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How do I sync iMessages on my Mac?

Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash

iMessage is a great way to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues who also have Apple devices. While you undoubtedly use it on your iPhone or iPad, it’s also possible to experience iMessage on your Mac. Not only that, but you can also synchronise the messages across your different machines, allowing you to communicate seamlessly on any device.

Let’s look at how it’s done.

Okay, where do I start?

The first step is to enable iMessage syncing within iCloud so, before we tackle the Mac, let’s check your iPhone, iPad (or both) to see if you’re set up or not.

So grab your iPhone or iPad and tap on the Settings App.

Now, from the settings window that appears, tap on your name at the top of the left-hand menu.

 sync iMessages on my Mac

Next, in the right-hand column, tap on iCloud.

sync iMessages on my Mac

The next step is to look down the list of Apps using iCloud and find Messages. If the switch to the right is on, it’ll appear green and iCloud has enabled iMessage syncing. However, if the switch is white, then you need to toggle it on by tapping the switch.

If you also want iMessage synchronisation across your other iPhones and iPads, check each of your devices and flip the same switch if it isn’t on. Do be aware that syncing will only work across devices that are signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID.

 sync iMessages on my Mac

So what about my Mac?

Once you have enabled iMessages to sync on your iPhone and iPad, the next step is to set up iMessage on your Mac.

To do this, click on the Message app. It should be visible in the Dock.

If it isn’t showing in the Dock, you can also find it in the Applications folder.

 sync iMessages on my Mac

If you’ve already signed into your Apple ID on your Mac – when you were setting it up, for example – then you won’t need to follow the next few steps. Instead, jump to here.

However, if you haven’t signed in to the Messages app with your Apple ID, then you will see the following window:

 sync iMessages on my Mac

Enter your Apple ID details as required and make sure you use the same Apple ID that is stored in the iPhone or iPad that you wish to sync with.

It’s also possible that Apple will require verification from one of your other devices. If so, follow the instructions and enter the details as requested.

I’m signed in with my Apple ID

Once you’re signed in with your Apple ID, the Message App will open – yet it’s unlikely you’ll see any of your current messages:

To get your iMessages to sync with your Mac, click on Messages from the top menu bar and select Preferences.

Next, from the Windows that appears, select the iMessage tab.

Now click in the tick box to the left of the words Enable messages in iCloud. A tick should appear in the box. You can also click the Sync now button to start the syncing process.

When you’re done, close the iMessage preferences Window and your messages should start to appear. You can now send and reply to iMessages on your Mac – and continue those conversations on your iPhone and iPad.


iMessage shouldn’t only be for your touch screen devices. Follow the few small steps above and enjoy using iMessage on your MacBook or iMac as well.

READ NEXT: How do I identify the model of my MacBook?

About the author

Mark Parvin

I have worked with and wrote about computers, video games and consumer tech for more years than I care to admit.
I currently run my own IT support business and write about the wonders of tech whenever I can.

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