Is your Messages app full of photos shared by friends and family. Unlike Whatsapp, Messages doesn’t automatically add them to your photo library. This can be frustrating especially if you might want to look at a significant number of these images again. It’s rather a shame to leave them locked away in the Messages app on your iPhone, never to see the light of day again.

We are here to show you some simple ways to save them into your Photos library – and the best way to get have them automatically added.

How to save a photo or video from iMessage

Here’s what to do if someone has sent you a photo or video that you’d like to add to your Photos library on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone and find the conversation that contains the images or videos you want to save.
  2. Tap on the conversation to open it, then scroll until you find the relevant image.
  3. Press and hold on the image until you see a pop up of options including Copy and Save. Tap on Save.

save photo from messages

save photo from messages

This will add the image to your Photo Library – it will be the last image added.

Alternatively tap to open the image and tap the share icon in the bottom left. You will then be able to choose to Save Image.

How to save an older Messages images

If they sent the image a while ago you won’t want to scroll back through weeks or months (or more) of messages. In that case: 

  1. If the image wasn’t recently sent you will be able to locate it more quickly if you tap on the senders name at the top. This should reveal the i symbol (info). How to see info on Messages
  2. Tap on i and you will see all the images and videos sent in that message thread.
  3. This will reveal the last four videos and photos that were sent. If you want to see more tap on See All Photos.
  4. There are two tabs, Photos and Screenshots. Videos are included in Photos. This will be all the photos they have sent to you, but also the photos and videos that you sent them. If you only want to save one photo tap on it.
  5. Now tap on the share icon in the bottom left corner.
  6. Finally tap on Save Image.

Tap on Save Image

Tap on Save Image

This will add that image to your Photo library.

How to save more than one image or video to Photos?

It’s quite likely that you have someone you frequently share images with. If you want to save a lot of these to your Camera Roll there is an easy way.

  1. As above tap on the i.
  2. To reveal all the images tap on See All Photos.
  3. Tap on Select in the top right.
  4. Now each photo will gain a selector circle. Tap on each photo you want to select it.
  5. Once you have all the images selected tap on Save in the bottom left corner.

Save lots of photos from iMessages

Save lots of photos from iMessages

Now, when you open the Photos app you should see that the image or images have been added to your collection.

There you go! A few simple steps to add photos from text messages into your collection.

But what if you want them to go straight to the Photos app?

How to share photos so they go straight to the Photos app

Apple for some reason doesn’t seem to want to let us have photos sent via iMessage automatically appear in the Photos app. This might be because photos take up a lot of space and duplicating them in this way could be wasteful.

Luckily there are some other ways to share photos so that they will appear in the Photos app.

AirDrop

If you are with the person who has the photos you want in your photo library ask them to AirDrop them to you. That way they will automatically appear in the Photos app.

It’s easy to AirDrop: 

You will both need to have AirDrop turned on (it’s on by default so it most likely is on). You will also need to make sure that AirDrop is set to receive from Contacts Only or Everyone. To check that AirDrop is on open Control Panel, press in the middle of the four icons that include Airplane Mode and Wi-FI. This will open a pane with AirDrop included.

Open Photos on the sending device. If they are just sending one photo, locate and tap it, then tap the share icon.

If you want to send more than one, hit Select, tick multiple photos, then hit the sharing icon.

You’ll now see the photo(s) to send at the top of the screen, and various sharing options below. Tap the icon for the receiving device in the AirDrop section and, hey presto, the photo(s) will be sent.

Share images via AirDrop

Share images via AirDrop

Read about more about how to use AirDrop here and here’s more advice about transferring photos to an iPad or iPhone.

Whatsapp

If the person with the photos isn’t with you then the best way to get the photos added straight to your Photo library is to use the app Whatsapp.

You’ll both need to install Whatsapp on your devices (luckily the app works on iPhones, Android, and so on). You will also need to register your numbers.

Now you can send photos to each other and the images will go straight to your photo library.