How to Receive & Send SMS Text Messages on Mac

With the Messages app on your Mac, you can receive and send unlimited iMessages to anyone with an Apple device. Additionally, the Messages app on your Mac can also be set up to send and receive carrier-supported SMS text messages to those who don’t use Apple devices.

Send SMS text messages on Mac

Your Mac has no SIM card and is far from being classified as a phone or mobile device. However, the Mac can still be set up to send and receive SMS and MMS messages by linking it to an iPhone with a cellular plan.

This is made possible by the operating system on your Mac (MacOS) being able to connect Mac to your iPhone when a shared Apple ID is used on both devices. Because of this association, the two devices know when they are on the same network together, making it possible to send and receive SMS text messages on a non-cellular device like a Mac.

Although your Mac appears to be sending and receiving SMS text messages, it is actually your iPhone that is sending and receiving SMS text messages using its cellular plan.

For convenience, however, sending and receiving text messages on the Mac feels the same (if not better) than an iPhone.

Steps to send and receive SMS text messages on Mac

To set up your Mac to send and receive SMS and MMS messages, you need an iPhone with a cellular plan. Also, you need to make sure that you are signed in to your iCloud account with the same Apple ID on both iPhone and Mac.

1. On your Mac, click the Apple logo and then click system settings option in the drop down menu.

Apple logo and System Preferences tab on Mac

2. Then click on the iCloud Option in the System Preferences window.

iCloud option in System Preferences on Mac

3. On the next screen, sign in to your iCloud account by entering your AppleID and password (if you are not already logged in).

Sign in to iCloud on Mac

4. You may see a pop-up on your iPhone informing you that your Apple ID and phone number will be used on a new Mac.

Apple ID Used on Mac Popup on iPhone

After making sure you are signed in to your iCloud account on Mac, go to your iPhone and confirm that you are signed in to your iCloud account with the same Apple ID.

1. On your iPhone’s home screen, tap Settings.

2. On the Settings screen, scroll down and tap iCloud.

iCloud Settings tab on iPhone

3. On the next screen, make sure you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID as on your Mac.

After confirming that you are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on both devices, follow these steps to set up SMS forwarding on your iPhone:

1. Open the Messages app on your Mac by clicking Messages icon in the taskbar.

Messages app in the Mac taskbar

Keep the Messages app open on your Mac (required to get a security code) and go back to your iPhone to follow the steps below.

2. open that settings App on your iPhone

3. On the Settings screen, scroll down and tap Messages.

Message Settings on iPhone

4. On the Messages screen, tap SMS forwarding (See image below)

SMS forwarding option on iPhone

5. On the next screen, under “Allow these devices to send and receive text messages from this iPhone,” you’ll see a list of Apple devices associated with your Apple ID. Enable the option to Send and receive text messages for your Mac (see image below).

Allow devices to send and receive text messages from iPhone

6. Next, you will see a popup on your iPhone asking you to enter a verification code as shown on your Mac to allow iPhone text messages to be sent and received on your Mac.

Enter the verification code to enable text message forwarding from iPhone

7. Enter the verification key (As it appears on your Mac – see image below) and tap To allow. (See picture above)

Code to receive text messages on Mac

Now when someone sends a text message to you (your iPhone), you can access the message on your Mac and also reply to the text message from your Mac.

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