macOS Big Sur Preview MessagesSource: Rene Ritchie

The Messages app got a redesign in macOS Big Sur and the communication tool now includes Memoji stickers, screen effects, apps, and more. If this sounds familiar, you're not mistaken. Each of these features was carried over from iOS and iPadOS. Here's how to use them in Messages for Mac.

Using Memoji stickers

To use Memoji stickers in Messages for Mac:

  1. Click on the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Choose an existing conversation or start a new one.
  3. Select the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box at the bottom.
  4. Choose Memoji stickers from the list of choices.

    To use Memoji stickers on Mac, click on the Messages app. Then choose an existing conversation or start a new one. Select the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box. Choose Memoji stickers from the list of choices.Source: iMore

  5. Select the Memoji sticker you wish to send.
  6. Type your message.
  7. Hit the Return key to send your message.

    To use Memoji stickers on Mac, select the Memoji sticker you wish to send, type your message, and click the return key to send your message.Source: iMore

Creating new Memoji stickers

If you want to create new Memoji stickers to use on Messages for Mac:

  1. Click on the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Choose an existing conversation or start a new one.
  3. Select the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box at the bottom.
  4. Choose Memoji stickers from the list of choices.

    To use Memoji stickers on Mac, click on the Messages app. Then choose an existing conversation or start a new one. Select the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box. Choose Memoji stickers from the list of choices.Source: iMore

  5. Click on the ••• at the top left of the box.
  6. Select New Memoji.
  7. Create your new Memoji, by adding skin, hairstyle, brows, eyes, head, nose, mouth, ears, facial hair, eyewear, and headwear.
  8. Click Done when you're ready to save the new Memoji.

    To create a new Memoji, click on the ... at the top left. Next, select New Memoji, then start creating your new masterpiece. Click Done was you're ready to save. Source: iMore

Once saved, macOS automatically creates a new Memoji sticker pack for that look that's ready to use.

Using Photos

To add images from your Photos library to an iMessage:

  1. Click on the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Choose an existing conversation or start a new one.
  3. Select the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box at the bottom.
  4. Choose Photos.

    To add photos, click on the Messages app, then choose an existing conversation. Next, select the App Store icon, then choose Photos.Source: iMore

  5. Use the search tool to find the image to use.
  6. Select the image to send.
  7. Type your message.
  8. Hit the Return key to send your message.

    To add photos, use the search tool to find an image to use. Select the image to send. Type your message, then click the return key to send the message.Source: iMore

Using animated GIFs

You can also add animated GIFs from the web to an iMessage:

  1. Click on the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Choose an existing conversation or start a new one.
  3. Select the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box at the bottom.
  4. Choose #images.

    To use animated GIFs, click on the Messages app, choose an existing conversation or begin a new one, then select the App Store icon. Choose #images.Source: iMore

  5. Use the search tool to find an animated GIF to use
  6. Select the animated GIF to send.
  7. Type your message.
  8. Hit the Return key to send your message.

    To use animated GIFs, use the search tool to find an animated GIF, then select the one you want. Next, type your message and hit the Return key.Source: iMore

Adding effects

Finally, you can now add effects to your messages, including invisible ink, balloons, confetti, and much more.

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  1. Click on the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Choose an existing conversation or start a new one.
  3. Type your message.
  4. Select the App Store icon to the left of the iMessage box at the bottom.
  5. Choose Message Effects.

    To add effects, click on the Messages app on your Mac, then choose an existing conversation or start a new one. Type your message, then select the App Store icon. Choose Message EffectsSource: iMore

  6. Click the effect you want to use.
  7. Select the up arrow next to your message at the right to send the message.

    To add effects, click on the effect to use. Select the up arrow to send. Source: iMore

Questions?

Whether you're planning on using macOS Big Sur or your existing computer or upgrade to one of the best new Macs, we've got you covered. Do you have any additional questions about Messages for Mac in macOS Big Sur? Let us know in the comments below.

Updated August 2021: These steps are still up-to-date for macOS Big Sur.