How to set up iMessage on your MacSource: Joseph Keller / iMore

Messages on macOS lets you communicate with friends, family, and coworkers across a variety of different platforms, including Apple's own iMessage, along with SMS and services from Google, Yahoo, and AOL. But if you're new to the Mac or have just never set up Messages, you might be wondering how to get started with the app.

Follow these simple steps, and you'll be chatting with your friends in no time at all.

How to set up Messages on the Mac

  1. Launch Messages from your desktop, dock, or Applications folder.
  2. Enter your Apple ID email address and password. If you have two-step or two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple ID, enter your verification code.
  3. Click on Messages in the Menu bar

    Set up Messages on Mac, showing how to enter your Apple ID, then click Messages in the Menu barSource: iMore

  4. Click Preferences.
  5. Click Accounts tab.

    Set up Messages on Mac, showing how to click Preferences, then click the Accounts tabSource: iMore

  6. Select the phone number and email addresses at which you would like to be reached.
  7. Choose which phone number or email address people will see when you start a new conversation.

    Set up Messages on Mac, showing how to select phone numbers and email addresses that you want to use for Messages, then choose the number or email address you want to use when you start a conversationSource: iMore

How to set up Messages in iCloud in macOS

Messages in iCloud keeps both your iMessages and standard SMS in sync between your Mac and your iOS devices, and also lets you download your messages when you set up a brand new device.

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  1. Open Messages from your Dock or Applications folder.
  2. Click Messages in the Menu bar.

    Set up Messages in iCloud on Mac, showing how to open Messages, then click Messages in the Menu barSource: iMore

  3. Click Preferences.

  4. Click the Accounts tab.

    Set up Messages in iCloud on Mac, showing how to click Preferences, then click the Accounts tabsSource: iMore

  5. Click on your iMessage account.

  6. Click the checkbox next to Enable Messages on iCloud.

    Set up Messages in iCloud on Mac, showing how to click your iMessage account, then how to click the checkbox next to Enable Message on iCloudSource: iMore

  7. Click the Sync Now button to sync immediately.

    Set up Messages in iCloud on Mac, showing how to click Sync nowSource: iMore

And that's how you turn on iMessage sync.

How to set up Messages in iCloud in iOS

To fully take advantage of Messages in iCloud, you'll need to turn it on for any iOS or iPadOS devices you own.

How to turn on Messages in iCloud on iPhone and iPad

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

Update June 2020: Updated for the latest macOS.

macOS Catalina

Main

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