Secret Solution to Improve SMS Messaging on macOS

Screenshot of a failed text message with the “green” SMS status and a warning that reads “not delivered”

Having an iPhone and a Mac makes for a lot of seamless transitioning between mobile and computer. One of those transitions is with messaging. Text on one device, then move to the other. Everything continues where you left off. It works really well and really fast.

This is possible because of Apple’s proprietary instant-messaging service, iMessage. It’s a platform that’s Apple first with respect for SMS, which everyone else uses.

People using iMessage can text people using SMS and vice versa (like sending emails). In fact, no one on either side of the fence has to do anything special to communicate with someone on the other. Other than the blue/green status colors on iOS/macOS.

The only time it breaks down is when you’re sending a message from a Mac to someone using SMS. By default, your Mac can’t send SMS messages. But there’s an iOS setting that enables an iPhone as a relay for text message forwarding.

Three iPhone screens laid out horizontally showing the steps outlined in the article on how to setup an iPhone to use text message forwarding with a Mac

On your iPhone, take the following steps to enable message forwarding (see image above):

That’s it. Now, when you send a text from your Mac to someone who is using a device using SMS, your conversation is possible.

Screenshot of a successfully-sent text message with a “blue” iMessage status

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Mark Wyner

Activist, family man, creative professional, technologist, soccer fanatic, meditator, lover, hater, potty mouth, mostly vegan.