How to Sync Messages from iPhone to Mac & iPad

I recently wrote an article on how to get messages on Mac, but when I was doing my research, it became clear to me that users have trouble figuring out how to sync messages from iPhone to Mac. Even if you’ve been sending and receiving messages on Mac, it’s possible your iMessage suddenly stopped working. This problem with iMessage is a communication error between your devices. If you’re receiving messages on iPhone and separate messages on Mac, something has gone awry. But we can pretty easily fix iMessage by going through the steps to sync iPhone to Mac and iPhone to iPad. Here’s how to sync iPhone messages to Mac and iPad.

Related: How to Get Text Messages & iMessages on Mac

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When iMessage isn’t syncing between your devices, it’s usually a communication issue in Apple’s Continuity feature. And it can be fixed by making sure your iPhone, iPad, and Mac have all enabled your phone number and emails as ways to send and receive messages. Setting that up, as well as making sure all your devices are using the same Apple ID, will allow us to sync text messages from iPhone to iPad and from iPhone to Mac.

Prepare iPhone to Sync Messages

  • On iPhone, open the Settings app.
  • Tap Messages.
  • Select Send & Receive.

  • At the top, you’ll see your Apple ID. Make a mental note of this, because we need to make sure you’re using the same one on iPad and Mac too.
  • Under ‘You Can Be Reached By iMessage At’ make sure you’ve checked your phone number and all the emails that you use for messages, including your Apple ID email.
  • Under ‘Start New Conversations From’, select your phone number, unless you have a strong preference to one of your emails.

How to Sync iPhone Messages with Mac

  • On Mac, open the Messages app.
  • If you’re not already logged in, it will prompt you to do so.
  • At the very top menu, select Messages and choose Preferences.

  • Select Accounts.
  • Tap your iMessage account.
  • Near the top, you’ll see your Apple ID. Make sure it’s the same as the Apple ID you made a mental note of on iPhone.

  • Under ‘You Can Be Reached By iMessage At’ make sure you’ve checked your phone number and all the emails you use for messages, including your Apple ID email.
  • Under ‘Start New Conversations From’, select the same thing (phone number or email) that you did on iPhone.
  • For example, I chose my phone number on iPhone, which means I’m also going to select my phone number on Mac (and iPad).

How to Sync iPhone & iPad Text Messages

  • On iPad, open the Settings app.
  • Tap Messages.
  • Select Send & Receive.
  • At the top, find your Apple ID. Make sure it matches the Apple ID on iPhone and Mac, if you want your text messages to sync between all devices.
  • We’re following the same process we did on iPhone, so under ‘You Can Be Reached By iMessage At’, check your phone number and the emails you use for iMessages, including your Apple ID email.
  • Under ‘Start New Conversations From’, select the same number or email that you chose on iPhone and Mac.


This should fix your problem! You shouldn’t have any more problems with messages not syncing between devices. If it ever stops working again, you should be able to return to this article for a reminder on how to sync messages from iPhone to Mac or iPhone to iPad.

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Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or watching anime. Her personal blog can be found at connerleecarey.com; you can also follow her on twitter @connerleecarey.