How to Play GIFs on iPhone and iPad

By the end of this post, you will be able to play GIFs on your iPhone and iPad without any issues. There are many iOS and iPadOS users out there not able to play individual GIFs on their devices. When you download GIFs from the internet, your iPhone or iPad will only show a frozen picture when it supposes show a short-animated video on loop without audio.

This issue has been encountered with menu device users, tragedy is that, when you send a GIF to someone from your iPhone or iPad through WhatsApp, the GIF is playable in the chat head, but it won’t run in the iPhone’s camera roll or gallery.

Here, we came to the conclusion that GIFs are playable or viewable only with third-party apps. Many people think that this is a software glitch, but the actual reason is you cannot able to play GIFs on your iPhone using the Photos app.

How To Play Gifs On Iphone And Ipad

What is GIF?

GIF stands for Graphics Interchanged Format, which was introduced by CompuServe in 1987. Technically, a single GIF consists of 256 colors that support the 24-bit RGB range, it is basically compressed with a lossless compression format in small size.

You can download specific GIFs from the internet, and send them to anyone using any social media platform. Nowadays, built-in keyboards also come with GIFs, the search option will allow you to send the GIF by searching them to anyone.

SEE ALSO  How accurate is Find my iPhone and how to improve the accuracy?

How can I Play GIFs on my iPhone and iPad?

There are many apps available that will allow you to play GIFs and GIF Viewer is one of them. No need to worry about compatibility as this app requires iOS 11.0 and above. Good thing is that GIF Viewer is available on platforms such as iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. It is free to use but you can upgrade it to the pro version, and also have the support of multiple languages.

How To Play Gifs On Iphone And Ipad

GIF Viewer Features:

GIF Viewer will allow you to:

  • Convert GIF to video
  • Control playback speed of GIFs
  • Supports GIFs Frame viewer
  • Present GIFs in slideshow
  • Present import animated GIFs from Camera Roll
  • Create GIFs album
  • Import GIFs from PC, iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Twitter, and URls
  • Share GIFs to many platforms

That’s the best app to play GIFs on your devices.

Fix GIFs Not Working issues on iPhone and iPad

Many users reported that they are not able to play GIFs on their iPhone and iPad running iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. But we have mentioned some workaround below to fix the issues related to GIFs.

Switch to Safari

It is noticed that people who download GIFs from the Chrome browser will make GIF a frozen image but not play the GIF as it supposes to be, and few people have trouble downloading GIFs via Chrome. To fix this issue, you can use the Safari browser to download the GIF and see if this works.

Turn Off Optimize Photos

If you are still unable to save or download GIFs through Safari, then turning off optimized photos is the best thing you can do.

How To Play Gifs On Iphone And Ipad
  • Visit Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Scroll down and tap on Photos.
  • Turn off Optimize iPhone Storage features.

Open New Tab

If you want to download a GIF from a specific source, then you have to download the GIF using a new tab. Majority of the websites embedded the GIFs through a third-party platform according to the hosting system. But here’s how to save the GIFs:

How To Play Gifs On Iphone And Ipad
  • Hold and long press on the GIF that you want to save.
  • Select Open in New Tab option.
  • Again, press and hold and select Add to Photos.

The GIF will get saved into your iPhone and iPad.

.Webp might be the issue

A large number of websites are switching to .webp image format, rather than the image’s original format. iPhones and iPad running iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 do support .webp images but might be not properly displayed by the Photos app. Your device might be showing freeze GIFs because .webp image making it GIFs appear in such away.

So, it’s better to use any third-party app to play GIFs as we have mentioned one of the best apps for it.


According to my personal opinion, when your backup data through iCloud. It might keep the thumbnail of a GIF on your device and keep the original GIF on iCloud. This might be the cause why you are not able to play GIFs on your device. But I could be wrong, as this is just a conjecture. Download GIF Viewer as its best option to view GIFs on your iPhone or iPad.

SEE ALSO  Where to Find iMessages On Mac? (and Find Your Message History)

Leave a Comment