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How to sync iMessage from iPhone to Mac

Wake up iMessage! I need to get my spam messages!

Published onSeptember 2, 2022

Syncing your messages between an iOS device and a Mac should usually be a seamless experience, requiring very little input from you personally. But we’ve all had those moments when our devices do a sudden tech burp and iMessage stops working. If this is happening to you, here is how to sync iMessage from iPhone to Mac, to give it a little push again.

Read more: How to enable iMessage on iOS, macOS, and Apple Watch


To sync iMessage from iPhone to Mac, toggle off iMessage from your iPhone or iPad, and toggle it back on again. Disconnect your iCloud account from Mac iMessage and reconnect it. Then click the Sync Now button on Mac iMessage. All devices must be logged into the same iCloud account.

How to sync iMessage from iPhone to Mac

Before proceeding with these troubleshooting tips, it’s a good idea to see if the issue is at Apple’s end. Therefore, go to Apple’s System Status page and look up iMessage. Green is good, red is not so good.

apple system status

If you see that iMessage is green and therefore up and running, then here is how to begin the re-sync process. We will be focusing on the iPhone, but this works the same way for iPads too.

Ensure all devices are logged into the same iCloud account

This may seem like an obvious one, but if you’re running more than one iCloud account, it can be easy to mix them up. Since iMessage syncs via iCloud, all devices need to be logged into that one account. So check that first.

While you’re there, go to the Apps using iCloud section on your iPhone and check that Messages is enabled.

ios icloud messages

Tapping on it will give you the option to Sync this iPhone. Make sure it’s toggled green.

ios icloud messages sync iphone

Toggle iMessage off on the iPhone then back on again

ios toggle on imessage

Next, you need to go to Settings–>Messages and ensure that iMessage is toggled on. If it already is, and it’s not working, toggle it off and back on again.

Enable Text Message Forwarding on the iPhone

ios text message forwarding

Further down that screen, you’ll see an option called Enable Text Message Forwarding. This ensures that non-iMessage SMS’s are forwarded to your other devices. Tap it.

text forwarding iphone devices

You will now see your other Apple devices logged into the same iCloud account. Toggle on the ones you want to sync your messages with.

Sign out of Mac iMessage and sign back in again

It’s time now to shift your attention to the Mac. Open Messages on your Mac, and go to Messages–>Preferences at the top of the screen. Then click the iMessage tab and the Settings sub-tab.

mac imessage options

If this is already filled out, and it’s not working:

  • Sign out and sign back into the iCloud account again.
  • Untick and re-tick Enable Messages in iCloud.
  • Ensure your phone number is correct and then tick it. If the phone number is not correct, log into your iCloud account and change it.
  • Make sure your iCloud accounts are ticked as well.
  • Finally, click Sync Now, and your messages should start appearing. It may take a minute so be patient. If it still doesn’t work, restart your devices and try again.

Read more: Why iMessage is such a big deal


iMessage is the messaging system available to all Apple device users and is free to use. SMS are the paid messages sent through your phone carrier to your iPhone and rerouted to the iMessage platform.

It could be due to things like the device being switched off for a long time, your internet connection being slow, or Apple’s servers being slower than usual. The latter is rare, though.

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