iMessage lets you send and receive SMS-like text messages, and MMS-style multimedia messages just like a phone. Instead of a just a phone number, however, it uses your email address, and it only works with other Apple devices, like other iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, and Macs. Before you can start using messages, and sending texts, photos, videos, voice memos, locations, and contact cards, however, you need to set it up.
If you set up your device using iCloud there's a change iMessage is already set up as well, and good to go. If not, we'll show you how to get started, and get messaging, quickly.
- Launch the Setting app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap on Messages.
- Turn iMessage to On and wait for it to activate.
- Launch the Messages app on your Mac running OS X Mountain Lion or higher.
- Click on Messages in the menu bar and then Preferences.
- Now click on the box that says Enable this Account at the top.
That's it. If you have never linked your iMessage account to your Mac, just click the + sign instead and add your account.
Once iMessage activates you can send and receive texts and multimedia messages with other Apple users just like SMS and MMS! These instructions work for times when you need to re-activate iMessage as well due to a network error. Just toggle it on and off and you should be good to go!
How to get more help with iMessage
If you're having issues getting iMessage to activate, get more help at the iMore forums, and for more tips, check out:
- How to enable and activate (or re-activate) iMessage
- How to add additional email addresses to iMessage
- How to copy or forward iMessages on iPhone and iPad
- How to delete iMessages on iPhone and iPad
- How to set messages to automatically delete themselves with iMessage
- How to save space on your iPhone or iPad by setting iMessage videos to automatically delete
- How to edit the expiration of audio messages in iMessage
- How to increase privacy with iMessage
- How to send texts using iMessage
- How to use quick reply messaging with iMessage
- How to mute individual message threads in iMessage
- How to leave group messages with iMessage for iPhone and iPad
- How to send photos using iMessage
- How to quickly delete multiple images at once with iMessage
- How to send videos using iMessage
- How to send photo and video selfies in just seconds with iMessage
- How to send a quick voice message with iMessage
- How to quickly share your location using iMessage
- How to send contact cards using iMessage
- How to send map locations using iMessage
- How to send Voice Memos with iMessage
- How to report iMessage spam to Apple
- How to turn on and off read receipts in iMessage
- How to block iMessages on the iPhone or iPad
- How to block iMessages on the Mac
- How to disable iMessage on iPhone if you switch to Android
- Receiving iMessages on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus but not regular texts? Here's how to fix it!