These secret iPhone codes unlock cool effects in iMessage



You can add colorful animations to your iPhone texts using secret codes that few people know about.

All you need to do is send someone a special trigger word over iMessage to activate each effect – including a laser light show.

The feature has been available on iPhone for some time but was explained in a recent TikTok video posted by user @unespc.

Alongside the laser effect, you can also make balloons float up from the bottom of your mate’s screen on their birthday.

When January rolls around, fireworks will burst across the message if you wish someone “happy new year”.

We’ve put together a list of the best effects below.

How to send an iMessage screen effect

To send a fun animation to someone, simply type one of the codewords below into iMessage.

The recipient must have an iPhone for the effect to show.

If you’d rather not use a codeword, you can always hold down on the blue send button after typing out a message.

This will present you with a list of effects you can add to any message of your choosing. Tap Screen at the top of your display to get a preview of each one.

iMessage screen effect codewords

  • ‘Pew pew’ – laser light show
  • ‘Happy birthday’ – balloons
  • ‘Congratulations’ – confetti
  • ‘Happy New Year’ – fireworks
  • ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ – red explosion
  • ‘Selamat’ – confetti

Other iMessage screen effects

After you’ve typed out a message, you can tap and hold the blue send button to attach any of the following.

  • Eco – Fills the screen with message bubbles
  • Spotlight – Puts a spotlight on your message
  • Balloons – Balloons rise up from the bottom of your screen
  • Confetti – Confetti rains down
  • Love – Large heart bulges from your message
  • Lasers – Laser light show
  • Fireworks – Fireworks explode on your screen
  • Shooting star –  A shooting star fires across the screen
  • Celebration – A red firework show appears


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