How to send a text message from a computer

If you’re on your computer and get a text, wouldn’t it be great if you could reply without picking up your phone? The good news is that many computers have apps that you can connect to your text messages.

Whether you use Apple or Android, you can connect your messages to your Mac. Android users can also use Windows to send text messages. Keep reading to determine which option works best for you.

How to send texts via iMessage (iOS and MacOS)

iMessages on Mac

Though iMessage formerly only handled iMessages, later iterations of Apple’s operating system include an option specifically designed for forwarding SMS messages directly to your Mac or another iOS device. Once properly set up, you’ll be able to quickly send messages from your computer to any known number using the Messages app on your machine — and receive them in a similar fashion without ever glancing at your phone.

Message iOS 8

Step 1: To set up iMessage and SMS forwarding on your iOS device, navigate to the main Settings menu and tap Messages.

Step 2: Toggle on iMessage and ensure you’re logged into the same iCloud account as all other devices using Messages. Also, make sure all of your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Step 2a: On your Mac, you’ll need to open the Messages app and then select Messages. From there, navigate to Preferences and then select iMessage.

Step 3: On your iPhone, and after you’ve selected Messages from the Settings menu: Tap Text Message Forwarding, toggle the switch directly right of the Apple device to which you want to send SMS messages, and then enter the six-digit confirmation code displayed on the device. Doing so will confirm that you want to send and receive messages from your iPhone on your Mac, and confirm you own the machine. You may or may not have to type in a confirmation code, depending on your setup.

Once everything is set up, you can send text messages by clicking the pencil icon located above the contact list, entering your desired recipients, and composing the message as you would normally. However, keep in mind that the standard text message limit of 160 characters still applies even when using Messages. A text longer than 160 characters will likely count as two for billing purposes, or more depending on how long it is.

However, you can send messages to other iOS and MacOS users for free, as long as they use Messages. Remember, a normal text message will be in a green bubble, while an iMessage will be in a blue bubble. This method works with both Mac and iOS.

How to send texts via Android Messages (Android and PC)

This methods works great for Android phone users and it doesn’t matter what kind of computer you use: You just need a browser and the Android Messages app. Android Messages lets Android smartphone owners text straight from a web interface, no matter what device they’re using. It works on desktops, laptops, or even iOS devices. You do have to set Android Messages as the default app on your phone though, so make sure to do so before getting started.

Step 1: Go to the Android Messages homepage.

Step 2: Open the Android Messages application on your phone.

Step 3: Tap on the menu and select Messages for Web.

Step 4: Tap Scan QR code and use your handset to scan the QR code from the Android Messages homepage. If you aren’t sure how, here’s a guide on using QR codes with today’s smartphones. This will link your device and your browser, and you’ll see messages and contacts appear on your other device as they synchronize.

Step 5: Use the web interface to chat with friends and family as you would on your Android smartphone.

If you want to retain the synchronization between devices so that you don’t have to scan the QR code every time, just select Yes when the web interface asks if you want it to remember your computer.

Sending texts via email

As our last option, you can send an SMS to a mobile phone without the need of a third-party service — you can do so directly within your email client by emailing the right carrier. Don’t know what mobile carrier your friend uses? Find out here.

For quick reference, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common U.S. service providers and their corresponding gateway addresses below. However, keep in mind there are different addresses for regular messages (SMS) and those that include photos and other media (MMS). For more information, check out our full article on how to send a text message via email.

SMS Gateway MMS Gateway
Alltel @text.wireless.alltel.com @mms.alltelwireless.com
AT&T @txt.att.net @mms.att.net
Boost Mobile @sms.myboostmobile.com @myboostmobile.com
Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com @pm.sprint.com
T-Mobile @tmomail.net @tmomail.net
U.S. Cellular @email.uscc.net @mms.uscc.net
Verizon @vtext.com @vzwpix.com
Virgin Mobile @vmobl.com @vmpix.com

Note: For T-Mobile, include 1, which is the U.S. country code, before the phone number.

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