How to Automatically Forward Text Messages to Another Phone

What to Know

  • You can't automatically forward SMS/MMS text messages from one phone to another without connecting them somehow.
  • To auto-forward texts from one iPhone to another, the devices must be connected via Apple ID. 
  • If you want to avoid connecting devices to the same Apple ID, your best option is to manually forward texts.

Can you divert text messages to another phone automatically? Sort of. If you want to automatically forward text messages to another device, you have to link that device to the same Apple ID as your iPhone, and then enable automatic text message forwarding. If you don't want to link another device to your Apple ID, your best option is to forward text messages manually.

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How to Automatically Forward Texts to Another Device

To enable automatic text message forwarding, the device must be linked to the same Apple ID as your iPhone. The obvious downside is that this gives the second device full access to your data, not just your text messages. If the second device is owned by you or someone you trust, you can link the devices via Apple ID and enable automatic text message forwarding.

How to Connect a New Device to Apple ID

If you want to set up automatic text forwarding on a device not connected to your Apple ID, you first need to connect the device to your Apple ID. This is the only way to enable automatic text forwarding.

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Warning: Connecting another device to your Apple ID means the second device will have full access to your iPhone data. You should only enable auto-forwarding if the device receiving forwarded texts belongs to you or someone you fully trust. For privacy, I recommend manually forwarding texts instead. 

How to Enable Automatic Text Message Forwarding on iPhone

Now that the other device is connected to the same Apple ID, follow the steps below to automatically forward all the texts you receive to your Mac, iPad, or another iPhone.

  1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app.

    can you forward text messages
  2. Tap Messages.

    text forwarding
  3. Tap Text Message Forwarding.

    auto forward text messages
  4. Toggle on the device you'd like to receive your automatically-forwarded text messages.

    how to auto forward text messages

The other device should now be set to automatically receive the texts sent to this iPhone! If you want to disable automatic text message forwarding, disable the toggle next to the device in the Text Message Forwarding section. To learn more iPhone tips, sign up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter.

How to Manually Forward Text Messages

If you want to avoid going to the trouble of connecting another device to your Apple ID, or the device you want to forward messages to is another person, you can always manually forward text messages. While it does take a bit of time, this is the best option for forwarding text messages.

As you can see, the options for automatic text message forwarding from an iPhone or Android are limited, primarily to protect people's safety and privacy. Have you found any other practical solutions? If so, we'd love to hear about them!

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Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and a poet and author. With 10-plus years of experience working with Apple devices, she specializes in all-things iPad and is a Notes App expert, having worked on both the 2023 iPad Guide and the Notes App Guide. You can usually find her writing in the Daily Tip newsletter as one of our senior Tip writers. Rachel received her Master’s degree in English Literature in 2021 and her most recent work appears in the Winter ’21 edition of New Note Poetry. When she’s not obsessing about Apple products, you can find her voraciously reading fantasy books with her cat in Asheville, North Carolina.