How to send and receive iPhone text messages on your Mac

iPhone text messages on Mac - Continuity

iOS 8.1 enables SMS Text Message Forwarding feature, a Continuity feature that lets you send and receive SMS messages on your Mac via your iPhone, even if the person you’re communication with does not have an iPhone. It is no longer limited to iMessages.

And regardless of which device they’ve, you will be able to reply to an SMS or MMS from your Mac or iPad. You can also initiate a  conversation by clicking a phone number in Safari, Contacts, or Calendar.

Here’s how to enable the Text Message forwarding feature, so you can send and receive SMS and MMS messages on your Mac or iPad.


The Text Message forwarding feature only works on a Mac running OS X Yosemite, using an iPhone running iOS 8.1 or later.


  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap on Messages.
  • Then tap on Text Message Forwarding.
Send & Receive iPhone text messages Mac - Setup

Note: If you don’t see the Text Message Forwarding option then it means that you haven’t added an email address along with your phone number for iMessage on your iPhone. Here’s how to enable the option.

On Your iPhone:

Tap on Send & Receive and add an email address where you can be reached by iMessage in addition to the phone number. You will notice that there will be a section called Start New Conservations from. Note that the email address should be the same as the iCloud account (the one you’ve used to sign into iCloud on your Mac). Now go back to the previous Settings screen, and you should see the Text Message Forwarding option.

Send & Receive iPhone text messages Mac - Setup

On Your Mac:

Launch the Messages app, and go to Messages > Preferences. Click on the Accounts tab. Click on the iCloud email address from the list of accounts. Ensure that “Enable this account” has been selected. Also ensure that your iPhone’s phone number is ticked and iCloud email address is also selected. If your iCloud email address is not there in the list, then click on the + button to add it.

  • You can now turn on the toggle for Text Message forwarding for devices such as your Mac, so they can send and receive text messages from these devices using your iPhone.
Send & Receive iPhone text messages Mac - Setup
  • It will prompt you to enter the code shown on your Mac to allow iPhone text messages to also be sent and received on your Mac.
Send & Receive iPhone text messages Mac - Setup
  • You should get a notification with a 6-digit code on your Mac as you can see below.
Send & Receive iPhone text messages Mac - Setup

Note: If you don’t get the 6-digit code on your Mac, then go to Messages > Preferences on your Mac, click on the iCloud email address from the list of options, and sign out and sign in again. I had to do this to get the 6-digit code on my Mac.

  • Enter the 6-digit code that is displayed on your Mac, in the popup message on your iPhone, and tap on Allow to complete the setup process.

That’s it. You should now be able to send and receive your iPhone text messages from your phone number on your Mac.

Let me know how it goes, and feel free to drop in a line in the comments if you’ve any questions or run into any issues.

You may also like: