As long as you’re signed in to the same Apple ID on your iPhone and Mac, you’ll be able to send and receive these blue bubble iMessages from the Messages app on your computer. But to send and receive those standard green bubble text messages, make sure your phone’s text message forwarding feature is turned on.
- Open the Settings app and tap Messages.
- Tap on the “text message forwarding” option.
- Select the Mac (or iPad) from which you want to send and receive text messages.
If you have a Mac and an Android device – which isn’t as rare as it sounds – you have fewer options. The most convenient way is to use Google’s Messages app for your text messages, which many Android phones these days do by default. (If your phone doesn’t already have it, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store here.)
Once you’ve installed the app, open your web browser of choice on your Mac and go to Google’s Messages website and follow the instructions to pair your phone and Mac by scanning the QR code on your screen. After that, you’ll see all your text conversations right in your web browser, where you can receive and reply as long as you stay logged in.
The easiest option here is to use the same Google Messages feature we just talked about. That said, if your PC is running Microsoft’s Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating systems, you can use a special feature called Phone Link that does more than redirect your texts to the right people. Here’s how to set it up.
- On your Windows PC, locate the search box or button in your taskbar and type “phone link”, then sign in to your Microsoft account if prompted.
- If your Android phone doesn’t already have it, download and install the “Link to Windows” app. The Phone Link app on your computer will offer a link to help you find it.
- Once the app is installed on your phone, click the button that allows you to pair with the QR code in the Phone Link window on your computer, then follow the remaining instructions.
Beyond sending and receiving messages, you can also use the Phone Link app on your PC to view photos from your phone on your monitor, save those files to your PC, and even run some Android apps in Windows, all without having to plug anything in. .
Apps like AirMessage can basically transfer SMS messages and iMessages from an iPhone to any device you are currently using, be it an Android phone or a Windows laptop. The problem? You usually need to configure additional equipment and change settings.
But if you have an iPhone and a PC and really want to get in touch with someone quickly via text message, you can try texting them via email. You need to know three things for this to work:
- The phone number of the person you are trying to contact
- The name of the company providing their cell phone service such as Verizon or AT&T
- The special domain names these companies use to route incoming emails to cell phones. For Verizon, it’s vtext.com. For AT&T, it’s txt.att.net. And for T-Mobile, it’s tmomail.net.
Once you have all of this, you can send an email to [recipient’s phone number]@[special domain name]. Suppose you want to contact a T-Mobile customer this way; you would send your (brief) message in an email to, say, [email protected].