How to Email a Text

Sending and receiving texts via email is easier than you think

Want to send a text message without using your mobile device? That's not a problem if you know how to email a text message to someone's phone.

Instructions in this article apply to all cellphones that support SMS and MMS.

How to Email a Text Message

To send a text message by email, use the MMS or SMS gateway of your recipient's carrier with their cellphone number as the address. For example, if the recipient's phone number is (212) 555-5555 and the carrier is Verizon, address the email to 2125555555@vtext.com. The text in the body of your email appears on the recipient's phone or another mobile device in the form of a text message.

To email a text message, you need:

  • The recipient's phone number.
  • The recipient's mobile carrier (AT&T or Verizon, for example).
  • The carrier's MMS or SMS gateway address.
Animation representing sending text messages by email
Lee Woodgate / Getty Images

Find the Carrier and Gateway Address

If you don't know the carrier for your intended recipient, use a website such as freecarrierlookup.com or freesmsgateway.info. You can enter the recipient's phone number to look up the service provider and SMS/MMS gateway addresses.

If you know the name of the recipient's carrier, consult a list of SMS and MMS gateway addresses. The gateway details are important. These are used to construct your recipient's address in the same way you would an email address.

What's the Difference Between SMS and MMS?

When it comes to texting, there are two kinds of messaging available from carriers:

  • SMS: Short Message Service
  • MMS: Multimedia Messaging Service

For most providers, the maximum length of an SMS message is 160 characters. Anything longer than 160 characters and messages that include images or anything that isn't plain text is sent through MMS.

Some providers may require you to use the MMS gateway address to send text messages that are longer than 160 characters. However, many providers handle the distinction on their end and split up texts accordingly on the recipient's side. If you send a 500-character SMS, there's a good chance your recipient will receive your message in its entirety, although it may be broken into 160-character chunks. If this isn't the case, split your message into multiple emails before sending it.

Receive Text Messages in Your Email

In most cases, if a recipient responds to a text message that you sent, you'll receive that response as an email. Check your junk or spam folder, as these responses can be blocked or filtered more often than a traditional email. As is the case when sending messages through email, behavior varies from carrier to carrier when it comes to receiving responses.

Practical Reasons for Sending Text Messages via Email

You might want to send or receive text messages through email for several reasons. Perhaps you reached the monthly limit on your SMS or data plan. Maybe you lost your phone and need to send an urgent text. If you're sitting in front of your laptop, it may be more convenient than typing on a smaller device. Since text conversations are archived in your email, you can save space on your mobile device while keeping important messages for future reference.

Other Messaging Alternatives

Additional options are available for sending text messages from a computer, including the Apple Messages app and Facebook Messenger. There are also lesser-known alternatives, although use caution when sending messages with potentially sensitive content through an unknown third party.