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How To Forward Email to your Phone as a Text Message

Posted by Jamie on July 18, 2019

Unified communications is the future. No more landlines for voice calls and mobiles for SMS, it’s all being mixed up so we can use any medium with any format of communication. It has taken a while but we can now communicate in almost any way we want. Today I’m discussing forwarding email to your phone as a text message.

Most smartphones are capable of handling email through a dedicated app. In fact most smart phones come with email apps installed or available from most email providers. Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and others all have dedicated mobile apps. But sometimes that isn’t what you need. Sometimes you need to quickly send the gist of an email over SMS for quick digestion. That’s what we will do here.

Forwarding email as a text message

If you don’t happen to have an email to SMS gateway to hand, you can still forward an email to SMS. You have a couple of options. You can forward an email directly to a cell number, copy the email into an SMS or you can use a desktop mobile app to do the same.

Forward an email as SMS

To forward an email as an SMS, you will need to know the email address your carrier uses for this feature. I’ll list the ones I know below.

  1. Open the email in your client and select Forward.
  2. Enter the phone number and the @email address in the To section.
  3. Make sure the email content falls within the carrier’s maximum character limit for SMS.
  4. Hit Send.

Some carriers have relaxed the maximum character limit for SMS while some have not. If the email contains HTML, hyperlinks, images, video, audio or other rich media, this may not work. It is advisable to strip out any of these before hitting forward to make sure the email is forwarded properly and not corrupted on the journey.

Here are the email addresses for some US carriers. If you’re outside the US or yours is not listed, the address should be on the company website.

Where you see ‘number’ this is where you would add the cell number of the person you’re forwarding the email to. For example, [email protected].

Forward email to SMS using a browser extension

There are a couple of Chrome extensions that allow you to do the same from within the browser. One is Send Your Email to SMS (text). It was suggested to me by someone in the office as a reliable extension that makes short work of forwarding. It works best with Gmail and installs a button within Gmail that provides a popup window where you can add the cell number and the message to forward.

There are likely other browser extensions for Chrome or other browsers that work just as well.

Copy the email into an SMS

If you only occasionally need to forward an email to a text message, doing it manually may be slow but it works. If you have Windows 10, you can use the Your Phone app to link a mobile to a desktop or laptop and copy and paste or share files between the two devices. It works on both Android and iPhone and makes short work of manual forwarding.

You can of course just type the gist of the email into an SMS window and send it that way but it’s hardly ideal. Fine if it’s a one-off but not so good if it happens often.

Forward email to SMS using Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow is an app builder that can integrate into Microsoft Office 365. One of the things it can do is forward email to a text message using push notifications. If you use Office 365 either at home or at work, you might be interested in this Flow template. It enables you to use the platform to create an SMS, Tweet or text message from within Flow, which might be useful for your needs.

Those are the ways I know of to forward email to your phone as a text message. I’m sure there are many others. Do you have any methods to suggest? Tell us about them below if you do!

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