How to Set Up iMessage on Your Mac

iMessage is one of the best ways to keep in contact with coworkers, friends and family.  With a few simple steps iMessage can be set up on any Mac.

A benefit of setting up Messages for Mac is that all of the conversations that are on the iPhone or iPad via iMessage will be synced with your Mac as well. It is important to note that only iMessages are synced to all of the devices, and not regular text messages.

iMessages that are sent to a user’s phone number and not their Apple ID email address are also forwarded to the Mac. If the user does not sync their iPhone contacts with iCloud, the messages will just appear with the contact’s phone number.

How to Set Up iMessage on Mac


Go to the Dock and select Messages.


Messages PreferencesGo to the top left, click Messages and select Preferences.

Sign In

Tap the Accounts tab and select iMessage.

Enter your Apple ID and Password and click Sign In.

After that step is complete the window should look like the one below.


Account Added

The Apple ID will appear along the top with the Enable this account box checked. Also if iMessage is setup on an iPhone the phone number will appear with a check mark applied. This allows iMessages to be sent to that phone number.

Another feature that Messages for Mac has is the ability to send IM messages from popular platforms such as AIM, Yahoo!, Google, or even Facebook. This is a nice feature. All of your messages are in one location rather than having to sign into multiple browser tabs. To add an IM account tap the + in the bottom left of the accounts window and enter your login information.

In terms of compatibility Messages only comes on OSX Mountain Lion, which is disappointing for users who are on Lion or Snow Leopard. Also there is currently not a way to receive iMessages on Windows.


  1. ken says

    i want iMessage on my Mac! although, i run 10.6.8 and the beta download ( will not open. i get “invalid checksum” when i try to open.
    anywhere else i can get the download. the link to the mac page is no longer valid.

    • Ric says

      iMessage only works on OSX 10.7 & above. You may upgrade to OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion & you’ll have it on your Mac, including many other new features that works well with iOS6.

  2. Nyle says

    I have I message but I keep on getting the message that I can’t sign in and check connection. I made sure connection, username and pass were ok, but I can’t login. :( Help please.

  3. Steve McAllister says

    My problem is even more basic. When I go to the dock, there is no icon that says “Messages”. Any suggestions on how I can find this and add it to my desktop?

  4. Benjamin says

    when someone gets a message on their phone from my computer, what does it show up as? is it my apple id? I want to make sure they know who is talking to them.

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