How to Check Messages on a Verizon Phone when You Don't Have Your Phone

By John Papiewski

Updated September 18, 2017

Verizon lets you check your text messages online.
i NA/ Images

Just when you’re expecting an important text message from a friend, your phone dies. Where do you turn to? One answer is Verizon’s Message+, a service that lets you send and receive standard texts on your PC and other devices when your phone’s not available. Message+ is free for the asking for Verizon Wireless customers.

Message+: Setting up

Although Verizon doesn’t enable Message+ by default, you need only to log into your Verizon Wireless online account, sign up for the service, and install the app on your PC and other devices. Once it’s running on your computer, the Message+ app can read and send messages in your Verizon account. Message+ holds up to 90 days’ worth of texts, including group messages. A related optional service, called Integrated Messaging, automatically syncs the text messages between your phone, tablet and PC running Message+.

Message+ System Requirements

At the time of publication, Message+ apps run on Microsoft Windows 8 and 10 computers, cell phones and tablets running Android 4.2 and later, and Apple mobiles and Macs running iOS 7 and OS X 10.8 and up, respectively. You can also use Message+ via web browsers including Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Exceptions: Third-Party Messaging

The Message+ service works only with standard Short Message Service (SMS) texts and not third-party messaging apps such as Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Messages from these apps are sent via Wi-Fi or your cellular data plan, whereas SMS messages are a separate cellular service. The third-party vendors themselves provide PC, Mac and mobile support for their services, though not all vendors support all platforms equally.

Message+ and Wi-Fi

Normally, you need cellular service to send and receive SMS text messages. However, the Message+ service bypasses that requirement, allowing you to use a Wi-Fi-connected PC, laptop or other device for text messaging. Messages you send or receive over Wi-Fi are counted towards your text messaging plan total.

FamilyBase: Keeping Parents in Control

Another Verizon service, called FamilyBase, gives parents the ability to monitor and control their children’s mobile devices. It can, for example, turn off internet access after a certain time of day. FamilyBase can also track SMS message activity, telling you when texts have been sent and who is sending them. It does not however give you access to the messages themselves, nor can it track third-party message service use.