How To Create and Manage Group Messages on your iPhone or iPad

Group messages let you communicate with a group of people (3 or more people) at once. This can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family members. With group messaging, group members can send and receive text messages, videos and photos.
See also: Messages Showing Numbers, Not Contact Names? Fix
This article explains (a) how you can create group messages, (b) how you can name your group and (c) how you can add or remove users participants.
iMessage Groups vs MMS Groups
But first let us explain the differences between Group iMessage and Group MMS:
If all members of your group consist of participants using Apple devices (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch), group messages will be sent as iMessages. If you have at least one participant using other type of mobile devices (e.g, Android phones), then group messages will be sent as MMS (or SMS) messages. Here are the some differences between them:

Group MMS messages appear in green bubbles while group iMessages appear in blue bubbles.
You cannot name MMS groups while you can name iMessage groups.
You cannot add or remove participants from MMS groups while you can do so iMessage groups.

See also: Crescent Moon Icon in Messages: What Does It Mean?
How to Create Group Messages

Open the Messages app on you iOS device
Start a new message by tapping the new message icon.
In the To: field, enter the name of the contacts (your group members). You can tap the plus sign to add contacts.
In the Text Message field, type your message
Then tap the arrow send icon. 

How to Add and Remove Group Participants
As stated above, you cannot add or remove participants from MMS groups. This means that if you do not see the “Add Contact” or “Remove” options, it is because of this. If your group is a iMessage group, anyone in the group can add or remove participants. There is no admin or any type of super user. Here is how:
Adding participants
To add participants:

Tap the Group messages to open the conversation
Tap the top of the messages showing the group members or name (if you named it already)
Tap the (i) info icon
And then tap Add Contact
And then type a new member in the Add: field

Removing Participants

Tap again group messages and then info (i) icon
Find the member that you want to remove and swipe left, note that you need to have at least three members.
Tap red Remove

How to Name Groups
You can name your group. You can especially want to do this if you have multiple iMessage groups. Again, as note above, MMS groups cannot be named. Here is how:

Open the group messages
Tap the (i) info icon
Enter your group name in the Name field

How to exit a group
You do not want to participate in your group and you want to exit? Doing so will prevent you from receiving and sending messages and other stuff like photos etc from or participating in the group messages.
Note you cannot exit MMS messages.
Here is how:

Again open the group messages and tap the (i) icon
Scroll down
and tap the red “Leave this Conversation” icon.

See also: Text Messages Are Disappearing? Fix
Please note that if this is a very active group, you may want to turn off notifications, if you are getting too many new message alerts.
The post How To Create and Manage Group Messages on your iPhone or iPad appeared first on macReports.

Messages Showing Numbers, Not Contact Names? Fix

Recently, I was having this problem: Every time when I receive a message , the message app was showing its phone number instead of its contact name even though I had saved the contact information of this particular person in my iPhone. For example, I had a friend named Selma and her number was (217) XXX XXXX. I saved her (this number) as Selma. However when Selma sent a message, it was showing her number, (217) XXX XXX and not her name, Selma, even she was listed.
I was able to fix this problem. This short article explains how I was able to fix this. If you are having this problem, this article will teach you how you can troubleshoot it.  Here is how:
Phone numbers instead of Contact names (iOS devices)
Please note that we explained this issue before when users were having a very similar problem with then-new iOS 9 update. Please read that article also. If you are still having issues, then please try the following tips:

It seems that iCloud Contacts may cause this. If this is the case, here is you can fix it:

On your iPhone or iPad tap Settings > Your Name > iCloud and then turn off Contacts (you will be asked what you would like to do with the previously synced iCloud contacts on your device. Select Delete) and wait a few seconds and turn it back on (when you are asked select Merge). 

Restart your device. You can restart your device by going to Settings > General > Shut Down and start again.
Force quit the messages app and open again. To close the app (if your device have a Home button), double press the Home button, and swipe up the Messages app. If your device does not have a Home button, e.g, iPhone X, swipe up from the home screen and then swipe up the Messages app. And then reopen the Messages app.
Go to Settings > Messages and turn off MMS Messaging (under the SMS/MMS section) and then turn back on.
Try to disabling Short Name. Please tap Settings > Contacts > Short Name and toggle it off. Please note that Short Name is turned on by default. Short Name lets you see your contacts’ first names (or last name or nick name depending on your settings) instead of the full name.
Check the contact number. Make sure it is in this format: + country code (area code) phone number (like: +1 217 721 0000) if it is not in this format, change it and fit in this format. This may be an issue especially if you have international contacts saved. You may want to do this because your iOS device may not recognize it. Here is how you can change a contact name and number:

Open Contacts
Tap the name of the contact that you would like to change its number
Tap the Edit button (upper right corner)
Tap the number field
Make your changes
and then finally tap Done (upper right corner)

See also:

iPhone Not Showing Recent and Missed Calls
Block No Caller ID

If none of the tips works for you, then you may want to contact Apple support. You can chat or meet with a Genius.
The post Messages Showing Numbers, Not Contact Names? Fix appeared first on macReports.

Stuck on Downloading Messages from iCloud, Fix

If you own more than one Apple devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Mac Pro etc), you can set up iCloud Message Syncing, aka, Messages in iCloud. What this means is that you can use iCloud to keep all of your messages updated and available across devices by using Messages in iCloud. This will even help you save space since attachments (e.g., photos), are stored in iCloud. This feature can be turned on by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and then turn on Messages.  On your Mac, you can turn this on by clicking Messages > Preferences > iMessage and then enable Messages in iCloud.
I turned this feature on last night for the first time. At first it looked like it is working perfectly. Then I realized that I could not find all of my messages on one of my devices; my iPhone. There was a loading bar that was saying “Downloading Messages from iCloud” (see the image below). And after more than 15 hours, it was still saying the same message. It was stuck. This article explains what I did to resolve this problem.

Messages in iCloud Stuck, Fix
Note that download messages may take several minutes. This is normal especially if you have many messages, devices. But it should not take several hours, definitely it is not going to take days. If you are having this problem too, please try the following tips to resolve:

It is possible that Apple’s servers are experiencing issues temporarily. Potential issues with Apple’s iCloud servers may lead to this issue. You can quickly and easily check to see if Apple services are down. Go to Apple’s system status website (https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/). Locate iCloud services to see if they are available or not.
Update your iOS devices to the latest version of the iOS software by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Update your Mac to the latest version of the macOS software. You can do that by opening the App Store on your Mac and then clicking Updates.
Make sure that on all of your devices you are signed with the same Apple ID.
Restart all of your devices.
Disable iCloud in Messages and enable again. Here is how:

iOS: Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Messages and toggle of Messages and wait a few seconds and enable again. Please note that when you are turning this off, a warning popup will say “Messages have not been fully downloaded” tap Disable and Download Messages.
macOS: Messages > Messages (from the menu items) > iMessage > and uncheck “Enable Messages in iCloud”.  And wait a few seconds and turn it on again.

On all of your devices, sign out of iCloud and wait a few seconds and sign back in. Here is how:

iOS: Settings > Your Name > Scroll Down and tap Sign Out. And then sign back in.
To log out of iCloud on your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.

See also: Text Messages are disappearing?
The post Stuck on Downloading Messages from iCloud, Fix appeared first on macReports.