How to Send a Text to an iPhone From an iMac

by Avery Martin
Image courtesy of Apple

Mac OS X Mountain Lion has a feature called Messages that allows you to send and receive text messages to and from an iPhone. Messages has replaced iChat, which provided instant messaging, screen sharing and file delivery on previous versions of Mac OS X. When you send a message to an iPhone using Messages, the text appears as if it was a traditional text message. If your friend wants to respond to your text message, they can simply reply and the message gets sent to Messages on your Mac.

ICloud Setup

Step 1

Click the Apple icon and select "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu on your Mac.

Step 2

Enter your iCloud or Apple ID username and password and click "Sign In." If you don't have an iCloud or Apple ID, click the "Create an Apple ID..." link and follow the prompts to create an iCloud account.

Step 3

Sign in with your Apple ID and check the "Mail" checkbox to create an email address for use with Messages. Create an iCloud email account by entering a desired email address. Click "OK."

Close the iCloud dialog box.

Configure Messages

Step 1

Click any area on the desktop background to bring up the Finder menu on the top of the screen. Select the "Go" menu and "Applications" from the drop-down menu.

Step 2

Double-click "Messages" to launch the program. To keep messages in the Dock, right-click on the Messages icon, select "Options" and then "Keep in Dock."

Step 3

Click the "File" menu and select "Preferences."

Click the "Account" tab and select your iCloud email account from the sidebar. Check the "Enable This Account" option and select the check box for the email address you want to use to receive messages.

Send Messages

Step 1

Open Messages and click the "New Message" button on the sidebar.

Step 2

Type the iPhone phone number you want to send a message to in the "To:" box. You can also click the "+" button and select a contact from the Contact list.

Type a message into the text field and press the "Enter" button to send the message. The message appears as if it was a text message in the recipient's Messages app.


  • Information in this article applies to Mac OS X Mountain Lion and iPhones running iOS 6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • If you don't want to create an Apple ID for messaging, you can use your AIM, Jabber, Google Talk or Yahoo account by clicking the account you want to use in the Account tab in Messages Preferences.


Photo Credits

  • Image courtesy of Apple

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

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