Receiving and sending iMessages and text messages with your Mac is a convenient and useful feature. Let’s look at how to make sure it’s all set up and running properly.

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There are a couple of steps to making sure you have functionality with both iMessages and SMS messages (standard text messages) on your Mac.

If you’re not already signed in with your Apple ID in the Mac Messages app, you’ll need to do that first. If you are, skip below to make sure that Text Message Forwarding is turned on your iPhone to receive them on your Mac.

How to get iMessages on your Mac

  1. If you’re launching Messages on your Mac for the first time, sign in with your Apple ID when the app prompts you
  2. If you’ve previously launched the app, click on Messages in the menu bar
  3. Click Preferences… → Accounts → iMessage
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password

Here is a more detailed look at the above process:

Image showing how to sign in with Apple ID for iMessage in Messages preferences

Once you’re successfully signed in, you’ll see details on the phone number(s) and email(s) you can be reached at, as well as what number or email new conversations will start from.

Your phone number will be the default for where new conversations will start from, you can change this by clicking on it and selecting another option. You can also uncheck the number(s) and email(s) that you can be reached at without removing them completely.

How to get text messages on your Mac

In order to receive regular text messages (SMS) on your Mac (these will come from non-Apple devices or when iMessage is unavailable) you’ll need to make sure Text Message Forwarding is turned on in your iPhone’s settings.

  1. Tap on the Settings application on your iPhone
  2. Swipe down and tap on Messages
  3. Tap on Text Message Forwarding
  4. Tap on the toggle next to your Mac to turn on the feature if it’s not green already

If you’re signed into Messages on your Mac and also have Text Message Forwarding turned on in your iPhone’s settings, you’re all set to send and receive iMessages and text messages. For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide.


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