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How to Send and Receive Text Messages in OS X Yosemite [Tutorial]

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With yesterday’s release of iOS 8.1, it finally brought with it the core features of Continuity in OS X Yosemite, with one major feature being able to send and receive text messages from your Mac, known as Text Message Forwarding. It’s disabled by default in iOS 8.1, but setting it up is quite simple.

Here’s how to set it up if you haven’t already…

Requirements: A Mac running OS X Yosemite and an iPhone running iOS 8.1.

1. Ensure your iPhone and Mac have the same iCloud account logged in for Messages, and you have at least ONE EMAIL address registered to receive messages.

2. On iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding > toggle on your Mac in the list.

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Your Mac will then be sent a code to confirm its identity and allow texts to be sent there. Enter that code shown on your Mac into your iPhone:

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3. Once that’s done, you’re all ready to go. Try sending a text message to a recipient (most likely that lonely friend with a sad BlackBerry Bold) from your Mac, then wait patiently for a reply. Text messages are indicated by green bubbles while iMessages are blue (you knew that already of course).

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If all is setup property, you’ll now be sending and receiving texts via your Mac! No more running to your iPhone to respond to text messages from non-iPhone users!

Let us know if you’re enjoying Text Messaging Forwarding in OS X Yosemite.

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  • Amod

    When i switch on Text Message Forwarding on my MacBook Air, it doesn’t send any code to my Mac.
    I am stuck on this step.

  • Mike

    That option isn’t there for me in ios 8.0.2

  • you need ios 8.1

  • Rohit

    Hey, so I just updated my phone to 8.1 yesterday but when I go to my Phone Message settings, the text message forwarding option is not there.

  • sukisszoze

    Thanks for the instructions! Works for me..useful for getting text messages from banks.

  • Chrome262

    actually once I updated to this and opened imessage on my make I got the code message so I really didn’t have to do much for my Retina. Works great, not sure if I can get it to work on my 2011 air though, it doesn’t have the chip for hand shake. let you know

  • Mike

    Works great with my 09 macbook pro and 4s!

  • Rabbit

    Ditto (Rohit), I’m on Rogers …I’ve upgraded to 8.1 and “Text Message Forwarding” is NOT as option.

  • Carlos

    I have iOS 8.1 installed and Yosemite and it will not send the activation codes to my Macs and iPad. They are all on the same iCloud account and connected to the same wi-fi network with bluetooth enabled. I’ve tried deactivating iCloud and reenabling it and that doesn’t help. Any other suggestions?

  • Lakh Jhajj

    I think there is a bug in 8.1 bec i am not seeing the option “Text Message Forwarding” under iMessage settings unlike you Gary??

  • G pop

    I had this same problem. In my case, I was able to resolve the issue by signing out of my iCloud account in iMessage, and than signing back in again. After I signed back in, the option for forwarding did appear as depicted in the image above.

  • Observer

    Same situation here. Phone is waiting for code but computer is not providing one…

  • melodiesoflife

    Okay, so, I tried this and no luck. I have an iPhone and a Macbook Pro. Both are fully updated. I go into my phone settings, it sees my mac, and asks me for the code. No code pops up on my Mac. What am I doing wrong?

  • Kyle Brown

    So I’m not able to forward text messages to two different Macs. I’ve got a Macbook Air and a Macbook Pro, (both running Yosemite, obviously) and I am only able to forward text messages to my Air.

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