How to Send and Receive Text Messages on Your Mac Computer

A lot of people don’t realize that they can actually send and receive text messages on their Mac computer. In fact, it’s one of the best kept “secrets” out there, which is too bad, because being able to type text messages with a regular full keyboard is glorious! So, here’s how to use your Mac computer, be it Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, or iMac, and the included iMessage program, to send and receive text messages.

(Note: This only works when the person with whom you’re exchanging text messages has an iPhone.)

To enable this function on your computer, open the program iMessage. iMessage is the chat program that comes with your Mac computer, the one that you open by clicking on this icon:


Now, go into the iMessage preferences, into the “Accounts” section.


You need to enable your Apple i.d in iMessage. What, you say that you don’t have an Apple i.d.? We’ll bet that you do – it’s the same i.d. (usually your email address) that you use to sign in to iTunes, and pretty much any other Apple service.


It seems to take a little while for the system to connect the dots once you set it up, but in a short while you will see text messages showing up on your Mac, in iMessage, provided that the person sending them has an iPhone. As soon as this happens, you can also send messages to them from iMessage on your computer.

If the person with whom you are corresponding from your Mac to their iPhone is not in your Contacts on your Mac, then their text messages will show up as being from a telephone number. If they are in your Contacts then iMessage will show their name and, if you have one assigned to them in Contacts, their photo.

Now, there is one more thing that you will want to do if you yourself use an iPhone. And that is to set up iMessage on your iPhone so that your messages all sync between both your phone and your Mac. This way regardless of where you are (at your computer, or out with your phone) you will have the full conversation at your fingertips – meaning that messages that you sent and received while sitting at your computer will also appear on your iPhone, and vice versa.

(Again, remember, this only works for people with whom you are corresponding who also have an iPhone.)

To set up iMessage on your iPhone to sync with your Mac, go into settings and select the “Messages” settings:



Set ‘iMessage’ to “on”.



Now scroll down and click on “Send & Receive”:


Here you are presented with the same options as in the iMessage account settings on your Mac, starting with entering your Apple i.d. (which of course is the key to the syncing), and then identifying at which places (email addresses and iPhone number) you want to receive/send texts from iMessage.



And that’s how you set up sending and receiving text messages to and from your Mac!

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