How to set up third-party messaging services in Messages for Mac

How do you set up third-party messaging services on your Mac? Like this!

While many Mac owners primarily use Messages on macOS to chat with iMessage and even sometimes SMS, the app is capable of connecting to more services. You can link your Google, Yahoo, and AOL accounts to Messages and chat with your friends using the messaging systems built by those companies. Here's how you do it.

How to set up a third-party message service in Messages

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Open Preferences.
  3. Click the Accounts tab.

    Open Preferences, hit Accounts

  4. Hit the Add button. (Looks like a '+').

  5. Choose the type of account you want to set up.

    Hit Add, choose account type

  6. Hit Continue.

  7. Enter account credentials.

    Click continue, enter credentials

  8. Choose which apps will be able to use the account, making sure the Messages is checked.

  9. Hit Done.

    Choose apps, hit Done

How to set up your Jabber account in Messages

If you have an account with the Jabber messaging service, you can use it with Messages just as you would any other account. However, adding it to Messages requires a couple additional steps compared to a standard messaging account.

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Open Preferences.
  3. Click the Accounts tab.

    Open Preferences, hit Accounts

  4. Hit the Add button. (Looks like a '+').

  5. Choose Other Messages Account.

    Hit Add, other messaging accounts

  6. Hit Continue.

  7. Click the drop-down menu next to Account Type and select Jabber.

    Hit continue, choose Jabber

  8. Enter your username and password.

  9. If necessary, enter your server and port information.
  10. Hit Sign In.

    Enter credentials, hit Sign In

How to set up your AIM account in Messages

You can set up an AOL Instant Messenger account independent of your standard AOL account if you so choose.

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Open Preferences.
  3. Click the Accounts tab.

    Open Preferences, hit Accounts

  4. Hit the Add button. (Looks like a '+').

  5. Choose Other Messages Account.

    Click Add, choose Other

  6. Hit Continue.

  7. Click the drop-down menu next to Account Type and select AIM.

    hit Continue, select AIM

  8. Enter your username and password.

  9. Hit Sign In.

    Enter credentials, hit Sign In

How to choose a default IM application

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Open Preferences.
  3. Next to Default IM application, click the drop-down menu and select your application of choice.

    Open Preferences, choose your app