How can I use Messages.app on my MacBook to see texts that people send my iPhone, and to send texts via my iPhone. But not allow iMessages either way.

I found the only way to disallow everyone from sending me iMessages is by signing out of Messages.app.

  • What differentiates this from your earlier question - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/444635/… ? The solution would appear to be the same.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2 at 16:15
  • @Tetsujin the answer to that question seems to only be a phone thing. iMessages to my email address, or to me in general I guess, seem like they would still arrive on my laptop. Especially suspicious that the standard solution that link offers ("still have your iphone?") is just the steps I've already taken. Yet people are still sending me iMessages. Aug 2 at 16:23
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    …because your Mac doesn't have a phone number. You can't receive SMS on a computer, without some kind of sync structure to a phone. iMessage was providing that sync. SMS uses one phone & its phone number - that's kind of why everybody gave it up as soon as iMessage came along. It's a million times better.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2 at 16:37
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    @Tetsujin you are correct, it is impossible to sync with Messages.app without iMessage. I'm sure that would be a suitable answer here. Aug 2 at 16:45
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    They're synced by iCloud/iMessage. Sign out & you lose the sync. I've dropped that into an answer.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


iMessage depends on a cloud-sync structure - any iMessage going to your phone also goes to any other devices you own.

If the phone number associated with this iMessage account is also registered with other devices you own, then iCloud leverages the existing shared network to push pure SMS/MMS messages onward to your other 'non-telephonic' devices, using iMessage/iCloud, not the service provider's messaging structure.

If you sign out from all iMessages services, you have lost this sync mechanism.

  • So the frustration I've had, is that when I don't have Internet access, the phone still tries to send an iMessage first, delaying all outgoing messages by minutes (eventually it might realise it has to text), and other people will reply to me – their phones send iMessage, which I can't receive for hours or days Aug 2 at 17:06
  • So is there no way to prevent people from contacting me with internet-only methods? I actually want my texting apps to not have to have the internet to communicate with other people. It would still be nice to see and send texts from my laptop. Aug 2 at 17:07
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    To see & send texts, your computer would need some method by which it could have a SIM & a phone number. What you're looking for is somewhat akin to giving up the modern life, moving out into a tent in the woods… but still wanting to be able to watch TV ;) Back in the days we all used text messaging, dumb phones had no ability to share their data with computers. They were distinct & separate devices.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2 at 17:28

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