How to Send a Text From Your Computer to iOS or Android

Need to message someone but your phone isn't handy? Try these tips

What to Know

  • To send a text to an iOS device, use iMessage.
  • To send to Android device from iMessage, go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding.
  • For Android, go to Messages > More options menu > Messages for web. In a browser go to https://messages.google.com/web.

This article explains how to send a text from a computer to an iOS or Android device. Instructions apply to macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Additional information covers how to sync texts between your smartphone, web browser, and desktop PC using Pushbullet.

Female architect working at laptop
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How to Text From Computer Using iMessage (iOS & MacOS)

Apple's iMessage service has long been the popular way to send messages between iPhones, and now you can also send them from your Mac computer. All you need is the Messages app on your iPhone and Mac, and an Apple ID. Be sure to sign in with the same Apple ID you use with Messages on your iPhone and other devices. To use this feature, you'll need iOS 8 or later on your iPhone and OS X Yosemite or later on your Mac. It's also compatible with Apple Watches running watchOS 1.0 or later.

iPhone and Mac screen displaying Apple Messages.
 Apple

iMessage can use data or Wi-Fi to send and receive messages, so it doesn't count against your text messaging plan. You can forward text messages (such as those from Android users) from your iPhone and iPad to your Mac by going to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding, then choosing which devices can send and receive text messages from your iPhone.

Send Text From Computer Using Google Messages (Android & Web Browsers)

You can send and receive text messages, photos, voice messages, and video using Google Messages on your smartphone and desktop. To link the mobile app and the web version:

  1. Open the Messages app on your smartphone, tap the More options menu (three vertical dots), then tap Messages for web. Messages in the Google Messages app count toward your texting plan; the app doesn't use data, and the recipient doesn't need to have the app.

    Android Messages smartphone set-up screen.
  2. Visit https://messages.google.com/web on your computer using one of the following browsers: Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer isn't supported.

    Google Messages website.
  3. On your Android smartphone, tap Scan QR code and point it at the QR code displayed on the computer.

    Using the QR code scanner in Messages.
  4. Select Yes under Remember this computer if you're using a trusted device, so you only have to do this once. Then you can opt into desktop notifications if you want, and you'll see your text history on the page.

    Selecting Yes to remember this computer.

Sync Text Messages Using Pushbullet (Android, iOS & Web Browsers)

Pushbullet syncs your texts between your smartphone, web browser, and desktop PC; it also lets you share websites and images from your smartphone to your computer (or multiple computers) and vice versa. There are Pushbullet apps for Android, iOS, and Windows PCs. Pushbullet also works with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers.

  1. Install the mobile app on your phone and the desktop app on your computer.

  2. Sign into each app with your Google or Facebook account to link them together, and you'll start seeing text notifications pop up on your desktop that you can respond to; you can initiate texts, too.

    Pushbullet set-up screen
     Pushbullet
  3. To test if the notifications are working, go to Mirroring in the mobile Android app and tap Send test notification. It should show up on both your phone and computer and dismissing the alert on either device should also dismiss it from the other.

    Sending a test notification in Android.

Send Texts Using Google Voice (Cross-Platform)

You can also send texts using Google Voice to U.S. and Canadian numbers for free.

  1. On your smartphone or PC, go to your account page and select the messages icon on the left. Here's where you'll also see your text history.

  2. Select Send a message to create a new one, or select a conversation to continue a thread.

    The texts will show up as sent from your Google Voice number.

    Sending a message via Google Voice.

The Google Voice interface looks very similar to Google Hangouts; in fact, you can link Hangouts to the Voice account:

  1. First, make sure you're signed into each service using the same username and email address.

  2. Go to hangouts.google.com, then go to Menu > Settings.

    Going to Settings in Hangouts.
  3. In the Google Voice section, check Receive SMS and voicemail in Hangouts.

    When you receive texts in Hangouts, they're labeled SMS via Google Voice.

    Enabling to receive SMS and voicemail in Hangouts.

You can also open Hangouts in Gmail. At the top of your Hangouts list, select the Down arrow next to your name and profile photo, then scroll to the bottom of the Settings screen and check the box next to Receive SMS and voicemail in Hangouts.

Send Texts With the Samsung Messaging App

If you have a Galaxy Book or Galaxy Tab Pro S, you can send and receive text messages using the Samsung Messaging app. This application comes preinstalled on your device, so all you need to do is link your phone number. Launch Samsung Messaging from your home screen (or find it in your folders) to begin the setup process.

The Samsung Messaging app is currently supported on the Galaxy Book 10.6 LTE, Galaxy Book 12 LTE, Galaxy Book 2, and Galaxy Tab Pro S.

Email a Text

Another method, albeit clunkier compared to the others in this article, is to send a text message via email. Each wireless carrier has an email formula for doing so. For example, to send a text message (SMS) to an AT&T user, email "number@txt.att.net," but replace "number" with a 10-digit phone number. To send an MMS (multimedia message, such as a photo) email "number@mms.att.net." Check with the carrier or reference this list of carrier email addresses.

The issue here is the email could end up in the recipients' spam folder or get lost in the shuffle since it will look differently from standard email addresses. You must also know which carrier the recipient uses.

Text From Computer Using SMS Websites

Finally, there are SMS websites that let you send text messages anonymously.

Some of these websites collect the numbers that users input and sell them to third parties. This method is best reserved as a last resort when anonymity is critical.

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