There are multiple ways to send a text message (also called SMS) to a phone or wireless device on a cellular network from a WiFi connected computer. For some, texting on a computer may be more convenient than on a phone, or the phone itself may be lost or stolen.
We lay out six ways to text from a computer below. Some options are free, while others are paid. Most free computer-texting options work well if texting friends or family. The paid options are best for businesses aiming to text customers.
Most of these options work for main operating systems such as Mac, Windows, and Linux. Mac has a text feature to send SMS messages to other iPhone users, but we’ll also demonstrate how to text Android users from a Mac.
6 ways to text from a computer
How to text through email
You can use your email address to send text messages from a computer to a phone. This option is free and doesn’t require you to have a wireless provider. However, the recipient will have to have a wireless provider.
1. Open a web browser and sign in to your email account.
2. Compose a new email.
3. Type your recipient’s 10-digit phone number (Ex: 123-456-7890) into the “to” box. Follow it with the @ symbol and the correct carrier domain based on your recipient’s carrier.
Here’s a list of US wireless service providers and their corresponding SMS gateway addresses:
– Alltel: @text.wireless.alltel.com
– AT&T: @txt.att.net
– Boost Mobile: @sms.myboostmobile.com
– Sprint: @messaging.sprintpcs.com
– T-Mobile: @tmomail.net
– US Cellular: @email.uscc.net
– Verizon: @vtext.com
– Virgin Mobile: @vmobl.com
4. Type your message in the body of the email.
5. Click Send. The image below is what the recipient will receive.
How to text from iMessage on a Mac
For iPhone users, the iMessage platform comes installed natively. It’s also available on other iOS devices such as MacBook, MacBook Air, and iMac. In order to use this feature, Mac has to be running on OS X Yosemite or later. Additionally, to send a message via Mac, the corresponding iPhone must be turned on, in range, and connected to the same WiFi network.
1. Set up Text Message Forwarding by going to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding. Choose the device(s) you want to send and receive text messages from your iPhone.
2. Open the iMessage app on the Mac.
3. If this is your first time using iMessage on the Mac, enter your Apple ID and password.
4. Click the pencil icon in Messages to compose a new message.
5. Enter the phone number, name, or Apple ID of the intended recipient.
6. Write the message in the box at the bottom of the window.
7. To send, hit Return on your keyboard or click on the blue, upright arrow to the right of the message.
Also read: The Complete List Of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms
How to text from a computer to an Android
If you’re an Android user, you can send messages from a PC with the Android Messages web app available in the Google Play store. Android Messages work on laptops, desktops, and iOS devices.
1. Download the Android Messages app from the Google Play Store.
2. Go to messages.google.com on your computer’s browser.
3. Open the Android Messages app on your phone.
4. Follow the instructions listed on messages.google.com. Scan the QR code available on the browser with your phone to pair the devices.
5. Once paired, click Start chat on your computer.
6. Enter a phone number or name from your contacts and hit enter.
7. Type your message in the field at the bottom of the window.
8. Hit enter or return to send the message.
How to text using Google Voice
You can use the Google Voice website to send text messages to one or more phone numbers. With Google Voice, Google assigns you a unique standalone 10-digit phone number that can be used to send SMS messages, make phone calls, and set up a voicemail box.
1. Go to voice.google.com and open the Messages tab.
2. At the top, click Send a message.
3. Enter the recipient’s name or phone number.
4. To create a group message, add up to seven names or phone numbers. Group messages can have up to eight participants, including the person sending the message.
5. At the bottom, enter your message and click Send.
How to text using your wireless provider
Some major wireless service providers, such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, allow you to text directly from their website via online portals. The steps differ depending on which carrier you use, but the general steps are below:
1. Sign in to your user account on your carrier’s home page.
2. Navigate to the page that says Messages or similar.
3. Enter a 10-digit mobile number or email address.
4. Compose your message.
5. Click SEND.
How to text using an SMS texting application
If your business is sending mass text messages to customers and prospects, the above options don’t offer the necessary features and can be unreliable at times. Sending texts from an email or unrecognized phone number may be alarming to customers or get caught in spam.
Business texting software allows organizations to create, edit, send, and receive text messages using an existing landline, VoIP, or toll-free phone number. These text message marketing apps can personalize messages to customers and be set up to automatically send texts based on a calendar or marketing list. Top SMS apps include:
TextMagic allows users to send notifications, alerts, reminders, confirmations, and SMS marketing campaigns to over 190 countries. Emails can be converted into text messages and delivered to any phone, and users can integrate SMS API into the business to text directly from an app. TextMagic is available for both PC and Mac.
ProTexting offers different interactive features to maximize mobile marketing channels. Features include text surveys, voting, sweepstakes, mobile coupons, and analytics and reports. Set up autoresponders by keyword, and forward received messages from your mobile inbox to any email or phone number.
SimpleTexting is best for those looking to run SMS marketing campaigns. Send a text message to a group of contacts with the ability to personalize the message and track who clicked the links. Schedule specific days and times to send messages and add multiple phone numbers to one account. SimpleTexting also offers custom fields, with the ability to store data within those custom fields for future campaigns.
Twilio is a communications API for SMS, voice, and video mediums. This app is aimed at developers, and can be used to build SMS messaging, and phone number redirection. Deliver SMS alerts, notifications, and redminder with Twilio’s programmable messaging API.
Zipwhip is business texting software that enables SMS messaging on existing business phone numbers. Users can create reusable templates, schedule text messages, and set up auto replies. Since Zipwhip is connected with large wireless carriers such as Verizon and T-Mobile, company and customer information is sent and stored safely with data encryption in transit and at rest.