How to Use the Android Messages App

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

A stock photo of three women in a row, standing in front of a window and looking down at their smartphone screens, possibly texting on their phones.

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Android Messages (also referred to as just Messages) is an all-in-one messaging app designed by Google for Android smartphones. The free app allows you to text, chat, send group texts, send pictures, share videos, and send audio messages among other things.

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

How Can Android Messages Be Used?

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

How to Use the Android Messages App

After you download and install Android Messages from the Google Play Store, you're almost ready to start chatting with friends:

  1. Launch Android Messages and tap Set As Default

  2. Tap Yes when asked if you want to change your messaging app.

  3. Tap Next, then tap Allow to grant Android Messages the appropriate permissions. Android Message will automatically sync your phone's saved text conversations.

    Set Android Messages as your default messaging app and allow permissions.
  4. Tap Start Chat to send a message.

    If you are unable to send messages right away, try restarting your phone.

  5. Tap the To field and type the phone number, email, or name of the person you want to contact. Tap the desired contact to open your conversations.

  6. Type your message, and then tap SMS to send.

Tap the plus sign (+) to attach media files, or tap the camera icon to snap a photo.

How to start a conversation in Android Messages

How to Add and Block Contacts With Android Messages

If you want to add or block a contact in Android Messages:

  1. Open a conversation and tap the three dots in the top-right corner.

  2. Tap Add Contact to go to your phone's native phone app where you can add the contact as you normally would.

    Changes you make to your phone's native contacts app will be reflected in Android Messages.

  3. To block the number, tap Details, then tap Block and report spam on the next screen.

    How to block or add contacts in Android Messages

How to Customize Android Messages

The app's settings houses several useful features. For example, the Smart Reply tool automatically suggests replies you can send to your contacts. To enable Smart Reply:

  1. Open the Messages app on your phone and tap the three dots at the top-right of the main screen.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Tap Suggestions in chat.

    How to access the settings in Android Messages
  4. From this screen, you can enable Smart Reply and other features like location sharing.

    From the Suggestions in chat screen, you can enable Smart Reply and other features like location sharing.

How to Use Android Messages on Your Computer

To use Android Messages on your computer:

  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, tap the three dots at the top-right of the main screen, 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.

    How to set up Android Messages for the web
  4. The Android Messages interface will load 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.