How do I set up messages on my Mac?

You want to send and receive text messages on your Mac.  This can easily be done using the Messages/iMessage app in OS X Yosemite or higher - although you'll need to link the Mac to an iPhone.

Before the launch of OS X Yosemite in 2014, if the other person wasn't using an Apple device. You could only use your iPhone, which can send and receive regular text messages.

Beginning with the launch of Yosemite you now have the ability - if you have an iPhone, and a Mac - to use Messages to send and receive text messages. 

Follow these steps to set up text message forwarding on your iPhone:

  • Now make sure you're signed into iCloud on both your iOS device and Mac using the same Apple ID.
  • On your Mac, click Apple > System Preferences. Click on iCloud and check the email address listed under your name on the left.
  • On your iPhone, tap Settings > iCloud and check the email address listed underneath your name.
  • Both of these email addresses should be the same. If not, you'll need to sign out of iCloud on one of your devices and sign in using the other Apple ID.
  • Make sure your Mac's running OS X Yosemite (10.10 or higher) and your iPhone is running iOS 8.x.
  • Click on the Messages app in your Mac to open it.
  • Move to the iPhone. Open the Settings app. Scroll down and tap Messages.
  • Tap Text Message Forwarding.
  • You'll see a list of all the devices linked to your Apple ID. Tap the one you want to send and receive messages to On.
  • You now need to enter the six-digit verification code (which appears in Messages on the Mac) on the iPhone, in the alert window marked Text Message Forwarding.

Whenever anybody sends a text message to your iPhone, it will appear inside Messages in OS X. And you can now reply with a text message from your Mac.