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How to use Memoji stickers, screen effects, and apps in Messages for Mac

macOS Big Sur Preview Messages
macOS Big Sur Preview Messages (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

Over the last couple of years, Apple has redesigned the Messages app for macOS to look and work more like its iOS counterpart. That means it now offers features like Memoji stickers, screen effects, apps, and more for you to liven up your conversations. Here's how to use them all in Messages for Mac.

Using Memoji stickers

To use Memoji stickers in Messages for Mac, follow the below steps:

  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 fro (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the Memoji sticker you wish to send.
  2. Type your message.
  3. 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. (Image credit: iMore)

Creating new Memoji stickers

If you want to create new Memoji stickers to use on Messages for Mac, follow the below steps.

  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 fro (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Click on the ••• at the top left of the box.
  2. Select New Memoji.
  3. Create your new Memoji, by adding skin, hairstyle, brows, eyes, head, nose, mouth, ears, facial hair, eyewear, and headwear.
  4. 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. (Image credit: iMore)

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

Using Photos

It's easy to send photos and videos from your Photos library via Messages. Here's how.

  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. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Scroll your library or use the search tool to find the image to use.
  2. Select the image to send.
  3. Type your message.
  4. 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. (Image credit: 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. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Use the search tool to find an animated GIF to use
  2. Select the animated GIF to send.
  3. Type your message.
  4. 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. (Image credit: iMore)

Adding effects

Finally, you can also add effects to your messages, including invisible ink, balloons, confetti, and much more just like on iOS.

  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 Effects (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Click the effect you want to use.
  2. 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. (Image credit: iMore)

Spice up the group chat

Whether you've just installed macOS Monterey on your existing computer or you're about to upgrade to one of the best new Macs, the above instructions will apply.

Once you're up to speed with the latest Messages for Mac features, you'll be able to sprinkle GIFs and Memoji stickers into your chats like a pro.

Updated March 2022: Updated for macOS Monterey.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.