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How do you change the text bubble color on IOS 16?

With the release of iOS 16, Apple has introduced the ability to customize text bubble colors in the Messages app. This allows users to set different bubble colors for iMessage contacts to make conversations easier to follow. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to change text bubble colors on iOS 16.


Before you can customize text bubble colors, there are a few requirements:

  • You must have an iPhone running iOS 16 or later. The text bubble color feature is not available on earlier iOS versions.
  • The person you want to customize a text bubble color for must be an existing iMessage contact. Text bubble customization works for iMessage contacts only.
  • Both you and the other person must have updated to iOS 16 or later on iPhone. The customized bubble color won’t be visible to recipients still on iOS 15 or earlier.

How to Change Text Bubble Color in iOS 16

Once you meet the prerequisites, changing the text bubble color for an iMessage contact is simple:

  1. Open the Messages app and select the iMessage conversation with the contact you want to customize.
  2. Tap and hold the contact’s name at the top of the conversation.
  3. Select “Info” from the menu that appears.
  4. On the contact’s info screen, tap the Text Background option.
  5. Select a bubble color from the palette of color choices.

That’s it! The new text bubble color will now appear in all future iMessage conversations with that contact. Here are some additional details on customizing bubble colors in iOS 16:

  • You can set different colors for individual contacts. Each conversation can have its own unique bubble color.
  • There are 8 preset colors to choose from: blue, green, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow and brown.
  • The customized bubble color appears on both ends of the conversation – for messages you send and receive.
  • Group conversations do not support text bubble customization at this time.

Reset Text Bubble Color

If you want to reset a customized text bubble back to the original blue color, follow these steps:

  1. Open the conversation with the contact whose color you want to reset.
  2. Tap and hold the contact’s name, then tap Info.
  3. Go to Text Background and select the original Blue color choice.

This will remove any custom bubble color and make the conversation go back to the standard blue text bubbles.

Requirements for Text Bubble Customization

Here’s a recap of what’s required to be able to customize text bubble colors in iOS 16:

Requirement Details
Supported devices iPhone running iOS 16 or later
Type of contacts iMessage contacts only (not SMS)
Both parties must be updated Custom color won’t show for recipient on iOS 15 or earlier
Number of colors 8 preset color choices in Settings
Conversations supported Individual conversations only (not Group chats)

Customizing Other Conversation Settings

In addition to text bubble colors, there are a few other conversation customizations available in iOS 16:

  • Memoji Profile Photo: Set a Memoji sticker as the contact’s profile picture in your conversation.
  • Share Name and Photo: Control whether your name and profile photo are shared with a contact.
  • Notifications: Mute notifications from specific conversations.

These can be accessed on the same contact Info screen where text background color is set. Just tap into each option to adjust as desired.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble changing text bubble colors in iOS 16, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Confirm both you and the recipient have updated to iOS 16 or later.
  • Check that Cellular Data or WiFi is turned on – colors may not sync without internet connection.
  • Restart your iPhone if colors still aren’t appearing after update.
  • Verify the contact is an iMessage contact, not an SMS contact.
  • Try setting the color again from the recipient’s Info in your conversation.

Customizing Conversation View

Along with bubble colors, iOS 16 brings more ways to customize the conversation view in Messages:

  • Filters: Tailor the conversation list with filters like Unread, Muted, Unknown Senders, etc.
  • Pinned Conversations: Pin up to 9 conversations to the top of your list.
  • Search: Enhanced search helps you find photos, links, locations, and more.
  • Undo Send: Unsend a message you just sent by tapping Undo Send.

Play around with all of these new ways to arrange your Messages conversations in iOS 16 for an experience catered to your preferences.

Alternative Messaging Apps

The text bubble customization feature is currently exclusive to iOS Messages. Some alternative messaging apps have offered more extensive theming and personalization features for a while now.

For example, apps like WhatsApp and Telegram allow users to change in-app background colors, bubble shapes, and more. So if you’re looking for deeper messaging personalization, third-party apps are worth checking out.

However, Messages remains the default iPhone messaging app tightly integrated with iOS. And with the new bubble color options in iOS 16, Apple has taken a first step towards enhanced native personalization.


The ability to customize text bubble colors in iOS 16 provides a simple way to add visual personalization to Messages conversations. It can help differentiate contacts at a glance within busy group chats or just add a bit of fun flair.

With just a few taps per contact, you can set customized colors that sync across devices. While color options are currently limited, the feature sets the stage for potentially deeper personalization down the road.

So spruce up your Messages chats with fun bubble colors tailored to your favorite contacts. Just be sure everyone is running iOS 16 first! Enjoy exploring all the new ways to customize chats and tailor your Messages experience in iOS 16.