How to Make a GIF Without Installing an App

Create Gif Featured

GIFs can be a fun way to share your emotions or thoughts with others online. And while most social apps come with their own GIF library, did you know that you can make your own? You don’t even have to install an app in order to do so. In this tutorial, we show how you can quickly make a GIF on your desktop or mobile without adding another app to your lineup.

Tip: if you prefer working with stickers instead, learn how to add and use stickers on WhatsApp.

1. GIPHY

GIPHY is a website that offers free access to a large collection of GIFs. You can easily share them simply by copying their link, but if you can’t find a GIF you like on the site, you can always create your own. You can access GIPHY in your browser, whether you’re on a PC or mobile device.

  1. Go to the GIPHY website in your browser.
  2. Click on the “Create” button in the upper-right corner.
Create Gif Web Giphy Create Button

Note: you’ll need to create an account with GIPHY if you want to create a GIF but don’t need an account simply to share GIFs from the platform.

  1. Click on the “Choose files” button underneath the GIF option. You can upload various types of image and video files to create your GIF, including JPG, PNG, and MP4.
Create Gif Giphy Website Gif
  1. If you wish to create a GIF out of images, upload the first one to open the editing screen.
  2. Click on “Add more images” underneath the image.
Create Gif Giphy Website Add More Images
  1. Select how long you want each image to play by dragging the slider on the right side of the display.
Create Gif Giphy Website Slideshow Settings
  1. Click the “Browse Files” button to add the rest.
  2. Once you’ve added all the pictures, you’ll see a preview of your GIF. If you’re okay with everything, click on “Continue to decorate” to add extra customizations to your creation.
Create Gif Giphy Website Preview
  1. From the editing screen, you can add a caption and stickers and apply a filter. If you’re feeling even more creative, start drawing on the GIF. Switch between these options by pressing the buttons in the upper right. These additions will be applied to the entire GIF.
Create Gif Giphy Website Add Stickers Customizations
  1. Once everything looks good to you, press the “Continue to Upload” button.
  2. Add the source of your images and some tags for your GIF, if you’d like. You can also opt whether your GIF will be public or private. If you don’t feel like sharing your creation with others, it can be simply be saved to your account.
Create Gif Giphy Website Add Info
  1. Press “Upload to GIPHY” to create your GIF.
  2. With your GIF uploaded, you can easily share it with others or embed it in your blog.
Create Gif Giphy Website Share
  1. If you uploaded a video, you’ll need to go through all the steps outlined above plus one more: you’ll have to select the specific part of the video you want to turn into a GIF. When you’re done, press “Continue to Decorate.”
Create Gif Giphy Website Video Upload

GIPHY is also available in the form of a mobile app (Android | iOS), so if you have enough free space for another app, you can download it. It comes with a few additional options, like camera filters and the ability to snap your images or shoot videos directly from the app.

2. Imgur

Imgur is a well-known meme site that also has a GIF creation tool. Unlike the previous option, you can only use videos to create a GIF on Imgur. Access the tool via your browser on your computer or mobile device.

  1. Open Imgur in your browser.
  2. Click on the “New post” button at the top.
Create Gif Imgur Website Create
  1. Select the “Video to GIF” option on the right side of the screen.
Create Gif Imgur Website Video Gif
  1. Paste a link to a video. Unfortunately, uploading personal videos directly from your PC is not an option. You can, however, upload the video to your personal YouTube channel and use the link on Imgur.
Create Gif Imgur Website Paste Link
  1. On the next screen, select the part of the video you want to transform into a GIF. Use the handles to choose the specific part.
Create Gif Imgur Website Create Gif
  1. Press “Create GIF.”
  2. You can easily share the GIF you’ve created by pressing on the “Share” button.
Create Gif Imgur Website Save
  1. If you wish to download the GIF for safekeeping, press on the three dots in the upper-right corner and select “Download.”
  2. A free alternative to Imgur is Adobe’s Express video to GIF converter. You’ll need to sign up with an account.

Good to know: learn how to create and add a custom emoji on your Discord server for more variety.

If you’d rather make your GIF on your Android device without downloading an app, you can on Google and Samsung models. The two methods are detailed below.

Gallery App

  1. Go to the Gallery app on your Samsung phone.
  2. Long-press on the images you want to turn into a GIF.
Create Gif Samsung Gallery More
  1. Tap on the “More” button at the bottom.
  2. Select “Create.”
Create Gif Samsung Gallery Select
  1. Select “Create -> GIF” from the options at the bottom.
Create Gif Samsung Gallery Turn To Gif
  1. Review and edit the created GIF. You can trim it or add various enhancements, such as adding stickers or drawing on it.
Create Gif Samsung Gallery Edit Options
  1. Press “Save” to save your creation to the Gallery app.

Camera App

  1. Open the Camera app on your Samsung phone.
  2. Tap the Settings icon in the upper-left corner.
  3. Scroll down until you find the “Swipe Shutter button to” option and press on it.
Create Gif Samsung Camera Swipe Shutter Button To
  1. Tap on “Create GIF.”
Create Gif Samsung Camera Create Gif
  1. Return to the Camera app. To create a GIF, swipe down on the Shutter button. Release it when you want the GIF to end. It will automatically be saved to your Android.
  2. By default, the “Swipe shutter button” was set to “Take burst shot.” As it turns out, your Samsung phone can convert your Burst photos into a GIF. Go to the Gallery app to find the Burst photos.
  3. Tap on the three dots at the bottom and select “GIF” from the menu that appears.
Create Gif Samsung Gallery Burst Photo Gif
  1. If you captured a Motion photo on your Samsung, you can turn that into a GIF too.

Note: The Motion ability needs to be enabled from the Camera app.

  1. Open a Motion photo in the Gallery, then press on the three dots at the bottom.
Create Gif Samsung Gallery Motion Export
  1. Select “Export” from the options that appear.
  2. Press on “GIF.”
Create Gif Samsung Gallery Motion Gif
  1. On Pixel devices, there’s also the option to take Motion photos by long-pressing the shutter button, provided you have the “Top Shot” option enabled.
  2. To turn such a photo into a GIF, open it on your device and press on the three dots in the upper-right corner.
  3. It will open in Google Photos, which comes preinstalled on Pixel devices. A menu of options will appear underneath the image. Swipe right until you find the “Export” option.
Create Gif Pixel Photos Export
  1. Select “GIF” from the options.
Create Gif Pixel Save Gif

4. Bounce Effect and Shortcuts on iPhone

There are also many options for iPhone users who want to make a GIF without installing an additional app. You can turn photos, Live photos, and videos into GIFs by following the methods described below.

Bounce/Loop Effect

  1. Open your Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Find a Live image – the sort of image that captures a little bit of motion – and open it.
  3. In the upper-left corner, tap on “Live” to bring up a list of options.
Create Gif Ios Live Photos Loop
  1. Select either “Bounce” or “Loop” to turn your picture into a GIF.
  2. Your creation will be automatically saved in the Photos apps, If you want to save it to a particular folder, press on the three dots in the upper-right corner and select “Add to album.”
  3. If you want to find the GIF later, it’s under the “Animations” tab in the Photos app.

Shortcuts App

If you don’t have the Shortcuts app on your iPhone, you’ll need to download it from the App Store.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the “Make GIF” shortcut (which installs with the app).
Create Gif Imgur Ios Create Gif Shortcuts
  1. Upload a Live image or video to start the process.
  2. Press “Done” to finalize the process.
Create Gif Imgur Ios Gif Done
  1. You’ll find the GIF in the “Animated” section under Albums in the Photos app.
  1. Alternatively, you can get the Video to GIF shortcut and convert your videos into GIFs.
  1. You can also convert Burst photos to GIF. You’ll just need to install the relevant shortcut.
Create Gif Imgur Ios Burst Photos Convert
  1. Once you have the shortcut onboard, tap on it and select the Burst photo in question.
  2. The shortcut will convert it. Press “Done” to finish the process.
Create Gif Imgur Ios Gif Burst Done
  1. The shortcut will ask what you wish to do with it: share it immediately or save it to your gallery.
Create Gif Imgur Ios Gif Share Save

Tip: use Snapchat often? Here’s how to create your own custom stickers with the app.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best third-party tools to create GIFs?

If the methods we’ve outlined here haven’t yielded the results you hoped for, you can always turn to third-party apps. You may need to clear some space on your device first, though. Some worthy GIF-making apps you can try (apart from GIPHY – which is mentioned above) are:

Can I convert my GIFs back into video if I deleted the original material?

Yes. There are various converters and apps online for that. For instance, Canva has a dedicated tool that allows you to quickly transform a GIF into an MP4. If you’ve created your GIF out of images you then deleted, unfortunately, you don’t have the option to separate them using an online tool. What you can do, however, is take screenshots of the individual images, then crop them.

Why is the quality of my GIF poor?

Some of the GIFs you’ve created might look pixelated and less colorful than the original video due to the fact that the file format has been around since 1987 and uses only 256 colors. GIFs were designed to be efficient, small files, best suited for short clips with similar frames.

All screenshots by Alexandra Arici

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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