As long as you’re signed in to the same Apple ID on your iPhone and your Mac, you can send and receive those blue-bubbled iMessages from your computer’s Messages app. But to send and receive those standard green bubble text messages, you need to make sure that the text message forwarding feature is turned on on your phone.
- Open the Settings app and tap Messages.
- Tap on the “Forward text message” option.
- Select the Mac (or iPad) you want to send and receive text messages from.
If you have a Mac and an Android device — which isn’t nearly as uncommon as it sounds — you have fewer options. The most convenient way is to use Google’s Messages app for your text messages, which is what many Android phones do by default these days. (If your phone doesn’t already have it, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store here.)
After installing the app, open the web browser of your 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 discussed. That said, if your PC is running Microsoft’s Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system, you can use a special feature called Phone Link that does a lot more than direct your texts to the right people. Here’s how to set it up.
- On your Windows PC, find the search box or button in your taskbar and type “phone link”, then sign in to your Microsoft account when 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 provides a link to help you find it.
- Once the app is installed on your phone, click the link button with the QR code in the Phone Link window of your computer and follow the rest of the instructions.
In addition to sending and receiving messages, you can also use the Phone Link app on your PC to view your phone’s photos on your monitor, save those files to your PC, and even run certain Android apps in Windows. all without having to plug anything in.
Apps like AirMessage can essentially forward text messages and iMessages from an iPhone to any device you’re currently using, be it an Android phone or a Windows laptop. The catch? Usually you have to set up additional equipment and play with settings.
But if you have an iPhone and a PC and you really want to get in touch with someone quickly via text message, you can try emailing them a text message. You need to know three things for this to work:
- The phone number of the person you’re trying to contact
- The name of the company providing their cell phone service, such as Verizon or AT&T
- The special domain names that these companies use to route incoming emails to mobile phones. For Verizon it’s: vtext.com. For AT&T it is: txt.att.net. And for T-Mobile it is: tmomail.net.
If you have all this, you can send an email to [recipient’s phone number]@[special domain name]. Suppose you want to contact a T-Mobile customer in this way; you would send your (short) message in an email to for example [email protected].