How to Text to an iPhone From a Mac

The Messages app, first included with OS X Mountain Lion, can send text messages between Mac and iOS platforms, connecting you to your friends and family whether they're at home or on the road. With Messages, you don't need to remember the correct email address format for texting each cell carrier brand -- just type a contact into the app to send a free iMessage to an iPhone.

Apple Hosts Its Worldwide Developers Conference
Use the same login on iOS and Mac to receive replies on both platforms.
credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Step

Open the Messages app on your Mac. The first time you use the program, it prompts you to sign in with your Apple ID -- the same email address and password you use when shopping on iTunes or the App Store. If you've never used any of these services, create a new free Apple ID.

Step

Type the Apple ID or iPhone cell number of the person you want to text into the "To" box. If you already have the person in your contacts list, you can also enter his name.

Step

Click in the text box at the bottom of the Messages window and type your message. Press "Enter" to send it. Sent messages and replies you receive appear above the text box.

Step

Press the "Add Message" button -- an icon of a paper and pencil -- to start a new text to a different person. Starting a new text won't erase an ongoing conversation, so you can chat with several people simultaneously.

Step

Pick a contact from the contacts to resume an existing conversation. If the list is too long to use easily, enter a name in the search bar to narrow the list. By using the conversation list, you avoid having to retype a contact's info in the "To" bar.