How to Mention Someone in iMessage (With Photos)

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How to Mention Someone in iMessage (With Photos)

You’re probably familiar with text-based mentions on other messaging platforms like GroupMe and Facebook Messenger. But did you know that you can mention someone in iMessage too?

Apple’s exclusive iMessaging lets us communicate with individuals and large groups of people. Questions and important messages become lost among a sea of text-based contributions when you’re texting in large groups. If you want to stand out and ensure your message gets read by the right person, you’ll need to learn how to mention someone in iMessage.

We’ve outlined the steps to mention someone in iMessage on iOS and macOS devices. We’ll also answer some important questions about iMessage mentions in our FAQ section at the bottom.

What are iMessage Mentions?

Apple introduced iMessage Mentions with the iOS 14 and macOS 11 (Big Sur) updates. The feature is great for group iMessages because you can direct your messages to one person (although everyone can see them, that user’s name is bolded, making it known the message is meant specifically for them). Of course, you can also use the Mentions feature in one-on-one iMessages too.

How iMessage Mentions Work

Apple designed iMessage mentions to clarify communications between groups of people. The feature makes it easier to understand who is sending which message to whom and ensures the intended recipient doesn’t miss them.

You’ll receive a special alert when someone mentions your name in an iMessage. Your name gets highlighted, and you can clearly see that individual is trying to get your attention.

iMessage Mentions also bypass the iMessage group mute feature. If you’ve muted a group (or another participant has), you will receive an alert when someone mentions your name.

Feature Limitations

Before we dive into our tutorials, let’s take a moment to review when you can mention someone in iOS. Similar to most Apple features, there are rules, and if you don’t understand when and who you mention in an iMessage, you may waste your valuable time.

You can only mention someone in an iMessage. If you’re in a group chat with your friends, family, or colleagues, everyone needs to use iMessage (iPhones, iPads, Macs, etc.); otherwise, you can’t mention anyone in iMessage.

If you haven’t updated your iOS to at least iOS 14, the steps below won’t work. Apple introduced the Mention feature with iOS 14’s update, so update your device if you haven’t already. Those using a Mac need to update to at least macOS 11 (Big Sur).

Lastly, you can’t mention anyone who isn’t in the iMessage group. You can’t mention any contacts that aren’t using an Apple device and aren’t in the current message thread.

If the steps below don’t work for you, check this section to ensure you meet all the requirements.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage on iOS

Perhaps you’re familiar with the term “to at” someone. If so, you know that means you will use the @ symbol to communicate directly with users in a comment section or group message. The same is true for iOS.

Some users find it easier to mention someone by typing the @ symbol on their keyboard, then typing the person’s contact name. The text will be bold when you successfully mention someone; then, you can type and send the rest of your message.

Of course, there’s more than one way to let someone know you’re speaking directly to them. You can follow these steps to mention someone too:

Step 1: Open the Conversation

Naturally, you’ll want to start by opening the Message app on your iPad or iPhone. Then, navigate to the iMessage where you’d like to mention someone.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Open the Conversation


Step 2: Start Typing the Name

Instead of using any keyboard symbols, you can start typing the contact name of the person your want to mention.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Start Typing the Name


Step 3: Tap Their Contact

The person’s name will turn gray, and their contact will appear in your predictive text space. Tap the recipient’s contact in the predictive text space (above your keyboard) and finish your message.

Then, you can send it, and they’ll receive a special alert that you mentioned them in your iMessage.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Tap Their Contact


How to Mention Someone in iMessage on Mac

Of course, Mac users will need to follow a different set of instructions to mention someone in an iMessage. While the @ method works on Macs just like iOS devices, you can follow these steps to mention someone too.

Step 1: Open the Message

Open the Messaging app on your Mac and navigate to the conversation.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Open the Message


Step 2: Type Their Name

Start typing the contact’s name.

Helpful Hint: Ensure you’re typing the contact name the way it’s spelled; otherwise, this won’t work.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Type Their Name


Step 3: Click Their Name

After you type the contact’s name, click it.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Click Their Name


Step 4: Click Their Contact

A small contact card will appear above the text. Click the contact card to mention the person.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Click Their Contact


Check out this video that will walk you through the steps:

How to Turn Off Mention Alerts

If you don’t receive a response, it is possible the other user disabled their mention alerts, and perhaps you’d like to as well. If you don’t want to receive special alerts that someone mentioned you in an iMessage, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Settings

Head over to your iPhone’s Settings app and tap to open it.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Open Settings


Step 2: Tap Messages

Scroll down the Settings page and tap on Messages.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Tap Messages


Step 3: Turn Off Notify Me

A Notify Me toggle switch will appear under the Mentions section of the Message Settings page. Turn off the toggle switch to disable iMessage mention notifications.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage
Turn Off Notify Me


You Were Mentioned

Are you ready to communicate more effectively in iMessages? While Apple can’t help us with important communication aspects like word choice and context, the developers did make it easier to alert others we want to talk to them.

Up Next

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I mention someone?

If you followed the steps above and can’t mention another user in iMessage, it’s either because they aren’t in the group, there’s a non-Apple device in the chat, or your software is outdated.


How do I know if someone mentioned me in an iMessage?

You’ll receive a special alert in your notifications if someone mentions you. You’ll also see your name bolded in the text thread.

Can I reply directly to someone in iMessage?

Absolutely! If you want to make things even easier, you can reply directly to someone’s message—long-press the text you wish to reply to and tap Reply. Then, type your message.
A small bar will appear that leads from one message to the new one indicating it was a reply, and the original sender will receive a special alert.

Can I react to someone's iMessage?

Yes! If you don’t feel like responding with a text, you can react to someone’s message. What’s cool about the react feature is that it works for both Android and iOS devices.

Long-press the user’s message and tap one of the reactions at the top. Then, tap the heart, thumbs up/down, haha, exclamation points, or question mark options.

Your recipient will receive a notification that you reacted and can choose to reply or let you go about your day.

Can I mention more than one person in an iMessage group?

Yes. You can mention as many people as you like. But you do need to type their names using one of the methods above, then hit the space bar, and type the next name.

Can I @ everyone in an iMessage?

@ Everyone is a valuable feature because it lets everyone know the message is for all group members while also implying importance. Unfortunately, based on our tests in 2022, we can’t @ everyone, or even @ all everyone.

As of now, the function doesn’t work. But it’s a popular addition to most group messaging services, so we may see Apple add it one day.

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