The ability to forward traditional SMS messages between the Mac and the iPhone is another huge feature to make its way to OS X Yosemite. Now that iOS 8.1 is publicly available, everyone can take advantage of this awesome new feature.

SMS Forwarding essentially makes it possible to turn the Messages app on your Mac into a full-fledged text messaging app. Not only can you compose SMS messages and stay in touch with your non-iMessage using friends, you can receive messages as well. Have a look at our video walkthrough for more details on this awesome new feature.

Just as a reminder, you must be running OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1 to use Text Message Forwarding. iOS 8.1 released earlier today, so make sure that your iPhone is running it before proceeding. You’ll also need to make sure that you have hardware that meets Apple’s Continuity requirements.

To enable Text Message Forwarding, you must be logged in to the Messages app with the same iCloud account on your iPhone and Mac. You must also ensure that Text Message Forwarding is enabled for your Mac via SettingsMessagesText Message Forwarding on the iPhone. Before you can start texting, you’ll need to verify your Mac via a one-time-use verification code.

Once you have everything set up properly, you’ll be able to both send and receive normal SMS messages via your Mac. SMS messages are denoted by the green bubbles that appear in the Messages app, while iMessages retain their blue hue.

What do you think about Text Message Forwarding? Is it as big of a deal to you as it is to me?

This post is an excerpt from iDB’s Yosemite Interactive Starter Guide. To learn about some of OS X Yosemite’s most outstanding new features, and to support iDB, you can download it on the iBooks Store for $0.99.

View all of the OS X Yosemite Interactive Stater Guide topics:

  • ✯Mike✯

    my mac won’t show a code..

    • Francis Parlet

      Your iMessage app has to be open to view the code

      • ✯Mike✯

        my messages app is open, i’ve tried and retried multiple times. i even tried pairing my mac and iPhone and still no success.

      • eXoguti093

        Restart maybe? I got it when I booted back from Bootcamp

      • angelbolanose

        Same problem as you mate… No luck.

      • C Mac

        you have to have at least 1 email selected in iMessages. I was encountering the same issue when I was using my phone number only for messages. added my iCloud email, and it fixed everything. You have to keep it enabled too.

      • ✯Mike✯

        thank you! fixed it!

      • Jack Wong

        How did you fix it? I have the same problem here.

      • ✯Mike✯

        on the phone, go to settings>messages>send & receive and make sure an email address is chosen along with your phone number. then on the Mac, to to messages preferences and make sure the same email is enabled. that fixed it immediately for me

      • Jack Wong

        Thank you for sharing.

        But I already have the phone # and email address checked on both devices.

      • ✯Mike✯

        I would then try signing in/out of iCloud on both and re-verifying iMessage on the phone

      • Jack Wong

        Will try that tonight, thank you.

    • ThoseCurves

      i got the same problem, it just wont show up..

    • bolencki13

      Mine also won’t show. Tried a restart

    • You have to have an e-mail address enabled. 🙂

      • angelbolanose

        already tried with email enabled. No luck

      • ✯Mike✯

        this fixed my issue! thanks!

      • Chinch07

        I signed out of iCloud on all my devices and resigned in.

    • Jennifer DeVore

      I figured this issue out after 3 days of trying every suggestion on every forum! Okay this post is from 7 months ago but I know someone else will have this issue probably today. Anyways. I was using iMessage on my mac and I updated my Mac and of course iMessage stopped working. So to fix this issue open iMessage, go into preferences by clicking command and comma. go into accounts and and you should see all the accounts set up with iMessage. In my case the last choice was grayed out and that choice said iMessage so all I have to do was click on it and sign on to my icloud again. Now just to let you know I was signed on to iCloud prior to doing this but for some reason I had to sign on in that specific spot. I hope this actually helps someone because I know from my experience when I am not bale to figure something out I go nuts.

      • courtney taylor

        thank u it worked for me

  • raodysseus

    Huge – love this.

  • jaysoncopes

    I love this feature. This is honestly a huge deal to me because clearly not everyone owns an iPhone or even uses their iMessage account. I’m extremely excited to be able to use this feature so I can hypothetically leave my phone completely alone and only use my computer.

    • Danny Rios

      If you don’t own a iPhone it won’t work…? (O.o)

      • Danny Rios

        Oh nevermind. Thought you didn’t have a iPhone and wanted to use this feature on osx yosemite.. my bad lol.. *walks out*

  • Roland Thanos

    Anyone not have the “text forwarding” option under the settings-> messages tab?? I am not seeing this tab.

    • ThoseCurves

      You need to upgrade your iOS to version 8.1 which was released earlier today. only then will the option appear.

      • Roland Thanos

        Already did

      • ThoseCurves

        reboot your phone. see if that helps..

      • M L

        Still no go. I don’t have Yosemite on my MBP…but that shouldn’t effect the iphone..should it?

    • Ray David

      dude I’ve been trying to figure that shit out of the past 3 hours talking to sprint and apple.. just figured it out my self.. using your mac open the messaging app and go to messages then pref then accounts. then you got to click on your iPhones number. the forwarding tab will show up then

      • M L

        Yeah tried your instructions exactly and still no joy.

    • William Taylor

      Make sure to go to messages > Preferences on your MBP and sign into the same icloud account on your phone. Once this is done, “Text forwarding” should be an option. I had this same problem and it took me hours to get it to pop up. Hope this helps!

    • Im having this issue too. Updated to 8.1 already

  • ThoseCurves

    Help here, i can’t seem to get the damn code to work. nothing shows up.. restarted app a few times and quite a few reboots too.. damn it..

    • Chinch07

      I fixed it by signing out of iCloud and messages on all my devices then signed back in.

  • diggitydang

    If someone you message uses an Android phone (text messaging) and a Mac (iMessage) and you get a text message on your Mac from that person, but try to respond, it responds as iMessage when it consolidates the conversation. That’s not good…

    • PoleGirl

      So does that show as 2 different threads?

      • diggitydang

        That’s what I was hoping for… that it would show two threads, like on my iPhone, but it doesn’t do that… instead, it consolidates it and makes it an iMessage conversation that only communicates with the person’s iMessage (ie. their Mac). I’m hoping it’s a setting that I’m missing somewhere.

      • diggitydang

        So yeah, if you receive an SMS, you will send it as SMS back. But as soon as they send you another iMessage, it all flips to iMessage and doesn’t keep them separate.

        Sucks… I’m disappointed in this one.

      • diggitydang

        Ok, so I guess a workaround is to click their name and change it to Text Message vs iMessage, but I don’t want to have to keep doing that…

  • PoleGirl

    When I opened up an active conversation in iMessage on my iMac, it automatically opened a box asking me if I wanted to authorize this feature. Once I said yes, a code appeared, and so did a text on my iPhone. I had to type the code into the iPhone text to authorize the link. And then it was set. Pretty cool I think.

  • Atras

    How about an iPad that take use of the Hotspot from an iphone, would that count as same wifi Network?

  • ian

    okay i was having the same problem that the code won’t show up make sure under messages and the “send and receive” be sure to have your number and email check under the “YOU CAN BE REACHED BY MESSAGE AT” section. then i sent a message to a non iPhone thru my mac and is popped up ” this number is not registered with iMessage” then i pushed OKAY and then another box asked would i like to enable tex forwarding

  • Sammi Biswas

    make sure you have “you can be reached at: Phone # & Email” enabled in both the phone and the macbook/iPad.

    • Michael Villanueva

      how can i do that on mac?.. plx help

  • LN

    Does sms relay support iphone 5 and ipad 3?

  • IOSGuru9

    does anyone know if i have to have my phone on wifi for this to work?

  • Technocrz!

    great after updating to 8.1 my phone call option isnt working, even i dont see the option where you select cellular call something in facetime setting of iphone and Mac, am i missing something

  • xipoxp

    My Mac said cannot activate my iMessage…ask me to call Apple which I dont want…and leave it there…

  • wassimj

    I did three things that made it work:
    1. Re-started my MacBoook
    2. Turned off “Do Not Disturb” in Notification Center
    3. Switched iChat to “Available” (It was offline)

    I am suspecting it was not working due to iChat being “Offline” Did not notice it when I was trying to activate SMS forwarding. In any case, it worked just fine. I am using an iPhone 5 and a MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina late 2012

  • To fix the problem “my mac wont show a code…” just add a email do your imessage on mac and iPhone. If still dont working, try select a email to start a new conversation in mac. I try this and work with me.

  • Pixelsmack

    Accept that if your Mac doesn’t support this it doesn’t matter if you enable it or not. Messages STOPS working on older Macs. All Messages are now GREEN and won’t send on my 2009 iMac. Lovely. Does Apple actually have competent beta testers?

  • Christine Saunders

    My message app is open and I”m not getting a code! What should i do?

  • Fraser Devine

    iv’e managed to pair the iphone and ipad – but can’t get the mac to pair – no code appears anywhere on the mac

  • Ben Carlton-Gray

    My code showed up, and my phone is set up to forward messages to my computer, however it will only let me send iMessages, and not sms. Help?

  • Michael Villanueva

    Pls Help!!!

  • Michael Villanueva

    The code won’t show on my macbook air….

  • Daniel Dorsey

    when i go to messages, “text message forwarding” isn’t even there. I have also updated to iOS 8.1 and have yosemite. I don’t see what the problem is

  • Anton Schwartz

    Any idea if normal SMS rates apply when texting from Messages in Yosemite? I’d love to be able to avoid the $0.25/text fee I get charged on my phone.

  • jaysoncopes

    Not if you don’t have an android…

  • Bunleng Chhoun

    hi i can’t make phone call it say “u have to connect you iphone and mac on the same wifi” but i can get sms on mac. how to fix it?

  • I have a problem no one else seems to have. Most of the time, when I try to send a text message from Mac or iPad, the progress bar stops right before it reaches the end and it stays there for a minute or two. It either ends with an error (“message could not be sent”) or the message is sent but without the usual confirmation sound. Ocassionaly, SMS Relay works just fine, but most of the time it takes me up to 15 minutes to get one message sent and it drives me crazy. There seems to be no solution to this on the Internet. I’m using OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 and iOS 8.1.2. I’d be greatful for any reply. Thank you!

  • Dennis Hill

    Finally!! Somebody explains this and it actually worked!!
    Thanks Mr. Benjamin.

  • Tommi Taskinen

    Got this working by resetting network settings on iPhone! Settings->General->Reset->Reset Network Settings