How to Update Messages on a Mac

How to manually refresh messages on your Mac

What to Know

  • In Messages, open Preferences > iMessage > Enable Messages in iCloud > Sync Now.
  • If text/SMS messages aren't syncing, go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding on your iPhone and ensure your Mac is active.
  • Your iPhone and Mac must use the same iCloud account for either option to work.

Your iCloud account should sync all your info, including the stuff you send and receive in the Messages app, across all of your devices. When it fails to do so on your Mac, here's how to fix it.

Why Are My Messages on My Mac Not Updating?

Any discrepancies between what's on your phone and Mac could be because of the different ways you use them. While your iPhone and iPad are typically on and connected to the internet constantly, they can be way faster to sync than your Mac, which you might switch off, restart, or put to sleep.

If your Mac's Messages app isn't syncing correctly, you can try closing and reopening it and then waiting to see if new messages appear. If they don't, you have other things to try.

How Do You Update Messages on Your Mac?

If your iCloud account isn't syncing on its own, you can manually update it in the Messages app. Here's what to do.

  1. In Messages, select Preferences under the Messages menu.

    Alternatively, press Command + , (comma) on your keyboard.

    The Preferences menu item in Messages
  2. Choose the iMessage tab.

    The iMessage tab in macOS Messages preferences
  3. Make sure the box next to Enable Messages in iCloud is checked.

    The "Enable Messages in iCloud" option in Messages preferences
  4. Click Sync Now.

    If you turned on the "Enable Messages in iCloud" option in the previous step, the sync may start automatically.

    The "Sync Now" button in Messages preferences
  5. Your Messages app should sync, and new items will appear.

Why Are My Text Messages Not Showing Up on My Mac?

If you aren't seeing non-iOS texts (which appear as green bubbles in Messages) on your Mac, you should adjust a setting on your phone to make sure they show up on all of your devices.

  1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and tap Messages.

  3. On the next screen, choose Text Message Forwarding.

    On this screen, you should also make sure the MMS Messaging option is switched on.

  4. Make sure the switch next to your Mac is in the on/green position.

    The Messages, Text Message Forwarding, and a Mac in the Settings app for iOS
  5. As long as this option is active and both your iPhone and Mac are signed in to the same iCloud account, text messages you receive on your phone will also appear on your Mac.

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