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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.



  1. simon

    10/22/2014 at 1:10 am

    It is Apple spreading itself too thin that is causing these issues in everything they produce these days. Instead of making one thing work really well from the outset, they have many things working below par or just badly, and for many the user experience, especially after upgrading, has gone to shit, which is the main reason for many paying the higher Apple prices in the first place.

    Honestly, how much longer will people stand for shoddy releases to their expensive products, and yet, Apple have just reported record profits for the last quarter, so if the money is rolling in, why should they change? Only money talks these days, and people seem to be caught in the hypnotic world that is Apple, not that there are many other options if one wants something other than Microsoft, and while Android is an excellent platform for a phone, Apple always plays better with Apple.

  2. Tricia

    10/23/2014 at 4:45 am

    Thank you for this!! My messages are working perfectly :)

    • ur mom

      11/11/2015 at 1:48 pm

      suck it

  3. albertdebruijn

    10/23/2014 at 11:44 pm

    iBooks is behaving differently when dealing with PDF books. They now open in Acrobat, in a separate window with al the nuisances of that. (a) the window floats in its own space (i.e. not docked within iBooks), but perhaps worse, the books open in what ever magnification is set within the PDF. This is a HUGE pain. In the past, you just clicked the book and it opened and you could start reading. Now you need to adjust the floating window and zoom the PDF so it fits the window . . . yuck!

  4. Phoenix Ares (@Humnzrstupd)

    10/28/2014 at 11:56 am

    I think I’ma skip the next OS X update. Contemplating now if I should downgrade back to Mavericks. Got Yosemite and everything from battery drain to not being able to access accounts in Safari to slow responses…this is crap to me. My laptop is not THAT old (2010 Macbook Pro)….a $1,300 laptop bought almost 4 years ago. I’m NOT about to upgrade to a newer one just to stay current on OS system. Screw that.

  5. Larry Cable

    11/03/2014 at 4:48 pm

    I dont see that “dumbing down” the L&F of the Mac Desktop to the lowest common denominator (iOS) is really an improvement any way that you measure it.

  6. Jeff Cowan

    11/03/2014 at 5:08 pm

    Hmmm. Don’t know about your set up but I’ve got two monitors and haven’t a clue where the six digit verification code would show up so that I could enter in on my iPhone. Any hints. Thanks in advance.

  7. Jake

    11/20/2014 at 8:54 am

    The six-digit verification code never shows up in Messages on my Mac. Any idea why?

  8. nilou

    04/06/2015 at 11:28 am

    when i turn on the “text message forwarding” option nothing appears on my mac. and I’m sure i have the same icloud on both devices.
    this starts happening when i downloaded the new version of IOS. any idea why is it doing this?

  9. Br.Bill

    07/06/2015 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks so much!

  10. S Adams

    08/08/2015 at 12:04 pm

    Does this work on Ipads that are wifi only?

  11. scott scharton

    09/01/2015 at 11:27 am

    what if I don’t want other users text messages, in my household , to show up on my mac. Have a brand new mac, and everyones shows up automatically (no codes, no set up on their devices, etc).

  12. Leah

    10/20/2015 at 3:28 pm

    bless this post honestly it is a life saver

  13. anthony sacco

    04/18/2016 at 9:01 am

    instructions dont work for me at 90 y/o

  14. John

    12/22/2016 at 10:25 pm

    So it still only communicates between Apple devices? Not much of an upgrade then. If it could allow texting to/from Android devices, that would actually be useful.

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