How to Send & Receive SMS Text Messages in OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite comes with a really cool new feature that lets you send and receive SMS text message on your Mac. Here’s how to set it up.

Previously, you were only able to send and receive iMessages on your Mac, while SMS text messages had to be handled on your iPhone. However, you can now handle all text messages right on your Mac, thanks to OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1.


Apple calls this Text Message Forwarding, and it allows text messages that are received by your iPhone to be mirrored on your Mac running OS X Yosemite. You can also send SMS text messages from your Mac as well using this method.

However, the feature won’t work automatically, as there are a few conditions that you need to be aware of. We’ll show you how to set up Text Message Forwarding so that you can begin receiving and sending SMS text messages on your Mac.

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Setting Up Text Message Forwarding

It’s actually really quick and easy to set this feature up, and it takes less than a minute to do so.


The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that your iPhone and your Mac are connected to the same WiFi network and are logged into the same iCloud account. If you’re at home and only have one iCloud account anyway, then you’re most likely all set to go, but it wouldn’t hurt to double check.

You’ll also want your iPhone to be updated to the latest version of iOS in order for this feature to work. The latest version of iOS is iOS 8.1.

Once you’ve met all of this criteria, go ahead and open up the Settings app on your iPhone and navigate to Messages > Text Message Forwarding.

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Selecting the option opens a window with a list of your iOS and OS X devices. Your Mac should be listed, so go ahead and flip the toggle switch to On. Doing this will send a verification code to your Mac in the form of a six-digit number. You’ll be asked to enter in this number on your iPhone.

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Once that’s done, you’ll be good to go and you’ll start receiving SMS text messages on your Mac, as well as on your iPhone like usual. SMS text conversations will appear just like iMessage conversations, but the text bubbles will appear in green rather than blue, just like on iOS.

Other New Stuff in OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite was first announced back in June during Apple’s annual WWDC developers conference and it has spent the summer in beta form for developers to test out and report any bugs. The OS has seen multiple beta releases over the past few months and was finally released to the public late last week.

This new version of OS X comes with some pretty sweet features, including an all-new look and feel that finally puts OS X on par with iOS 7, thanks to the translucent windows and menus, as well as a flatter design overall, with redesigned icons that mimic iOS 7 icons, but still include some depth so that there’s still a bit of that classic OS X feel.


Furthermore, OS X 10.10 Yosemite also comes improvements made to Messages, including the ability to send and receive SMS text messages (rather than just iMessages), as well as make and receive phone calls as long as your iPhone is nearby and can connect to your Mac.

OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite also includes Handoff, which allows users to start a task on one device and complete on another. There’s also cross-platform support for AirDrop between iOS and OS X.

One of the first things that Apple touted on stage with the new OS X 10.10 Yosemite was the look of the new icons. They’ve obviously been iOS-ified and include a flatter design that we’ve seen on the iPhone and iPad, but they still have a bit of depth in order to keep the design from going completely iOS.


Windows are also a lot flatter and less bubbly than we’ve seen with past versions of OS X, and navigation menus (as well as title bars of applications) are also a been transparent, similar to different elements in iOS 7, like bringing up Control Center.

If you haven’t yet installed OS X Yosemite, here’s a thorough guide on performing a clean install on your Mac machine.