iPhone codewords: secret codes that unlock iMessage effects - including lasers, fireworks and confetti

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iPhone users can send effects like lasers, balloons, and a massive balloon heart to their friends

You can amplify your iMessages by sending cool effects with simple codewords all built into your iPhone.

There are a wide array of unique effects including lasers, balloons, fireworks, and confetti - but there are secret codewords that trigger the illuminating background.

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The feature has been available for quite some time, but Apple fans have been posting about the fun feature recently on social media.

How to send an iMessage screen effect

Screen effects only work between devices supporting iOS, so both you and your contact need to be using an iPhone.

Then by writing the codeword the effect will automatically go through with the message, which will show up on your phone too after the iMessage has been delivered.

Screen effect codewords

In total there are nine effects you can send messages from:


Confetti rains down multi-coloured confetti pieces. To get this effect message:

  • Congratulations
  • Felicitations 
  • Selamat (an Indonesian word meaning happy, peaceful or safe)


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Balloons of various colours rise up from the bottom of the screen. To get this effect message:

  • Happy Birthday
  • Feliz cumpleanos (Spanish for happy birthday)
  • Bon Anniversaire (French for happy birthday)


Typing fireworks leads to an explosion of fireworks on the screen. Get this effect by typing:

  • Happy New Year
  • Happy Chinese New Year (which creates red fireworks too) 
  • Happy Diwali
  • Happy Lunar New Year


This effect displays a laser light show. To get this effect write:

  • Pew Pew

Shooting star

The shooting star effect fires a shooting star across the screen. To get this effect write:

  • Eid Mubarak

Other screen effects without code words are:

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  • Love - A large heart appears beside your message
  • Spotlight - Puts your message under a spotlight
  • Eco - Covers the screen in message bubbles or emojis 

Are there other effects?

There are nine screen effects you can send your friends via iMessage, but not all of them have codewords associated with them.

To send any iMessage with an effect, type out your message and hold down the send button, which should be in blue.

You can choose your effects according to the message bubble or by what will occur on screen, by choosing the option at the top of the page and swiping right and opting for the one you wish to send.

For bubble, you can choose between “Slam” which is a sudden movement of making your message bigger than back to normal.

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“Loud” waves the message in from of you, in an act of emphasis.

“Gentle” makes the writing in your text bubble smaller then larger and invisible ink scrambles your message so the recipient has to touch the message for the words to be revealed.

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