iOS: How to Send Links in iMessage Without the Rich Preview

1 minute read
| Quick Tip
Screenshot of iMessage. Send links in iMessage by typing periods.

Bryan thinks I’m off my rocker

Starting in iOS 10 Apple changed the way URLS are displayed in iMessage. Rich previews make the URL more visually appealing, but you may run into trouble. Here’s a way to send links in iMessage that disables the rich preview.

In the past I’ve had trouble sending Android users links using iMessage. I don’t know if the error was on my end or his, and if it had to do with rich previews or not, but it was annoying.

Poor Previews

The next time you have a URL copied to your clipboard, here’s what you do:

  1. Open iMessage.
  2. Type a period.
  3. Paste the link.
  4. Type another period.

The link will be sent without the preview. It shows as a regular link on both ends. You can also type two periods instead of one, but if you only type one period it won’t show up in the message itself.

I haven’t tested this with Messages for Mac because I’ve been having trouble sending messages with it. But I imagine it would work the same way.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is a very good answer from stackoverflow which details the effect of using the period symbol around hyperlinks in iMessage. Because it makes a difference whether the hyperlink is at the start or end of the message – or indeed in the middle of it!


Could you clarify the initial problem.
Please include an example of what the RICH TEXT version looks like.
I don’t quite understand what has changed and how “Rich previews make the URL more visually appealing,”
(I do understand the difference between plain text and rich text–with Bold, Underline, Italic, etc..)
“Previews” as opposed to the actual message?

Thanks for this info. I think it may explain some issues I (and others) have been having where people say they didn’t receive the link at all (to a photo or to dropbox, etc.).

Lee Dronick

I haven’t tested this with Messages for Mac because I’ve been having trouble sending messages with it.

That damn design flaw where pressing return sends the message instead of adding a new line. Yeah, I know the workaround, do Apple programmers know how to put in a Send button?