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, you must 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, you would address your 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, for example)
  • The carrier's MMS or SMS gateway address
Animation representing sending text messages by email
Getty Images/Lee Woodgate

Finding the Carrier and Gateway Address

If you don't know which carrier your intended recipient uses, go to one of the following websites and enter their phone number to look up the service provider and SMS/MMS gateway addresses:

If you already know the name of the recipient's carrier, you can consult a list of SMS and MMS gateway addresses. The gateway details are important as they're used to construct your recipient's address in the same fashion that 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 a single SMS message is 160 characters. Anything longer than 160 characters and messages that include images or anything else that is not plain text is sent via MMS.

With some providers, you may need to use the MMS gateway address to send text messages longer than 160 characters, but nowadays many providers handle the distinction on their end and split up your texts accordingly on the recipient's side. So, if you send a 500-character SMS, there's a good chance that your recipient receives your message in its entirety, although it may be broken into 160-character chunks. If it turns out that this isn't the case, it's best to split up your message into multiple emails before sending.

Receiving Text Messages in Your Email

In most cases, if a recipient responds to a text message that you sent, you will 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 might be. 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've 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 get archived in your email, you can save space on your mobile device while still keeping important messages for future reference.

Other Messaging Alternatives

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