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 blue bubble iMessages from your computer’s Messages app. But to send and receive standard SMS messages with green bubbles, make sure your phone’s text message forwarding feature is on.
- Open the Settings app and tap Messages.
- Tap the “text message forwarding” option.
- Select the Mac (or iPad) where you want to send and receive text messages.
If you have a Mac and an Android device — which is nearly as unusual as it sounds — you have fewer options. The most convenient way is to use the Google Messages app for your text messages, which many Android phones nowadays do by default. (If your phone doesn’t already have it, you can do a free download from Google Play Store here.)
After you have installed the app, open a web browser of your choice on your Mac and go to Google 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 the 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 covered. That said, if your PC is running the Microsoft Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system, you can use a special feature called Phone Link that does more than just route your texts to the right people. Here’s how to set it up.
- On your Windows PC, find the search box or button on your taskbar and type “phone link” and 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 Links 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 will allow you to pair with a QR code in your computer’s Phone Link window, then follow the rest of the instructions.
Apart from 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 the files to your PC, and even run certain Android apps within Windows, all without having to plug in anything. .
Apps like Air Order can basically forward SMS messages and iMessages from your iPhone to whatever device you are currently using, be it an Android phone or a Windows laptop. Catch? You usually have to prepare additional equipment and tinker with settings.
But if you have an iPhone and a PC and you really want to text someone right away, you can try sending a text message via email. You need to know three things for this to work:
- The phone number of the person you are trying to call
- The name of the company that provides their cell phone service such as Verizon or AT&T
- A custom domain name that this company uses to route incoming email to phones. For Verizon, this vtext.com. For AT&T, that txt.att.net. And for T-Mobile, that tmomail.net.
Once you have all this you can send an email to [recipient’s phone number]@[special domain name]. Say you want to contact a T-Mobile customer in this way; You will send your (short) message in an email to, say, email@example.com.