How to set up SMS sharing with iOS 8, OS X 10.10 Yosemite

With the release of iOS 8.1, you can now receive text messages on any of your iCloud-enabled devices.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Apple first announced iOS 8 and its Continuity features, one of the most exciting features was SMS sharing. When this is activated, an iPhone owner will receive text messages on all of his or her Apple devices.

Before you can find the proper settings to set up SMS sharing, you'll need to update your Mac to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and any iOS devices you own to iOS 8.1. Additionally, all Apple devices you plan on enabling this feature for will need to be signed in to the same iCloud account.

All right, now that you're updated and all signed in, let's enable the feature on your iPhone.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

  • Launch the iPhone Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap on Messages.
  • Enable iMessage if you currently have it turned off. It has to be turned on for SMS sharing to work.
  • Tap on Text Message Forwarding.

A list of your iCloud devices will show up, with an On/Off switch for each one. When you move a switch to the On position, you'll need to have the corresponding device nearby.

A short code will display on the device, and your iPhone will display a prompt asking for the code. This extra step assures you that your text messages aren't going to be sent to a device without your knowledge.

After entering the code, you will begin to receive text messages sent to your iPhone on the appropriate device or devices. Another important note: this will only occur when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network; yet another security feature.

The conversation color schemes from iOS carry over to OS X, with green bubbles representing a text message and blue ones indicating iMessage.

For more iOS 8.1 tips, please see CNET How To's guide to iOS 8.1.