iMessages sent from my iPhone don't appear on my Mac, and vice versa. How can I sync the Messages apps on iPhone and Mac?

One of the pleasures of Apple's increasingly joined-up macOS/iOS approach (a strategy which Apple calls Continuity) is being able to start a task on a mobile device and then continue it on desktop when you arrive at work, say. And one of the neatest ways this can work is in Messages. The matching Messages apps on iOS and Mac should allow you to easily and conveniently carry on iMessage conversations across the two platforms. No longer do you have to keep look down from your Mac and pick up your phone to reply to messages; you can do it all on the Mac.

Except that sometimes the synchronisation between Mac and iPad or iPhone isn't quite right: some people have found that iMessages sent from the iPhone don't appear in the conversation in Messages on the Mac, and vice versa. In this article we explain how to make iMessage sync between iPhone, iPad and Mac. Don't worry - it's dead easy.

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1. Pick up your iPhone and launch the Settings app. Swipe down to the fifth group of categories (the one starting with Mail) and tap Messages. The fifth option down is labelled Send & Receive, with a phone number or email address, or something like "3 Addresses", next to it: tap this.

How to sync iMessage on iPhone, iPad and Mac: iOS Settings

2. You'll now see all the phone numbers and email addresses on which you can be contacted via iMessage. Tick any numbers or addresses that you want to use but which aren't currently ticked.

How to sync iMessage on iPhone, iPad and Mac: iOS Settings

When we looked at this, incidentally, we saw only the iPhone's number, so had to tap 'Use your Apple ID for iMessage'. This unlocked the long list of email addresses registered to our Apple ID. We then ticked and ticked the addresses as appropriate. (If you want to remove an address from the list entirely, tap the i button and tap Remove This Email.)

How to sync iMessage on iPhone, iPad and Mac: iOS Settings

3. Now go to your Mac and open the Messages app. Click Messages in the top menu bar, then select Preferences. (You can jump straight to the settings from Messages, or from most other Mac apps, by hitting Cmd-comma.) Click Accounts.

How to sync iMessage on iPhone, iPad and Mac: Mac Messages Settings

4. As on the iPhone, you need to tick all the email addresses that you want to be associated with iMessage on this machine. If your Apple ID account says Inactive, click on it and enter the required details, then tick or uptick the numbers/addresses you want to use.

How to sync iMessage on iPhone, iPad and Mac: Mac Messages Settings

5. And that should be it. Restart Messages on each device and see if everything is now working the way it should.