How to set up iMessage on your Mac: A simple guide

how to set up imessage on mac

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how to set up iMessage on Mac. It’s a no-brainer because Apple has brought many iOS apps like Messages, Notes, Stocks to the Mac. This step-by-step guide will show you all the steps to get started with the Messages app.

Note: To set up iMessage on your Mac, you need MacOS X High Sierra or later on your Mac, and iOS 10 or later on your iPhone.

How to set up iMessage on Mac

Step 1 – On your Mac, click on the Messages icon in the dock to open the Messages app. Or click on the search icon at the upper right corner of your screen, and type “Messages”, it will show up in the “TOP HIT” results.

imessage app on mac
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Look, you don’t need an iPhone to use iMessage on your Mac. All you need is an Apple ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one. It’s free.

create apple id
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Step 2 – Sign in using your Apple ID and password. If you’ve turned on a two-step or two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, you’ll need to enter your verification code.

Step 3 – iMessage also gives you the option to add a third-party messaging service, including Google, Yahoo, and AOL accounts. But, for the sake of this guide, we’ll only focus on Apple’s message account.

sign in apple id
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Step 4 – In the menu bar, click on “Messages” and select “Preferences”

imessage preferences
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Step 5 – Now click on the “iMessage” tab and make sure that “Enable this account” and “Enable Messages in iCloud” are both checked.

Step 6 – If you have multiple accounts, such as your phone number and Apple ID, you can receive messages on any of them. Choose how you’d like to be contacted by picking one of these accounts in the ” You can be reached for messages at:” section.

imessage preferences
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

In case your phone number is not showing up on your Mac, you will need to add it using your iPhone settings.

Go to the “Settings” app, tap “Messages”, then “Send & Receive”. Look for the section that says “You can receive iMessages to and reply from” and be sure your phone number has a check beside it.

add phone number to imessage on mac
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

You may receive a pop-up on your Mac homescreen asking if you’d like to add your phone number to iMessage and FaceTime. Click yes to confirm. Once you’ve added your phone number, you can turn it on in iMessage on your Mac.

Once you’re done with that, you can start using iMessage on your Mac.

Now you might be thinking, “but what if some of my contacts do not own an iPhone?

The short answer is, “it shouldn’t be an issue”.

You can still send and receive text messages to non-iPhone users from your Mac. Here’s what you need to do.

While you’re in your iPhone Settings, tap “Messages” and tap on “Text Messages Forwarding”. Turn the slider next to your MacBook’s name to green.

imessage text message forwarding
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Messages you send to non-iPhone users will have a green bubble showing that you’re not sending iMessages, but text messages.

How to Enable iMessage in iCloud

It’s no secret that messages can use a ton of storage on your iPhone as time goes by. With iOS 11.4 update, you can manage your messages in iCloud, which can you save storage space on your iPhone.

iMessage in iCloud has a few benefits. If one of your Apple devices runs out of storage, you can delete those messages to free up some space, but will remain available in iCloud.

All your messages history will show up when you set up a new Mac from scratch. You don’t have to restore your Mac from a backup anymore.

How to set up iMessage in iCloud

how to set up imessage on mac
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor
  1. Go to your iPhone settings
  2. Tap the banner with your name on it
  3. Tap iCloud
  4. Toggle the slider next to iMessage to green

To sync your messages across all your Apple devices, you need to sign in with the same Apple ID you use with Messages on your iPhone and other devices. Just click “Sync Now” button to get all your message history downloaded so you don’t start afresh. 

If you learned how to set up iMessage on Mac today, please share and/or recommend this guide, so your friends can benefit from it too.

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