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Question: Unable to select and copy text from a message anymore

Previously in Messages, it was possible to select text (addresses, phone numbers, names, whatever you wish) like any other text and copy it. Now you are only able to either copy the entire message (messing all sorts of use cases up) or do the tap-back items. Why did the useful baseline functionality have to get clobbered in order to add the social aspect of the messages system? It has made messages a lot less useful for content-rich communication, and now things like Slack have to be examined, all because basic, universal text functionality has been surpassed in Messages.

Is there any way to reenable the standard select (NOT select all), copy, etc?

MacBook Pro with Retina display, macOS High Sierra (10.13.4)

Posted on


May 28, 2018 11:50 AM in response to Dallas Hockley In response to Dallas Hockley


This out of date page is the only place to send feedback about Messages Feedback - Messages - Apple

I can select part of messages:-

User uploaded file

I can do it Sierra (picture) or High Sierra.

User uploaded file

7:50 pm Monday; May 28, 2018

 iMac 2.5Ghz i5 2011 (Sierra)
 G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
 MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
 Mac OS X (10.6.8),
 iPhone 6 iOS 11.x and an iPad (2)

May 28, 2018 11:50 AM

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May 28, 2018 4:06 PM in response to Ralph Johns (UK) In response to Ralph Johns (UK)

Thanks for the reply, Ralph, but I'm not able to replicate your action. That's what I *used* to be able to do in messages, and that's what I am wanting to do.

Hmm. Do you have the iPhone linked for messaging and all that?

No idea why I can't, and that seems to be the case for the people I know here in North America at least. Which has me wondering if it's a regional difference. Is it just a click and drag to select that text? If I click, it selects the bubble itself. A click and drag or long click brings up the tapback menu. I have yet to find a way to allow text/character selection as you show in your screen cap on High Sierra, latest version (10.13.4)

May 28, 2018 4:06 PM

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May 29, 2018 1:44 PM in response to Dallas Hockley In response to Dallas Hockley


Yes it is just Click and Drag.

I have tried it in Sierra (picture) and High Sierra with the same results.

I do tend to start at the last word and then select back to the first word I want.

Clicking in the iMessage involved tends to select the whole Bubble and therefore the "whole lot".

On the other matter of not being able to link the iPhone and Mac consistently check these things:-

On the iPhone in Settings > Messages > Send and Receive are both the Apple ID and the actual phone number both set to Receive and Send ?

The number should be ticked but greyed out ( Permanently On) but the Apple ID can be ON or Off - it just needs to be Signed in for the Sync to work.

IF the number is somehow deselected (it happens but is rare) you need to start the Message app again to get the App to login/Register the number first. Turn Messages Off in the settings and then set it to On again and wait for the Number to Verify.

You can further test the Mac and iPhone.

ON the iPhone deselect the Apple ID as a Send and Receive item (you don't need to Sign Out of the Apple ID).

On the Mac deselect anything but the Apple ID.

So at this point the Mac can only Send and Receive from the Apple ID and the iPhone only from it's number.

Start a New Message on the Mac and enter your iPhone number in full, including Country Code in the "To" Spot. (it will not call up your My Card info from Contacts).

Send the iMessage.

Does the iPhone see the iMessages ?

IF it does not then:- When the iMessages account will not Login

The last bit can be time consuming as you have to work your way up the different level of Responders to get to someone who can look at the iMessages Server and tell you if your Apple ID is blocked when used from that Mac in relation to iMessages.

They then have to get the server reset.

Apple ID issues like this are free to fix. Some people have been told they were "Suspended" because of "Spam iMessages" but this has only been reported by people posting back rarely and there seems nothing to back it up.

A "regional thing" does sound more like an action by the carrier to monitor certain ports of the internet.

In the iChat days a Video or Audio Call started on the port 5060 which is used for VoIP.

Some ISPs who were planning their own VoIP service started blocking the ports then asking for extra to use them.

Apple got round it the same way Skype did by moving away from the affected ports.

However trying to pin down which ports now the app does not do Video and Audio chats "in house" as it were would be difficult.

User uploaded file

9:44 pm Tuesday; May 29, 2018

 iMac 2.5Ghz i5 2011 (Sierra)
 G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
 MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
 Mac OS X (10.6.8),
 iPhone 6 iOS 11.x and an iPad (2)

May 29, 2018 1:44 PM

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User profile for user: Dallas Hockley

Question: Unable to select and copy text from a message anymore