iMessage Not Working? 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 many 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 or iPad, something has gone awry. However, we can pretty easily fix iMessage by going through the steps to sync iPhone and iPad as well as to sync iPhone to Mac. Here’s how to get iMessage on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

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. This problem 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 you 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 you 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 for one of your email addresses.

How to Sync Messages from iPhone to Mac

  • On Mac, open the Messages app; it will be in your Applications folder.

imessage not working on mac

  • If you’re not already logged in, Messages will prompt you to do so.

imessage on mac

  • At the very top left of your display, click Messages on the Menu 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're logged in with on your iPhone.

  • Under "You can be reached for messages 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 the iPhone.
  • For example, I chose my phone number on iPhone, which means I’m also going to select my phone number on my Mac (and my iPad.)

How to Sync iPhone & iPad Text Messages

These steps are the same as the ones you took earlier on your iPhone, but now you'll make sure your iPad is synced.

  • On the 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 your iPhone and your Mac if you want your text messages to sync between all devices.
  • We’re following the same process we did on the 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 your iPhone and your Mac.


After following these steps, 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 your iPhone to your Mac or your iPhone to your 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 lifting weights. Her personal blog is currently under construction, but you can follow her on Instagram @connerleecarey.