Use Messages on your Mac

Use the Messages app to send unlimited messages to any Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iMessage, Apple's secure-messaging service. If you have an iPhone, you can also set up text message forwarding to send SMS and MMS messages.

 

Send a message

  1. Open Messages. You might be asked to sign in with your Apple ID. Can't sign in?
  2. Click the New Message button  at the top of the Messages window.
  3. Type the name, email address, or phone number of one or more recipients. Or click the Add button  and choose from your contacts.
  4. Press Tab or click the message field at the bottom of the window, then type your message.
    • To include emoji, click the Emoji Picker button .
    • To include an image or other file, drag or paste it into the message field.
    • To include an audio recording, click the Record Audio button  and record your message.
    • To include other items, such as Memoji stickers, GIFs, and message effects such as balloons or confetti, click the Apps button . This feature is available in macOS Big Sur or later. 
    • To help bring your message to the attention of a recipient, include @ before their name, like @John. Or click their name after you type it. Their name is then highlighted in the message, and they will receive a notification letting them know that they have been mentioned. This feature is available in macOS Big Sur or later.
  5. Press Return to send the message.

Messages window after clicking the apps button

 


Add a Tapback or inline reply

A Tapback is a quick response that expresses what you think about a message, such as that you like it or think it's funny. Your Tapback is visible to everyone in the conversation who is using iMessage.

  • Control-click a message bubble to open a shortcut menu, then choose a Tapback from the menu.
  • Or click a message bubble and press Command-T.

Messages window showing Tapback options

In macOS Big Sur or later, you can create an inline reply to make it clear which specific message you're replying to in a conversation.

  • Control-click the message to open a shortcut menu, then choose Reply.
  • Or click a message bubble to select it, then press Command-R. 

 


Find photos and other attachments from conversations

To see all of the photos, links, and other attachments that were exchanged in a conversation, select the conversation in the sidebar, then click the Details button  in the upper-right corner of the window, or press Command-I.

In macOS Monterey, you can also see these items in the Shared with You section of the corresponding app. For example, photos and videos you receive automatically appear in the Shared with You section of the Photos app, and links to websites appear in the Shared with You section of the Start Page in Safari.

 


Pin important conversations

In macOS Big Sur or later, you can pin a conversation to the top of the conversation list in the sidebar so that you can quickly get to it.

  • Control-click the conversation to open a shortcut menu, then choose Pin.
  • Or drag the conversation to the top of the sidebar.

 


Pin attachments

In macOS Monterey, you can pin links and other content that you receive, such as podcasts and TV shows. Control-click the item, then choose Pin from the shortcut menu. The item is then elevated in the Shared with You section of the corresponding app, in Messages search, and in the Details view of the conversation.

 


Mute conversations

If you don't want to be disturbed by notifications related to a conversation:

  1. Select the conversation in the sidebar.
  2. Click the Details button  in the upper-right corner of the window.
  3. Select Hide Alerts.

If a recipient is using Focus to silence notifications, their status appears automatically in Messages, so others know not to interrupt. To set up Focus for yourself, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Notifications & Focus, then click the Focus tab. This feature is available in macOS Monterey.

Message window showing the Focus status message below the chat bubble

 


Start a FaceTime call from Messages

During a conversation, you can start a FaceTime call with that person or group:

  • In macOS Monterey, click the FaceTime button  in the upper-right corner of the window, then choose FaceTime Audio or FaceTime Video.
  • Or click the Details button  in the upper-right corner of the window, then click the FaceTime audio  or FaceTime video  button.

Learn more about using FaceTime on Mac.

 


Share your screen or location

Select the conversation in the sidebar, then click the Details button  in the upper-right corner of the window.

  • Click the screen sharing button  to share your screen.
  • Click Share My Location to share your location temporarily or indefinitely. Or click Send My Current Location to send your current location at this moment. You can also see the recipient's location—if they're sharing their location with you.

 


Customize your info or the group

Settings for changing your own name and photo are available by choosing Messages > Preferences from the menu bar. You can click your photo to edit it, and choose whether to share your name and photo with others.

To customize the group, select the group conversation in the sidebar, then click the Details button  in the upper-right corner of the window. You can then take these actions:

  • Click Change Group Name and Photo.
  • Control-click a name, then choose Remove from Conversation. This is available for groups of four or more members.
  • Click Leave this Conversation to remove yourself from the group conversation.
  • Click Add Member to add a new person to the conversation.

Messages window showing what you see when clicking the Info button

 


Set up text message forwarding

If you have an iPhone, you can set up text message forwarding to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on your Mac. Learn how to forward SMS/MMS text messages from your iPhone to your Mac.

 


Use Siri to send messages

You can use Siri to send, read, and reply to Messages. Examples:

  • ”Send a message to Susan and Johnny saying I'll be late" or ”Tell Johnny Appleseed the show is about to start” or ”Text a message to 408 555 1212.”
  • ”Read the last message from Brian Park” or ”Read my new messages.”
  • ”Reply that's great news” or ”Tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes.”

 


Delete a message or conversation

When you delete a message or conversation, it's permanent: You can't get it back.

  • To delete a message, Control-click the message bubble, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu. Or select the message and choose Edit > Delete from the menu bar.
  • To delete a conversation, Control-click the conversation in the sidebar, then choose Delete Conversation from the shortcut menu. Click Delete to confirm.

 


FaceTime is not available in all countries or regions.

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