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How to Set Up iMessage on Your Mac

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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

Messages

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.

12 Comments

  1. Maliya

    03/02/2013 at 10:58 pm

    Whoop Whoop *fist pump*

  2. ken

    03/08/2013 at 11:49 am

    i want iMessage on my Mac! although, i run 10.6.8 and the beta download (messages.en.softonic.com/mac/download#downloading) 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 the link to the mac page is no longer valid.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

      03/14/2013 at 7:38 pm

      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.

    • ilovenz1

      08/08/2013 at 3:07 am

      Ken, you do NOT download it as an application from online.. You go into your messages on the computer… !!!

  3. jennifer

    05/05/2013 at 3:50 pm

    Under “Start new conversations from” do you tick your phone number or e-mail?

  4. Dylan

    05/07/2013 at 10:20 am

    i have os 10.7.5 but i cant figure out how to get imessage

  5. steve

    05/10/2013 at 5:06 pm

    I have the same problem as Dylan

  6. Nyle

    05/14/2013 at 5:17 pm

    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.

    • illy Gunnz

      07/25/2013 at 9:06 am

      I also have this same issue!

  7. Steve McAllister

    06/07/2013 at 10:34 pm

    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?

  8. Benjamin

    06/18/2013 at 10:26 am

    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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