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Begin Syncing Messages with Apple Devices

Being able to sync messages with apple devices is a win for productivity, and if you use multiple devices you can try it out. Apple’s platform integration lets you read and reply to conversations in Messages on other Apple devices, including the Mac and iPad. All your devices must have the correct settings to make this work reliably. Often we hear from users who don’t see all their messages on all their devices. If that’s you, check your settings.

What Settings to Check to Sync Messages with Apple Devices

Apple ID: When logged in to the same AppleID, Apple devices know they are yours. But couples who share an Apple ID can run into trouble here. Verify by opening Settings > Your Name in iOS and iPadOS, or System Settings > Your Name in macOS. The email address under your picture at the top of each of those screens should match. If it doesn’t, scroll to the bottom, tap or click Sign Out, and sign in again with the correct Apple ID.

Two-factor authentication: As with so many Apple services now, your Apple ID must be set up for two-factor authentication, which causes certain logins to be queried a second time on another device. Most people have two-factor authentication set up by now, but if not, turn it on using Apple’s instructions.

iCloud Keychain: Because you must have iCloud Keychain turned on each of your devices to share your Messages account information, we should verify on the devices that it is active. Turn it on for an iPhone or iPad in Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Passwords and Keychain > Sync this iPhone. On a Mac, the switch is in System Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Passwords & Keychain > Sync this Mac.

More Settings


Messages in iCloud: This is the key setting—the previous three are just foundational requirements. Enable it for an iPhone or iPad in Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Show All > Messages in iCloud > Use on this iPhone. On the Mac, look in System Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Show More Apps > Messages in iCloud > Use on this Mac.

iMessage account: Go to settings on your iPhone or iPad: Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Make sure you’re signed into iMessage with the same Apple ID—look at the bottom of the screen. Also, ensure you’re set to send and receive from your phone number and appropriate email addresses. It’s safest to send and receive from all the possibilities and start new messages from your phone number. On the Mac, verify that you have the same settings in Messages > Settings > iCloud.

Text Message Forwarding: Turning on Messages in iCloud should keep message history synced across all your devices, including green bubble SMS/MMS text messages. Verifying that SMS/MMS messages are being sent to all your devices is important. On your iPhone, in Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding, select all the devices you want to receive text messages.



Although checking all the above settings may seem like a lot, most should already be set up correctly. We listed them all because one or more of these settings are usually wrong when people have trouble in trying to sync messages with Apple devices. Even with everything configured correctly, there can be hiccups—nothing’s perfect. If messages fail to sync consistently, try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Use the Sync Now button in the Messages in iCloud settings on any device that hasn’t caught up. This will not work instantly, but syncing should eventually catch up.
  • Restart the device is always worth trying. (Have you tried turning it off and on again?) On an iPhone or iPad, choose Settings > General > Shut Down (at the bottom), slide to power off, and then press and hold the side (iPhone) or top (iPad) button to turn the device back on. On a Mac, just choose Restart from the Apple menu.

You can carry on text message conversations using any of your devices at any time when your AppleID is setup properly across your devices. It’s especially nice to switch to the Mac for easier typing when you’re in an involved conversation. If you are still having issues with syncing messages across your apple devices make an appointment at MacEdge.