If, like me, you prefer typing on your laptop keyboard instead of the little iPhone keyboard, or just don’t want to switch devices to answer a text message or a call, you can set your Mac to receive calls and text messages from your iPhone. With an Apple ID, you can also send text messages and make calls over the Internet using the Messages and FaceTime apps on your Mac.
To make calls using cellular service or send SMS messages through your carrier (instead of over the Internet), your iPhone must be running iOS 8.1 or later and your Mac must be running OS X Yosemite or later.
Note: Following these instructions will not transfer your contacts between your Mac and iPhone. To do that, you’ll have to configure or sync iCloud contacts.
Sign in to Messages with your Apple ID
First, make sure you’re signed in to Messages on your Mac and iPhone with the same Apple ID. That’s how:
- To verify your Apple ID on your iPhone, go to “Settings”> “Messages”> “Send & Receive”
- To verify your Apple ID on your Mac, open the Messages app. Click on “Messages” in the menu bar and then select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu. Click on “iMessage” at the top of the window.
Set up text message forwarding
To configure your Mac to receive SMS messages sent to your phone:
- On your iPhone, open Settings
- Scroll down and go to “Messages”
- Tap “Forwarding text messages”
- Flip the switch next to the name of your laptop
Set up FaceTime and iCloud
Make sure that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and that you are signed in to FaceTime and iCloud on both your Mac and iPhone with the same Apple ID. That’s how:
- On your iPhone, open “Settings”. You should see your Apple ID at the top of the setup screen. Scroll down and click “FaceTime” to see which account is enabled.
- On your Mac, click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences”. Make sure you are signed in to the correct Apple account. Then open your FaceTime application, click “FaceTime” in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Preferences” from the dropdown menu. At the top of the window, you will see which account you are signed in to.
Allow calls on other devices
Now you will have to toggle some settings on your iPhone:
- On your iPhone, open Settings and then tap “Phone”
- Tap “Calls on other devices”
- Activate “Allow calls on other devices”
- While in “Calls on other devices”, make sure your Mac is activated
- On your Mac, open the FaceTime application
- Click on “FaceTime” in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Preferences” from the drop-down options
- Select “Settings” in the popup window
- Check the box next to “Calls from iPhone”
Please note that in order for you to receive calls from your phone, your devices must be close to each other and connected to the same Wi-Fi network. To receive calls on your Mac when connected to a different Wi-Fi network, use Wi-Fi calling.
Set up Wi-Fi calling
If supported by your Mac, your phone (iPhone 5S / 5C or later), and your provider, you can enable calls over Wi-Fi, which makes calls over the Internet instead of cellular service. It also allows you to make calls from devices that are not on the same Wi-Fi networks as your phone (depending on your operator) and it also allows you to make calls when your phone is turned off.
- On your iPhone, go to “Settings”> “Phone” and select “Wi-Fi calling”
- Activate “Wi-Fi calling on this iPhone”. A pop-up window will tell you how you communicate location data to your operator. Tap “Enable”.
- Activate “Add Wi-Fi calls to other devices”. You may receive a message from your operator with information about Wi-Fi calls, billing, and 911 calls, including that if you call 911 with Wi-Fi calls, your operator may use your automatic location information or the stored emergency address in your configuration to route the call to an emergency response center. Click “Continue” at the bottom of the notice.
- In case location data is not available, you must provide an address for emergency calls. Your operator can store an address (such as your billing address) for you, but you can change it by clicking the blue “Update emergency address” button in the center of the screen and following the on-screen prompts.
Now you must configure your Mac.
- You can be notified on your Mac after enabling Wi-Fi calling on your phone. In that case, click “Activate” and you will access the Preferences window or the main menu of FaceTime. You will see a smaller window notifying you that your location will be shared for emergency calls. Click “OK” to allow this.
- If you don’t see the notification, open FaceTime on your Mac, click FaceTime in the menu bar, and choose “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
- Make sure “Settings” is selected at the top of the window
- If your device supports Wi-Fi calling, you will see a button that says “Update to Wi-Fi calls” under “Calls from iPhone”. Click on it.
- A pop-up window will appear indicating that your location can be shared with your operator. Click “Enable” to continue.
- You will also need to provide an emergency address here. After clicking “Update to Wi-Fi calls”, that button will be replaced with a button that says “Update emergency address.” Click on that to view and, if necessary, change your address.
And you are ready!