How to Set Up iMessage on Mac, With Photos

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How to Set Up iMessage on Mac, With Photos

Over the years, Apple has made it possible to send and receive text messages from anywhere. With iMessage, you can not only send and receive texts from your iPhone and iPad but your Mac too. If you have a Mac, you may have seen the Messages app installed in it by default. 

All you have to do is log into this app with your Apple credentials (ID and password) and start sending and receiving messages. This means you don’t have to install the iMessages app separately on your Mac. Want to hear the best part? You can even send your friends MMS (photos and GIFs) via Mac. 

However, you should know how to set up iMessage on a Mac properly. That’s the only way to send and receive messages on your Mac without issues. This post discusses the easiest way to set up iMessage and how to fix some common iMessage issues on Mac. 

Step 1: Open the Messages App

iMessage on Mac, home screen
Open the messages app on your Mac.


Start by opening the messages app on your Mac, represented by a green and white icon. If the app isn’t in your Dock, you can search for it or locate it in the Applications folder.

Step 2: Sign In With Your Apple ID

iMessage on Mac, log in
Sign in with your Apple ID.


As the app launches, it will ask you to sign in with an Apple ID. Enter the same Apple credentials you use on your iPad or iPhone to send iMessages. If you have protected your account by two-factor authentication, the next screen will ask you to enter the code to sign in to the Messages app on Mac.

Step 3: Send Texts

iMessage on Mac, send texts
Send texts.


Once you successfully log in to the app, you can text anyone. However, you must know the contact number or email of the person you want to text. In case you do not remember the person you want to message, move on to the next step.

Step 4: View Your Existing Chats

iMessage on Mac, preferences
View your existing chats.


If you want to see all your conversations, you should sync the text messages from your iPhone to your Mac. For that, take the mouse cursor to the menu bar at the top of the screen and click on Messages. Then, choose Preferences.

Step 5: Open the iMessage Tab

iMessage on Mac, settings

Open the iMessage tab.


On the next screen, click the iMessage tab and check the box present next to Enable Messages in iCloud. Doing so will save all your I messages in your iCloud account. In case this option doesn’t appear after opening the iMessage tab, it means that this option was already enabled on your Mac.

Step 6: Adjust the Messages Settings

iMessage on Mac, settings
Adjust the messaging settings.


On the same screen, you will see a “You can be reached for messages at” option. Under this heading, you will find all your contact numbers and email addresses that your friends can text you at. You can select the ones you want to receive messages from on the Mac. 

The “Send read receipts” option is also available to you. You can enable it if you want your friends to see it when you read their messages. 

Step 7: Start New Conversations

iMessage on Mac, settings
Start new conversations in the iMessage tab.


You will also have the “Start new conversations from” option in the iMessage tab. Underneath this option, you will have a drop-down to select the contact numbers and email addresses you want to send text messages from the Mac

This option will only be available if you have more than one email ID or contact number listed in the “You can be reached for messages at” option. Remember that this is the email ID or contact number others will see when you send them a message. 

For instance, if you select your email ID, your new conversations will see the ID. The same applies to using the phone number. You can also set your name, photo, and notifications for the iMessages.

Step 8: Restart the Messages App

iMessage on Mac, Running apps
Restart the messaging app.


Now, restart the Messages app on your Mac to check whether the above settings have been applied. All your current text conversations must sync with the Mac after the app relaunches. To sync your contacts, you must log in with your Apple ID in the System Preferences app. 

Step 9: Sync iMessages

iMessage on Mac, settings
Sync iMessages.


Finally, you must sync messages between your iPhone or iPad and Mac. First, check if your iPhone or iPad has the message syncing option enabled. Then, open the Settings app on either of the devices and tap your name at the top. 

The next screen will open the Apple ID menu. From there, tap iCloud and see if the messages toggle is enabled or green. 

In the following video, Howfinity demonstrates how to use iMessage on a Mac.

What If iMessage Does Not Set Up on Mac?

The messages in the iMessage app appear in blue or green bubbles. The blue ones are from those using iMessage, while the green ones are standard texts. Your texts will start sending as standard messages if you turn off iMessage. 

However, if your messages appear green even if you did not turn off iMessage, it means you have a problem, and your iMessage isn’t working on Mac. Here is what you need to do next:

Check iMessage Configuration

First, make sure that your iMessage is configured properly on the Mac. To check it, open the iMessages app, select Messages from the menu bar, and then choose Preferences. After that, open the iMessage tab and see whether the contact number or email address you want to use to send messages is enabled here.

Try Different Options

If you still face iMessage issues on your Mac, you can try different options to send and receive texts from your device. On your Mac, open the Messages app and click Messages > Preferences > iMessage. 

Now, you can see all the phone numbers and email addresses associated with your Apple ID account. Next, enable or disable some Send and Receive options and test whether any combination works. 

Reset iMessage and Reboot Your Mac

You may reboot your Mac once a week, but little do you know that a reboot can help fix your iMessage not working on Mac issues. However, a reboot alone won’t work. Instead, you will have to turn the iMessage off and then reboot your Mac.

First, open the Messages app on your Mac and select Messages > Preferences > iMessage. Then, under your Apple ID, deselect the Enable Messages in the iCloud option. After that, reboot your Mac and turn the iMessage setting back on.

Sign In To iMessage Again

You can also try logging out of iMessage and then logging back. On your Mac, open the Messages app and go to Messages > Preferences > iMessage. Then, click on Sign Out and again click on the button labeled Sign Out. 

The next screen will ask you to log in with your Apple ID again. You will see that your Apple ID is already entered. All you have to do is provide your password and then click on Next. Try to send messages now and see if this hack works.

Check Your Internet Connection

As you know, iMessages are not standard text messages. Instead, they are sent and received through the internet. If you do not have a stable Wi-Fi connection or a good cellular network, you may face iMessages issues on your Mac. So test your internet connection and see if the issue is coming from there.

Open the web browser and try loading a new webpage. If it doesn’t load, your internet connection is the problem. Try connecting to a different Wi-Fi network to resolve the issue. 


iMessage allows you to send and receive texts and photos from your iOS devices, including your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. To use this service on your computer, you must know how to set up iMessages on Mac correctly. 

Remember to sign in with the same Apple ID you used for the iMessages app on your iPhone or iPad. This will allow easy sync of your messages between your iPhone and Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you send photos and videos on iMessage on Mac?

Yes, you can send photos and videos on a message on Mac from your photo library. You will find the option present in the upper right corner of a conversation.

How do I get pictures to show in Messages on my Mac?

You can send pictures in messages on your Mac by clicking on the Details button present in the upper right corner of the conversation. Then, scroll through your photos and double-click on the one you want to view. The photo will instantly display in the Quick Look window, which you can now open in the app. For instance, click Open with Photos to view a video.

Why are my images not showing up in iMessage on Mac?

Your images may only show up in iMessage on Mac if you have the latest macOS. You should also look out for the Date & Time and ensure that it is set accurately. Then, sign out and back in on the Message app to resolve the issue.

How do you customize iMessage on Mac?

You can customize iMessage on Mac from the Messages app. Open Messages > Settings and then click iMessage to change the settings for your iMessage account.

How do I sync photos from iPhone to Mac?

You can sync photos from iPhone to Mac via iCloud Photos. For that, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on your name. Then, go to iCloud and turn on the toggle present next to Photos. After that, open Photos, and you will see all of them synced up across all your Apple devices, including the Mac.

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