iMessage got a huge update in iOS 10, adding things like third-party app integration, rich links, and a number of fun graphical effects for messages. If you’re seeing messages that say something like “(sent with Invisible Ink)” instead of seeing the actual Invisible Ink effect, we’ve got a couple of fixes for you to try.

Sign Out and Back In to iMessage on All Your iOS Devices

RELATED: The Best New Features in iOS 10 (and How to Use Them)

Most often, not message effects stems from a server error on Apple’s end. You can correct this by signing out and back in to iMessage. You’ll need to sign out on all devices your account is used on, and then sign back into each of them. Here’s how to do it.

Fire up your Settings app and then tap “Messages.”

On the Messages screen, tap the “Send & Receive” item.

At the top, tap the address with which you’re signed into iMessage.

On the Message Account pop-up, tap “Sign Out.”

After a moment, you’ll be signed out of iMessage. Repeat this process on all the devices you use that account for with iMessage before continuing.

After signing out on all your devices, tap “Use your Apple ID for iMessage” on this same page to sign back in.

Enter your Apple ID and password, and then tap “Sign In.”

After you sign in, fire up your Messages app. Messages you’ve already received won’t change, so you’ll need to get someone to send you a new message using an effect so you can test it out. Hopefully, you’ll see the full message effect now.

And if it looks good, go ahead and repeat those last couple of steps to sign back into iMessage on your other devices.

Turn Off the Reduce Motion Accessibility Setting

Some people have also reported that having the Reduce Motion setting turned on interferes with their ability to see message effects. The Reduce Motion setting is intended to disable unnecessary animations–like the parallax effect on your home screen. Some folks turn it on because those types of animations bother them, others to boost performance or help increase battery life. If you do use the Reduce Motion setting and it interferes with message effects, you’ll just have to decide which is more important to you.

RELATED: How to Create 3D "Parallax" Wallpapers for Your iPhone or iPad

That said, many people don’t experience the problem and message effects work fine even when Reduce Motion is turned on. It’s an easy enough thing to check, though. Maybe it will work for you if signing out and back in to iMessage didn’t.

In your Settings app, tap “General.”

On the General settings screen, tap “Accessibility.”

On the Accessibility settings screen, see whether the “Reduce Motion” item is turned on or off. If it’s turned on, go ahead and tap “Reduce Motion.”

Turn the “Reduce Motion” toggle off.

Now, can go test your messages again to see if effects are working. Like we said, this seems to be working for some people, but not others. So far, all the instances we’ve seen on our own devices were corrected by either turning Reduce Motion off or signing out and back into iMessages on your devices. So, hopefully, this will get you fixed up and sending invisible messages in no time.

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Walter Glenn is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry and over 20 years as a technical writer and editor. He's written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He's authored or co-authored over 30 computer-related books in more than a dozen languages for publishers like Microsoft Press, O'Reilly, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He's also written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware over the years.
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