In iOS 10, Apple introduced the Messages App Store, allowing users to jump into miniature versions of their favorite apps so they could do things like choose a movie time, send their location, pay a friend, give a recommendation from Apple Music, and attach stickers. With the launch of iOS 11, the app drawer and selection experience of Messages apps have been streamlined, and this guide will walk you through the fastest way to access your favorite apps, organize them, and add more from the Messages App Store.

Navigating the New App Drawer in Messages

how to messenger app drawer 1

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Choose a contact to text.
  3. At the bottom of the screen sits the new app drawer, and you can tap one to bring it up or scroll to dive deeper into your collection.

From here, apps within Messages function essentially the same as they did in iOS 10: the bottom half of the screen represents the app, which you can interact with and send content into the upper half section of the screen in the form of an iMessage. A small chevron sitting just below the text entry field can be tapped to expand the Messages app to full screen, and tapped again to reduce it.

If you ever accidentally leave the app by tapping the text field, simply tap the App Store icon to the left of the text field. Conversely, if you're inside of a Messages app and want to make it and the app drawer disappear, tap the same App Store icon to the left of the text field (it'll be blue when the app drawer is open) to make the app disappear (returning the icon to gray).

Editing the New App Drawer in Messages

how to messenger app drawer 2

  1. Navigate to the app drawer in Messages.
  2. Scroll the drawer all the way to the right and tap the ellipses, or "More," icon.
  3. Tap "Edit."
  4. On the right side, choose any installed app you want or don't want in your Messages app drawer by tapping the green toggles.
  5. On the left side, tap the green "+" icon next to any app you want as a favorite.
  6. Tap "Done."

Now that your app drawer is fully customized, your favorites will appear on the far left side of the drawer, and any other apps you have toggled on will appear after your favorites. Any time you want to search for more, you can tap the blue App Store icon sitting to the left of your favorites to visit the Messages App Store. There are numerous standalone Messages apps, but many popular apps have also been updated over the past year to include Messages support.

For this reason, it's easy for your app drawer to become crowded, making the deeper editing and favoriting options in iOS 11 a welcome addition. If you'd rather not see the app drawer, tap on the gray App Store icon at the left of the Messages text box to hide it from view.

Related Forum: iOS 11

Top Rated Comments

ck2875 Avatar
64 months ago
('https://www.macrumors.com/how-to/messages-app-drawer-ios-11/')

With the launch of iOS 11, the app drawer and selection experience of Messages apps have been streamlined, and this guide will walk you through the fastest way to access your favorite apps, organize them, and add more from the Messages App Store.

You left off the most important part: Tap the gray App Store icon to hide the app drawer.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nr123*123 Avatar
64 months ago
How do you disable this stupid thing?

I’m a grown up. I text people. I don’t need everything to be shared or “connected”.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aforty Avatar
64 months ago
This thing is still really buggy. I edited the apps available and when I was done I couldn't press "Done." I had to force quit the app. I've noticed some other weirdness that makes iOS 11 still feel very much beta to me.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mainomega Avatar
64 months ago
You left off the most important part: Tap the gray App Store icon to hide the app drawer.
I can’t believe I didn’t figure that out and I’ve been using the beta.

THANK YOU !!! honestly, I search the setting and I figures you couldn’t turn it off cuz they wanted to you to buy those stupid stickers. Thank you again. MR needs a post with just this info for us who aren’t in middle school.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westside guy Avatar
64 months ago
You left off the most important part: Tap the gray App Store icon to hide the app drawer.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Prof. Avatar
64 months ago
You left off the most important part: Tap the gray App Store icon to hide the app drawer.
I was so happy when I found this out.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...