Everything you need to know about setting up, securing, sending, and receiving iMessages on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac
iMessage is Apple's proprietary service that allows you to send and receive free, SMS- and MMS-like messages on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac from any other iMessage user. Not only can you send regular text, photo, and video messages with iMessage, but contacts, voice memos, and locations as well. iMessage works on any device running iOS 5 or higher, and any Mac running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or higher. Whether you need help setting up or using any or all of the features, you've come to the right place!
iMessage is super easy to start using right out of the box but you'll need to configure a few things first. Whether you're on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac you'll only have a few steps to complete before you'll be sending all kinds of content via iMessage. The process may be slightly different depending on what device you're setting up so make sure to check out our guides on getting it configured.
iMessage integrates into the default Messages app so there's nothing special you need to do to send an iMessage as opposed to a text. As long as the person you're sending a text message to is also using an iMessage enabled device (aka iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac), it will just work. If they don't have iMessage enabled, any messages sent from iPhone will go through as a standard text message (carrier rates will apply to the sender and receiver).
More often than not, your iPhone is always on you which means you probably use it to capture a lot of moments. You'll most likely want to share them with friends and family. iMessage makes it super simple to do so and you can use it on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. If the other person isn't using iMessage, they'll just receive a standard SMS (messaging rates will apply). Whether you want to share pictures from your iPhone or from iPhoto on your Mac, we can help you start sharing your images in no time.
iMessage works with other iOS devices and Macs to let you easily send all kinds of content without paying your carrier for a special messaging plan (data rates will still apply if you aren't on Wi-Fi), including any videos you've recorded on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. iMessage is built right into the same Messages app and Share Sheet that sends SMS and MMS to your non-iPhone using friends, so you don't have to do anything extra to use it either.
iMessage, and even traditional SMS makes it super simply to quickly send contact information from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. As long as you have the information listed in your iOS Contacts app, you're always only a few taps away from sharing a vCard file (vcf) containing phone numbers, email, street addresses, and much more.
You can quickly share your location with friends, family, and colleagues using iMessage. Whether you're lost or need someone to give you directions, or you're waiting and want to help someone find you, iMessage is as simple as hitting the share button and sending. The person on the other end will be sent your location instantly.
The iPhone and iPod touch have a built-in Voice Memo app that can be handy for recording lengthy thoughts or instructions. Whether you need to dictate instructions to someone or want to share lecture notes from a class, iMessage makes it easy. Once they receive it they'll be able to play it directly through the Messages app.
If you've got an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5 or higher or a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion, you can use iMessage to send free text, photo, and video messages to anyone else in the world as long as they're using an iMessage capable device as well. Read receipts allow your contact to see whether or not you've viewed a message yet. While some people may consider read receipts to be a bit stalker-ish, others may find them useful for work and business situations.
If you receive and unwanted iMessage, you can report them to Apple by sending a screenshot of the message, the sender's email address or phone number, and the date and time that the message was received. It's a great way to take back control of your communications!
If you're getting harassed, spammed, stalked, or otherwise subjected to unwanted iMessages, you can block the person and preventing them from contacting you again. It's like an infinite iPhone or iPad time out for jerks. And best of all, it's easy to do.
If you're being stalked, spammed, pranked, or otherwise abused over iMessage, you can block that contact and prevent them from bothering you ever again, even on your Mac. It's simple, it's easy, and it's oh-so-gratifying. If there's an especially annoying someone you've been waiting to ignore, here's how to do it!
If you've succumbed to the temptations of Android — or even Windows Phone or BlackBerry — there are some steps you need to take to make sure the iPhone friends you leave behind can still reach you. iMessage works by routing iPhone to iPhone messages through Apple's servers instead of sending them as actual text messages. Unfortunately, unless you tell it to stop doing this, iMessage has no way of knowing you've left, at least until it times out after a couple weeks, and that's beyond frustrating. Luckily, deactivating it is easy. Here's how!
If you need more help setting up, using, or trouble-shooting iMessage on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Mac, head on over to our iMessage forum and ask away!