How to Use the Android Messages App

Stay connected with your buddies 24/7 on Android and PC

Android Messages (also referred to as just Messages) is a free, all-in-one messaging app designed by Google for its smartphones. It allows you to text, chat, send group texts, send pictures, share videos, send audio messages, and more. We show you how to use it below.

Instructions in this article apply to smartphones with Android 5.0 Lollipop or later.

What Can Android Messages Do?

Android Messages supports all the features you expect from a messaging app in addition to texting and chatting from your phone or computer over Wi-Fi and data connections, including emojis, stickers, and GIFs. You can also send and receive payments via Google Pay. You can even have Android read your messages aloud.

How to Get Started with Android Messages

Messages comes pre-installed on your Android phone and should be the default messaging app. If you don't have it for some reason, you can download and install it from the Google Play Store. Then, follow the directions below to start texting:

If you have more than one messaging app, you can make Messages your default. It prompts you to do so when you open it. Just follow the onscreen instructions. You can also change the default messaging app in your device's settings.

  1. Tap Start Chat to send a message.

    If you're unable to send messages right away, restart your phone.

  2. Tap the To field and enter the phone number, email, or name of the person you want to contact. Tap the desired contact to open your conversations. Alternatively, choose Start group conversation to begin texting multiple people at the same time.

  3. Type your message. You can also tap on the + symbol to attach a file, send money through Google Pay, and more. Tapping the Picture symbol allows you to attach a photo from your gallery.

    The Android Messages app
  4. When you're ready, select SMS to send the message.

How to Manage Contacts in Android Messages

When you receive a text from an unknown person, you have the option to block them or add them as a contact. Here's how:

  1. Open the conversation and tap More (the three dots in the upper-right corner).

  2. Tap Add Contact. Here you can fill out more details like the contact's name, address, and email.

  3. Tap Save.

  4. To add a new contact from a group message, select the group conversation, then tap More > Group details. Tap the number you want to add, then select Add to contacts.

    The Messages app on Android with the More menu and Add to Contacts button highlighted
  5. To block a number, tap Details, then tap Block and report spam on the next screen.

    The Android Messages app showing how to block a number

How to Use Android Messages on Your Computer

You can receive and send Android messages on your computer. Here's how:

  1. Open the Android Messages website in any web browser.

    Open the Android Messages website in any web browser.
  2. Open the Messages app on your phone. From the main screen, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, then tap Messages for web.

    Tap Enable dark mode for a more comfortable messaging experience in low-light settings.

  3. Tap QR code scanner and scan the QR code on the Android Messages website.

    The Messages app for Android
  4. The Android Messages interface loads in the browser. You can now chat with your contacts and use all of the app's features on your computer.

    The Android Messages interface will load in the browser.