they just show up as static screenshots, right?

Whether you have experienced this before or not, if you want to download and be able to view animated GIFs on your iPhone, just keep reading. I’m sure that this article is the only thing you’ll ever need.

I’m just a GIF enthusiast. I love to use them on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and iMessage. It’s just much more fun than using boring default emojis! And in this post, I will be showing you all the possible methods I use to save these special images.

This is where the FUN begins


[alert-announce]iOS 11 beta has been announced and happily, Apple now makes the Photos app more awesome by supporting GIF files. Yes, on iOS 11 your saved GIFs won’t be turned into a typical still image, instead, it continues to remain in its original form. No jailbreak tweaks, no third-party apps, it’s much more fun!


If you’ve already upgraded to iOS 11 beta, just open the Photos app, tap “Albums”, and you will see an album entitled “Animated”. This is the album for your GIFs. From there, you’re able to view them as original animated images. iOS 11 also lets you attach these GIFs and even save what your friends send you in iMessage conversations.[/alert-announce]

1. How to save GIFs on iPhone using the Messages app

Use the Messages app to play GIFs? I know it may sound a bit strange. But you know, the stock Photos app does not support moving images. Although it allows you to save GIFs and displays them in the Camera Roll, they will be static and won’t move.

Luckily, it’s just a matter with the Photos app. The GIFs you have saved still are the original moving images. Now the question is: How we can view these animated GIFs? or more specifically, What apps can help us play them?

This is where the Messages app comes into play. Remember you can easily send GIFs to your friends via both iMessages and text messages? Well, that means the Messages app can keep GIFs in motionand we’re going to take advantage of it! Here are the detailed instructions:

Step 1: Find the GIFs that you want to save. You can find any GIF on Google Images, Tumblr, Twitter or

Step 2: Tap and hold the image for a moment to reveal the quick menu. Select “Save Image”. The GIF file will be saved in the Photos app.

How to Save GIFs on iPhone

Step 3: Open the Messages app on your iPhone/iPad, then create a new conversation by tapping on the button in the top right corner. Don’t worry. You don’t have to send any messages.

Step 4: You have to enter a recipient to be able to attach GIFs in the conversation. Just type a random phone number into the field. It’s ok but make sure that the phone number is not real if you don’t want to send the GIF to someone accidentally.

How to save GIFs on iPhone using Messages app

Step 5: Tap the Camera button on the left of the message box. Choose your GIF in Camera Roll and tap the Send button.

Step 6: Now the GIF will display as a bubble message. If your recipient is not correct, it will notify you that the message is not delivered. But you can still view the GIF, right? That’s the purpose. Tap the bubble message containing the GIF to see it in full-screen mode.

How to save GIFs on iPhone using Messages app

Note: You can create Gifs on your own by following this guide on Lifehacker and my article: Top Best GIF make apps for iPhone.

That’s it. I just showed you how to play GIFs on iPhone and iPad using the stock app only. If you are not comfortable with this solution, you can use third-party apps as well.

2. How to save GIFs on iPhone using third-party apps

You can download an app called GIFwrapped for free on the App Store. This app lets you find, download, play GIFs and even sync them with your Dropbox account. If you want to save GIFs from a web page, just save it as usual and use GIFwrapped to open it instead of using the Messages app.

All your downloaded GIFs stored in Camera Roll can be found in the Photos tab of the app. Just launch the app and you’re able to see them in motion instantly. It’s much more convenient than sending a message each time you want to view a GIF, right?

If you use the Search tool to search and download GIFs, GIFWrapped will keep all these files within the app, you can then send them via Messages, e-mail or save to the Camera Roll.

How to save GIFs on iPhone using GIFwrapped

Another app for viewing GIFs I think is worth checking out is GIFPlayer. In fact, this app has more features than GIFwrapped:

  • Saving GIFs to Camera Roll
  • Playing GIFs (you can pause, move backward, move forward like with video)
  • Converting GIFs to videos and saving to Camera Roll
  • Built-in browser with a list of free GIF Sites
  • 4-digit Passcode

How to save GIFs on iPhone using GIFplayer

Besides that, if you want to know about the drawbacks, then this app has really annoying ads coming along with the free version.

3. Use jailbreak tweaks

For those of you who have a jailbroken device, a jailbreak tweak like GIFViewer is the only thing you need. This tweak allows you to view saved animated GIFs right in the Camera Roll. After installing, it just starts working automatically and there is no preference panel in the Settings app, so nothing to configure. Just download a GIF, open the Photos app, tap on the GIF and you will see the magic.The tweak is available on Cydia for $0.99.

The tweak is available on Cydia for $0.99.

In some cases, if GIFViewer doesn’t work for you, you can try another tweak named EDBDGIFViewer9. This Cydia tweak is free and works flawlessly but it is only available with iOS 9. You can install EDBDGIFViewer9 by adding this Fierp source to Cydia (

I’ve accomplished the tutorial on how to save GIFs on iPhone and iPad. Hopefully, this tutorial will help you to find a good solution, that you have been waiting for. If you still face any problems or have some questions, feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

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