How to send and receive SMS text messages on iPad and Mac

In addition to iMessage, you can also send and receive regular text messages on your iPad and Mac. This tutorial shows you how to do that so you can continue your SMS conversation from any device and not just your iPhone.

Sending SMS from Mac


Your iPad or Mac will use the phone number of your iPhone to send SMS. Here’s what you need to set everything up:

  • Your iPhone and iPad/Mac must be signed in to the same Apple ID.
  • You must be signed in to iMessage using your same Apple ID on both devices.
  • iPhone must be switched on and connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network.
  • Your iPad/Mac must be connected to Wi-Fi.

How to set up your iPad or Mac to send text messages

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap Messages.
  3. Tap Text Message Forwarding.
  4. Enable the devices like iPad or Mac where you want to send and receive text messages on.
Text Message Forwarding on iPhone for iPad Mac

Now, open the Messages app on your iPad or Mac and send a text message to someone. When you do that, you will notice that the text bubble color is green, which signifies SMS.

As you can see, I sent three SMS from my Mac’s Messages app to my feature phone, and they all were delivered.

SMS sent using Mac received on non-Apple feature phone

Pro tip: You can also choose to save your text messages to iCloud, which will make them available and updated on all your devices, like iPad and Mac.

Besides messages, you can also set your iPhone to show incoming calls on your iPad and Mac.

Don’t see your iPad or Mac in the list on your iPhone?

Keep in mind that you must be signed into Messages with the same Apple ID as your iPhone. So, if your device isn’t listed, sign into Messages. Here’s how to do that:

On iPad

  1. Open Settings, scroll down and select Messages.
  2. Enter your Apple ID and password, and tap Sign In.
  3. If iMessage isn’t enabled after you sign in, enable it by moving the slider to green.
iMessage Signin on iPad

When the sign-in is successful, you should receive a confirmation of this action on your iPhone (and other devices). Click OK.

Confirm Messages on iPhone for iPad

On Mac

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Click Messages > Settings or Preferences from the menu bar.
  3. Go to the iMessage tab, and sign in with your Apple ID and password.
iMessage Signin on Mac

You should receive a confirmation of this action on your iPhone (and other devices). Click OK.

Confirm Messages on iPad for Mac

Now, just follow the first set of instructions at the top to enable Text Message Forwarding on your iPhone. Your iPad and/or Mac should now be on the list for you to select. If not, make sure the devices are connected to the internet. If the problem persists, restart your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Do more with Messages: