Skip to main content

Yosemite GM includes support for SMS Forwarding when paired with iOS 8.1 beta

When iOS 8.0 launched, it shipped without support for SMS Forwarding, one of the many “Continuity” features that were demonstrated to work between iOS devices and Macs running OS X Yosemite. The reason for this was fairly simple: there was no need to include the feature if Yosemite was not yet available to the public.

Earlier this week Apple delivered the first beta version of iOS 8.1 to developers. Aside from a few design tweaks, not a whole lot of changes were visible, though there were references and initial support for Apple Pay, indicating that this would be the update to enable that feature. Now it seems the update will also activate the SMS Forwarding function.

As seen above, support for pairing an iPhone with a Mac for SMS Forwarding is already built into iOS 8.1 beta 1. This makes sense since Apple has said that its payment service will be available in October, which is the same month Yosemite is expected to ship to consumers. Since the first version of Yosemite will need to ship with SMS Forwarding, that function is present in the GM build.


That means if you’re running the GM build of Yosemite and the beta build of iOS 8.1, you can now enable SMS Forwarding between your devices. Setup is completed by logging into the same iMessage account on both devices and waiting for the prompt to enter a confirmation code displayed on the Mac into the iPhone.

You can also manage your SMS-capable devices from the Messages settings pane on iOS, which will show a new section for the feature that allows you to toggle which devices will get text messages. If you attempt to re-enable a disabled device, you’ll have to redo the code entry to confirm your decision.

iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay and SMS Forwarding will be released some time in October alongside OS X Yosemite, and possibly new iPads. Apple is also currently hard at work on two new updates to iOS, versions 8.2 and 8.3.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. patstar5 - 9 years ago

    I’ve been able to text from my laptop with mighty text for months now on android

    • teecruz - 9 years ago

      nobody cares.

    • Derek Wildstar - 9 years ago

      who cares? I mean you could send an SMS message using iChat before android was a twinkle in google’s eyes:

    • モリ ト - 9 years ago

      I’ve been able to text from my Mac with BluePhoneElite for 10 years on iOS… so?

      • jacosta45 - 9 years ago

        iOS wasn’t even available for 10 years…

      • モリ ト - 9 years ago

        True… before iOS I was able to do it on my SE P910i, and after when the iPhone 2G came. I was even able to make phone calls using that app via Bluetooth. There are other apps that do the same thing. I find it very useful, but it’s nothing “new”.

      • .  (@jjohnson313) - 8 years ago

        Thats great, but how many times has BluePhoneElite sent a text message to your iPad? I’ll wait…

    • Been doing this with GrowlVoice on my Mac for several YEARS now. This is hardly a new feature.

      • may be its not new feature, but form now on it will work out of the box, you don’t have to download any additional app for that.

    • Udo Heib (@4uHyper) - 8 years ago

      It’s not just typing sms and send it from your laptop. That was possible for years I think.
      It’s far more than that.
      Start to type the sms on the phone – lay it down – go to ANY other device (iOS or MAC) near you and – go on typing and send it!
      Do you see the difference?

    • Jayce Gunn - 8 years ago

      It’s better when texting is integrated in the OS not having to open a webpage to do it. I hate MightyText cuz then Windows/Android feels like they don’t need to develop their OS to make messaging like on Mac OS because people use MightyText.

  2. Taste_of_Apple - 9 years ago

    Works pretty nicely.

  3. Jon (@jon99ut) - 9 years ago

    To say that there was no need for SMS forwarding because Yosemite wasn’t out yet is not a true statement, since it would also work when using it with an iPad.

  4. Abraham Song - 9 years ago

    Is this supported by all macs on Yosemite? Or specific ones? Also… what about iPads? Anyone know?

    • australianloves - 9 years ago

      You will be able to send SMS on an iPad when the feature rolls out. You will be able to use this feature if you have yosemite most likely. I don’t think it singles out any macs

    • aeronperyton - 9 years ago

      It’s all software backend so it would probably only require you to be on a Mac running Yosemite and at least one iPhone running iOS 8.1.

  5. Andrew Messenger - 9 years ago

    i’m running Yosemite GM and iOS 8.1 beta but when i try to activate text message forwarding, Messages opens up on my Mac but nothing happens. No code. *shrug*

    • aeronperyton - 9 years ago

      Sign out and back into iCloud on both ends, seems like at least one piece of software isn’t aware that you have the ability.

    • dr3459 - 9 years ago

      Same issue. Tried logging in and out like the other person recommended too and no luck. Hah.

      • Joshua Alvin - 9 years ago

        Your mac must support handoff I think.

      • Andrew Messenger - 8 years ago

        no luck here. iPhone 5s / 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display.

      • Josh The Geek - 8 years ago

        Handoff is not required; my MBP does not support handoff but I can use the SMS bridge.

    • Mike Beasley - 9 years ago

      For some reason it took several days after I installed the 8.1 beta for it to prompt me.

      • Andrew Messenger - 8 years ago

        I had my Apple ID email address disabled from receiving iMessages (because I hate the way it doesn’t group the conversations when people message you from either your phone number or Apple ID) but once i turned on receiving iMessages from my email address on both devices, it worked.

  6. dennyc69 - 9 years ago

    I’m using an iPhone 5 on 8.1 and don’t see the SMS forwarding in Settings. Being a beta, there’s always something to figure out

  7. dr3459 - 9 years ago

    This SMS thing is frustrating. I had it set up already and now the codes aren’t showing on my iPad or Mac at all to be able to receive texts on them.

  8. Buddy Connors - 9 years ago

    Are we talking about SMS forwarding? Or simultaneous reception of iMessages? There is a huge difference?

  9. POSSIBLE FIX: Had trouble getting the Mac or iPad Air to show the code, so I added the iCloud email address to my list of a Send& Receive, usually I just have my cell phone checked, and bingo, a few moments later, it worked! I hope this helps those who are having issues.

  10. Does it work with iPhone 4s?

  11. DinaMoHum (@DinaMoHum) - 8 years ago

    Does this combination, IOS 8.1 and Yosemite GM solve the iTines WiFi Syncing problem?
    Since upgrading to iTunes 11.4 & IOS 8 or 8.02 have completely lost Sync over WiFi.

    • Henri Ho - 8 years ago

      You’ll have to uncheck and check again the WIFI sync in order for that to work.

  12. Mollie Kastner - 8 years ago

    I am trying to set up text message forwarding but no prompt is coming up on my computer. Yes both phone and laptop are updated, both on the same network and bluetooth is on, and everything is set up with text messaging already on laptop. any ideas?