Something you’ll see on Twitter more than anywhere else is reaction GIFs, or GIFs used to respond to other messages and comments without typing any words. Twitter has an entire GIF search engine that makes it easy to find the right GIF to send, either in a direct message or in a reply tweet to someone else on your feed, with easy categorical suggestions like Agree, Applause, High Five, and many more.
As you might expect, you’re bound to see a million GIFs on the platform that you like. Unfortunately, keeping those Twitter GIFs on your computer or phone is more challenging than it should be. Right-clicking on the desktop site reveals the option to copy the GIF URL, but that’s all you get!
Why does Twitter make it so hard to download and save GIFs for offline use? Is it even possible to save Twitter GIFs to your computer or smartphone? The answer is no, but you can still get your GIF image or download it as an mp4 video and keep it that way. Here’s how to download Twitter animated GIF images.
Note: Remember, this is for animated GIFs on Twitter, not actual videos. It will say GIF in the bottom-left corner of the still image if not already playing.
Twitter GIFs are Not Real GIFs
Why can’t you save Twitter GIFs as an image file on your computer or smartphone, just like you would with a GIF on any other website? The answer may not seem evident at first, but any media that isn’t a still photo on Twitter cannot get downloaded.
Instead, you might notice that GIFs on Twitter use an interface that looks similar to a video platform, but they are missing the playback bar at the bottom of the display. That’s the real reason why you can’t save your Twitter GIFs to your computer: they aren’t GIFs at all. Instead, they are small video files in which the animated GIF got converted to a proprietary format by Twitter to be more efficient and deliver a smoother Twitter experience. On the flip side, you can also convert videos to post them on Twitter.
So, what does that mean for downloading Twitter GIFs? The answer is to use a couple of third-party tools. While it’s not as simple as right-clicking on an image and saving it to your computer, it is still a straightforward process. Let’s take a look.
Saving a Twitter GIF on Mac
The easiest way to save a Twitter GIF is through a Mac. Here’s how!
- Open the “tweet” on your Mac that contains the GIF that you want to copy. You can use the feed, a post’s particular comments page, or the person’s reply page directly.
- Two-finger click on the “GIF,” then select “Copy Gif Address.”
- Click the “+” icon to the right of the current tabs at the top to open a new tab.
- Go to “https://twdownload.com/,” paste the copied “Twitter GIF” link into the “video URL box,” and then click the “Download” button.
- On the new page, perform a “two-finger tap” (ignore that it says right-click) on “Download Link,” then select Save Link As…
- Name your file in the “Save As:” box and select the download location in the “Where:” box, then click “Save.”
- Confirm your download was successful.
- Go to “https://ezgif.com/” and ensure you are on the “Video to GIF” tab, then select the “Video to GIF” secondary tab.
- Click on “Browse” to look for the file you just downloaded.
- Select the downloaded video and click “Open” to add it to EZGIF.COM.
- Click the “Upload video!” button to convert your mp4 back to GIF format.
Just remember that reposting the GIF to Twitter will reconvert the GIF back to Twitter’s hybrid format, as it does with any animated GIF file.
Note: The reason you cannot use EZGIF alone is that their “Video to GIF (main tab) -> Video to GIF (secondary tab)” page errors out or does nothing when pasting the Twitter link. What worked before does not now. Therefore, you must return to EZGIF to convert your mp4 to a GIF.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t get EZGIF to work at all on your device, don’t fret.
There are plenty of sites on the web that can convert Twitter GIFs, including:
Saving a Twitter GIF on Windows
Saving Twitter GIFs on Windows is very similar to Mac since it uses a browser.
- Launch the browser of choice, open “Twitter,” and browse for the GIF image you want to download.
- Right-click the GIF and select “Copy Gif Address.”
- Open a new tab and go to “https://twdownload.com/” and paste the copied GIF link URL into the “video URL box.” Select “Download” when ready.
- A new page opens. Right-click on “Download Link,” then choose “Save link as…”
- Give your file a name or use the preselected one, then choose “Save.”
- Confirm that the download was successful.
- Go to “https://ezgif.com/” and click on the “Video to GIF” link.
- Confirm that you are on the “Video to GIF” tab and the secondary “Video to GIF” tab.
- Click on “Choose File.”
- Browse and select the “downloaded mp4 media file” (originally was the Twitter GIF), then click on “Open.”
- Select “Upload video!” to start the conversion process from mp4 back to GIF format.
Saving a GIF on Your Phone
Unfortunately, keeping a Twitter GIF on your smartphone is more complicated than downloading it on your computer, largely thanks to the limits of mobile operating systems. Still, some people rely on their smartphones for everything, and even Twitter is a better experience when it’s in the palm of your hand. We’ll be using the Twitter app for Android, combined with some other applications, to unlock the GIF download on your device. Let’s take a look.
Save Twitter GIFs Using Your Mobile Browser
By far, the most natural solution is just copying the GIF, just like the method we described above. It’s not difficult to copy the video address within the Twitter app, and EZGIF has a mobile site that makes saving the GIF to your phone just as simple.
- Start by finding the GIF you want to save to your device.
- Click on the tweet (not the image), and it will open it on a new page by itself.
- Click on the “share” icon under the image.
- Select “Copy Link.”
- Now, it’s time to convert your Twitter image to an mp4. With the link copied, open your mobile browser and head to “https://twdownload.com.”
- Paste the copied URL into the “download box” and tap on the “downward arrow” (download icon). Your file becomes an mp4 video.
- On the same website, scroll down to view your converted video (GIF to mp4) on the screen. Tap on the “Download Link” button.
- The mp4 appears in a browser window. Press the “Play” icon to view it if desired, then tap on the “vertical ellipsis” (three vertical dots) menu within the mp4, not the browser’s ellipsis.
- Choose “Download” from the options.
- Your mp4 should now appear in your “Downloads” folder on your Android device. Verify that it was successfully downloaded.
- Now, it’s time to convert the mp4 to an animated GIF. Open your mobile browser or a new tab and head to “EZGIF.com.” Tap on one of the two “Video to GIF” links.
- Scroll down the page and tap on “Choose File.”
- In the “Choose an action” section displayed at the bottom, select “Files.”
- Find and select your mp4 from the file browser that appears. The file browser should open up to your “Recent” section, or you can browse to “Downloads.”
- The screen returns to “Video to GIF converter” page with the “Upload video file” section, but now it displays your file. Tap on the “Upload video!” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Scroll up the newly loaded page to find your mp4 details and a preview. Tap on “Convert to GIF!” to start the conversion process.
- Scroll down the page to the “Output GIF:” section. View the conversion results and tap on the “save” button to download your newly animated GIF.
- Your animated Twitter image is now an animated GIF. Confirm that it saved to your Andrid device by using a file browser. Feel free to rename the file.
The Second Solution: Use Dedicated Apps for iOS and Android
In addition to the mobile site for EZGIF, there are several non-website apps you can install on iOS or Android to accomplish the same thing. The apps support the ability to download and save the content to your device versus saving them from the web browser but using a web page is safer. Still, there are tested and approved applications, if you would rather have a dedicated app that does the same job. Just be prepared for ads!
For Android, Tweet2GIF is an app that performs very similarly to EZGIF’s Video-to-GIF web app but works as a dedicated application. One drawback to the app is the lower quality conversion, but it works great overall!
You only need to click the convert button once to access your GIF, not convert it and then download it. Second, because it happens within its app interface, the GIFs are easier to download and store than they’d otherwise be. We did find that the GIFs were a bit lower quality than what we’d otherwise want from the platform, but even so, it’s a reliable app.
- Click on the GIF within the associated tweet to open it in a full-screen display.
- Tap the “Share” button at the bottom
- Select “Copy Link.”
- Visit Tweet2GIF from the Play Store.
- Install and launch the app.
- Paste the Twitter GIF link you copied in steps 1-3 above.
- Click the “Download GIF” button to save a copy to your smartphone.
For iOS, you’ll want to turn to GIFwrapped, a reliable GIF search engine on iOS that also comes with the ability to convert Twitter GIFs into shareable ones.
- Copy the link and paste it within GIFwrapped’s “Use the Clipboard” feature.
- Save the GIF to your library.
- Post or share the GIF to any app by using the built-in share feature of GIFwrapped.
Since GIFwrapped keeps its library within the application, it’s easy to keep things locked down and make them readily available!
With your GIF newly downloaded and saved from Twitter’s clutches, you can post and share the moving image file anywhere you like! GIFs are a vital part of the online world and help pages load faster than actual media files. Whether you’re using a dedicated application or you’re downloading content through EZGIF or another viable online source, it’s essential to keep the GIFs for future use. It’s also silly that Twitter keeps their GIFs locked in a video-like state, but thankfully, they can be converted and rescued for the rest of us.