How to Set Up iMessage on the iPad

Text your friends on your Apple tablet

What to Know

  • To set up iMessage, go to Settings > Messages and make sure the iMessage option is toggled on (green).
  • Tap Send & Receive to select or deselect phone numbers and email addresses by which to receive messages.
  • In a new message, tap Photos, Apple Pay, Images, and more to send more than just text in your iMessage.

This article explains how to set up iMessage on the iPad. Instructions apply to devices with iOS 8.1 or later.

How to Set Up iMessage

To set up iMessage on iPad, you'll need to make a few changes in the Settings app. Here's how to do it.

  1. Tap Settings (gear icon) from your iPad's home screen.

  2. Scroll down and tap Messages.

    iPad settings with Messages highlighted
  3. Make sure iMessage is toggled on.

    iMessage toggled on in settings with green slider highlighted

    If prompted, log in with your Apple ID.

  4. Tap Send & Receive to configure how others can reach you on iMessage.

    iPad Messages settings with "Send & Receive" highlighted
  5. You'll see available phone numbers and email addresses by which people can reach you via iMessage. Tap the phone numbers and email addresses you want to use to receive messages. You'll need to check at least one destination on this screen.

    iMessage settings with a selected phone number highlighted

    Be sure any phone numbers that aren't yours are unchecked, so family members don't receive messages meant for you.

  6. You've set up iMessage and can now use the Messages app to keep in contact with your friends and family without needing an iPhone.

How to Send More Than Just Text in an iMessage

You can send more than just text in an iMessage. Here are some examples of what you can do:

In a new message, tap the heart with two fingers to draw a message to a friend.

Heart drawing icon highlighted in an iPad new Messages window

Tap the Apple Pay icon to send money via iMessage.

Apple Pay icon highlighted in a new iPad Message

Tap the Photos icon to attach pictures and movies from your Camera Roll, and tap the Images icon to send animated GIFS.

iPad iMessage with the Photos and Images icons highlighted

Tap More to see even more options for sending a message via iMessage.

Additional text options on an iPad
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