WhatsApp showing GIF
Khamosh Pathak

When things get too quiet in a group chat, GIFs come to the rescue. Ranging from funny, to sweet, to downright cringy, they can be anything you want. Here’s how to send GIFs directly on WhatsApp, no third-party app needed.

The WhatsApp app on iPhone and Android comes with a built-in tool for searching, sending, and staring GIFs (backed by the superb GIPHY service). Everything happens from the keyboard view in the chat.

To get started, open the “WhatsApp” app on your phone and navigate to a chat. Here, tap on the Stickers icon at the end of the text box.

Tap on the Stickers icon in WhatsApp

This will replace the keyboard with the stickers section. From here, tap on the “GIF” button found at the bottom to switch to the GIFs section.

Tap on the GIF icon

You’ll see the trending GIFs. Swipe up to scroll through all trending GIFs, or swipe left or right to switch between different sections. On the right, you’ll find GIF collections based on topics (like Love, Sad, Haha, and more).

Switch to different GIF collections

Let’s try searching for a GIF. Tap on the Search icon (represented by a magnifying glass) in the bottom-left corner.

Tap on Search button

This will open a full-screen search box. Search for a GIF here. It can be something specific, like a show or a movie, or it can be something general, like a mood or an emotion.

RELATED: What Is a GIF, and How Do You Use Them?

When you find the GIF that you want to send, tap on its thumbnail.

Search for a GIF and tap to send it

This will open WhatsApp’s media editor. You can trim the GIF, add a sticker, or even doodle over the animated image. When you’re done editing, tap on the Send button to share the GIF in the chat.

Tap on Send to send the GIF

The GIF feature in WhatsApp also lets you favorite GIFs.

To favorite a GIF, all you have to do is star the image. When you’re in the chat, tap and hold on the GIF and then select the “Star” option.

Tap on Star button to Start the GIF

Starred GIFs will show up in the Starred section in the GIF picker window.

Starred GIFs

To view recently used GIFs, tap on the “Recent” button found in top-left corner of the GIFs section.

Recent GIFs


What’s more fun than GIFs? Learn how you can create your own personalized stickers for WhatsApp.

RELATED: How To Make Your Own Sticker Pack for WhatsApp on iPhone and Android

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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