iOS 8.1: 'Text Message Forwarding' Activation Requires iMessage Email Address

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Earlier today, Apple released iOS 8.1 which introduced number of new features to iOS and Yosemite. One of the anticipated features was SMS Text Message Forwarding, which allows SMS messages received by your iPhone to be mirrored on your iPad or Mac running OS X Yosemite.

Several of our forum members had difficulty activating the feature, as the required activation code would never appear on their Macs or iPads.

MacRumors reader Michael wrote in with this solution which requires an email address to be activated in iMessage:
...you need to have your email address turned on for iMessage on your iPhone in order to enable Text Message Forwarding. If you don't, the numeric access code will not appear on your iPad or Mac during the setup process. As soon as you enable your email address for iMessage (you only need to do this on your iPhone) the numeric access codes appear as expected. Once you have text message forwarding setup you can disable your email address again in iMessage as it seems to only be necessary for the numeric access code setup step, not the actual text message forwarding itself.
MacRumors was able to verify this scenario and found that an email address does indeed have to be active on your iPhone for the activation message to properly be sent. In our testing, SMS messages were still received after the email address was removed from iMessage. The setting to add your email address to iMessage is under Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive. Note, you may have to wait a few moments after adding an email address before the activation code will send.

Article Link: iOS 8.1: 'Text Message Forwarding' Activation Requires iMessage Email Address
 

gadgetguy03

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2012
223
143
I had an issue with my iPhone 5s not recognizing my iPad 2 shortly after updating to 8.1. I turned iMessage off and on again on the iPad 2 and was able to successfully pair the two. Now I can access my SMS messages from my iPad, iPhone, or Mac Mini (Late 2009)
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,804
2,243
Not sure why that would be a surprise to anyone. Your Messages account is tied to your Apple ID, which is your email address.
it doesn't entirely make sense. You are already logged into your iMessage account either way. This is just which phone numbers / email addresses you want to receive iMessages for.

arn
 

tennisproha

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2011
1,250
699
Texas
Not sure why that would be a surprise to anyone. Your Messages account is tied to your Apple ID, which is your email address.
Technically your apple id is not your email address actually. Its an internal account id number since that is the only way you would be able to change the email address tied to your apple id, on demand.
 

anthonyzp

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2014
45
11
Ok same issue seems to be under FaceTime settings too.

I only like to tick my mobile number under FaceTime not my email address as well.

When email address is not ticked, you cannot enable iPhone Mobile Calls. Keep getting error.

Anyone else?
 

abemonkey

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2009
93
25
Ok same issue seems to be under FaceTime settings too.

I only like to tick my mobile number under FaceTime not my email address as well.

When email address is not ticked, you cannot enable iPhone Mobile Calls. Keep getting error.

Anyone else?
Yup. Same here.
 

anthonyzp

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2014
45
11
I found that after you set it up, you must keep the email checked. Otherwise only your messages will be forwarded. If you try to reply from your computer or iPad it will hang and not send the text reply.

From your tests MacRumors is this the case? Saw the above comment on your FB post. Please confirm.
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
Technically your apple id is not your email address actually. Its an internal account id number since that is the only way you would be able to change the email address tied to your apple id, on demand.
Well, actually I suppose my Apple ID is technically just a few bits laid out on some silicon in Maiden, NC.... :rolleyes:
 

abemonkey

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2009
93
25
I found that after you set it up, you must keep the email checked. Otherwise only your messages will be forwarded. If you try to reply from your computer or iPad it will hang and not send the text reply.

From your tests MacRumors is this the case? Saw the above comment on your FB post. Please confirm.
Same here on this as well.
 

anthonyzp

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2014
45
11
Same here on this as well.
ok looks like i'll be keeping my email address ticked then for the time being... hopefully Apple release a fix where we can send texts from our other devices without having to have our email address ticked
 

PlutoPrime

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2009
124
216
I think this article is inaccurate and it simply states a workaround that happens to work...

I had the same problem described in the article, and all I had to do was sign out of iMessages app on my iPhone and sign back in. After signing in, I still had a checkbox next to my phone number and I was able to receive the verification number on my Mac.
 

HangmanSwingset

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2011
320
210
Everett, WA
I fixed mine by adding my email address. The girlfriend's just worked.

Really frustrated me because I wanted it and had to struggle to get it set up. She didn't and it worked. :/
 

tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,416
345
Annoying. Works perfectly iphone to mac, but no message pop-up on the ipad at all. Exactly the same configuration iphone to ipad.
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,565
2,631
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
I think this article is inaccurate and it simply states a workaround that happens to work...

I had the same problem described in the article, and all I had to do was sign out of iMessages app on my iPhone and sign back in. After signing in, I still had a checkbox next to my phone number and I was able to receive the verification number on my Mac.
Same experience here. Three different target devices for SMS forwarding, three times toggling iMessage on my iPhone.

On a side note, thanks to 8.x Safari being so bloody unstable, this is my third attempt to reply here. Safari seems to have trouble with form input now.
 
Last edited:

827538

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2013
1,368
1,285
Same experience here. Three different target devices for SMS forwarding, three times toggling iMessage on my iPhone.

On a side note, thanks to 8.x Safari being so bloody unstable, this is my third attempt to reply here. Safari seems to have trouble with form input now.
Safari has been solid for me. What device are you on?

The code wasn't showing up on my Mac, even although I've always had my emailed activated. I'll try turning iMessages off then on again later to see if that's works, calling via my Mac works fine though.
 
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