How to Forward Text Messages to Your Email

Posted by Jamie on September 6, 2019

Despite the rise of texting and instant messaging apps, email remains a tried and true electronic communications mode that continues to be important to many users. Email has a number of advantages over text messaging in some very important respects. First, while it can be deleted, email is generally stored more persistently than text messages are, whether on an email server or on a local computer. Text messages can be saved in a similar fashion, but most smartphone SMS apps have fixed storage quotas, and once those quotas are reached, messages have to be deleted for the app to continue working. Second, emails can be much longer than text messages, and since it is usually composed on a full-sized keyboard, the messages are easier to create. Finally, email is a more reliable form of communication overall, unlike SMS texts which can and do disappear without trace.

For that reason, when people do get text messages that they want to keep permanently or store in an organized fashion, keeping the message on a smartphone is not usually the best plan. In fact, the best way to store and organize important texts is to entrust them to the other messaging platform, and send them to your email account. Fortunately, you can forward text messages to your email account fairly easily on most devices. In this article, I’ll show you how to do that.

Forward text messages to email

There are basically two different ways to forward text messages to your email. You can either use an app to automatically forward some or all your messages silently without you doing anything, or you can forward individual messages by hand. I’ll show you both approaches for both the Android and iPhone platforms.

Text forwarding for Android

If you own an Android phone and want to forward messages to your email account, there are a number of free apps on the Google Play Store which will do this for you. One of the best-reviewed and most fully featured free apps is called “SMS to mail/phone” and it works extremely well.

SMS to mail/phone allows you to create configurable filters for forwarding messages. You can choose to forward messages only when connected to Wi-Fi, only when in your home network, or even when you are roaming. You can specify the address where you want to send the messages; you can also forward to another phone number if you wish, and you can choose the contacts you want to forward messages from. It’s a very powerful package and it will get the job done for you. The free version lets you have one filter; there is a pro version available for $0.99/month, $7.49/year, or a one-time payment of $49.99 for a lifetime subscription, which lifts all limits.

If you don’t want to archive all your messages, but instead just to send an occasional text to your email, then you can just manually forward. To manually forward a text message on Android, all you need to do is tap “Forward” within your text messaging app, and in the destination or recipient field, enter an email address where you would normally add a phone number.

  1. Open the text thread you want to forward.
  2. Select “Share” (or “Forward”) and select “Message.”
  3. Add an email address where you would normally add a phone number.
  4. Tap “Send.”

As long as you have data and/or MMS capability on your plan, this should work fine. Depending on your network, delivery might take a few minutes, though.

Text forwarding for iPhone

Unfortunately, options are less available for the iPhone. iOS used to support a built-in function for forwarding all your text messages to an email address, so you did not need to have a separate app. However, that feature has since been retired, and as of May 2019 there do not seem to be any apps that have this feature on the app store.

You can, however, still forward individual text messages to an email address in iOS:

  1. Open Messages, and open the thread with the message you want to forward.
  2. Tap and hold the message until a pop-up appears. Tap “More…” at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Make sure a blue check mark appears next to the text message you want to forward; select other texts you would like to forward as well.
  4. Tap the arrow in the lower right corner.
  5. Enter the email address to forward the message to.
  6. Tap the send arrow.

Depending on your network, it might take a little time for the message to arrive in your inbox but it should get there.

Using Google Voice as a texting service

One option to consider (particularly if you have iOS and thus no app to handle this task for you) is to get a free Google Voice number and use it as a text number. You can install the Google Voice app on Android or iOS. Google Voice will store your text messages indefinitely, giving you an email-like archival capacity. In addition, Google Voice Finally, if none of the above options work for you, consider getting a free Google Voice number. To set up text forwarding, login to your Google Voice account and tap or click on the Settings menu. Under settings, find the Messages section, and toggle “Forward messages to email” on and enter the address you want to use. It’s as simple as that!

Forward WhatsApp messages to email

Should you so desire, you can also forward WhatsApp messages to an email address. If you were being exceptionally funny during a chat and want to save the evidence, or have a selection of images, GIFs or videos you want to keep, you can save all of your WhatsApp conversations to email.

Send an individual WhatsApp message to an email address:

  1. Open the conversation that contains the message you want to forward in WhatsApp.
  2. Tap and hold the message, then tap “Forward.”
  3. Tap the icon in the lower right corner.
  4. Type in the email address and tap the send button.

Send an entire WhatsApp message thread to an email address:

  1. Open the conversation that contains the message you want to forward in WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the name of the person or group you are chatting with at the top of the screen.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Export Chat.”
  4. Tap “Mail,” enter the email address, and tap the send button.

According to WhatsApp, you can include up to 10,000 messages in a single text file, but you might not want to wait that long. It would take forever to find the one you’re looking for in a file of that size!

Know of any other ways to forward texts or save chats to email? Tell us about them below if you do!

Want some more information on using text messaging? Check out our tutorial on how to add a ringtone to text messages on Android, or take a look at this guide on sending send text messages from your computer.

11 thoughts on “How to Forward Text Messages to Your Email”

Judy says:
Thank you, clear instructions and it works. one commenter said it only works if you have a mac. i do have mac with apple Mail, for what that’s worth.

my question/comment is, i forwarded three photos and a video from the same text thread. The photos came through as actual size, which is full size photos, bigger than on the iPhone. but the video came very small in the email attachment, smaller than on the iPhone, too small to be useful. Is there a fix for this?

afriend says:
I would not recommend to use the app “SMS to mail/phone” for sms2email because it redirects all messages through an external system. That is technically not necessary and makes it possible to spy on you. Even if spying is not intended, the technical implementation is so unfavorable that e-mails are likely to be blocked by the receiving e-mail server – if the spam protection is activated.
Albert says:
Greetings I just googled this as I needed to do just that and it worked for my android Samsung smartphone. Thanks
Ivor says:
Doesn’t work on Android. There is no icon on the right-hand corner to forward messages to an email. Very frustrating.
Bob Riester says:
Followed instructions exactly. Doesn’t go to mail just get another text of same messsage
Johan says:
I could only get this to work (iPhone text to email) by emailing an address not related to any of my apple-IDs, otherwise it just shows up as a received message (in Messages) but with nothing in the inbox.
Jean-Claude Dufourd says:
I have the same experience as Johan, this does not work for me.
Michael Cross says:
Johan is absolutely correct. I couldn’t send to my email addresses related to my apple devices. I tried one that was unrelated and the text was received in the inbox almost instantaneously.
Ron says:
This did not work for me. There is no arrow at the bottom of the screen after the text message is selected
Carla Morse says:
This does not work on iphone unless you have a mac. Period. I have spent 4 days on calls with Apple and AT&T and the local company that provides me the AT&T service, I promise THIS DOES NOT WORK UNLESS YOU HAVE MAC OR IF YOU WANT TO SEND IT TO ANOTHER I-DEVICE. Won’t work. Can’t work. Apple KNOWS it does not work and they have no plans to make it work because they seem to think the world should all use Mac. I don’t ever see me using Mac. For anything. Wish I had know this before I bought this phone, would NEVER have invested this much money into a phone that WILL NOT DO WHAT I NEED IT TO DO but my Droid, that i was continually foo-fooed about having, DID auto send EVERY text to my Windows gmail account and I NEVER EVER had a single problem.APPLE YOU REALLY NEED TO REALIZE THE WORLD USES WINDOWS, NOT MAC. Please give this VERY IMPORTANT feature of your phone a little bit of your attention and correct this GREAT DEFICIT.
LeeFung says:
I can’t follow these instructions….
“Select Receive At and Add an Email.” there is no such option… do you have a video?

The iPhone has a built-in function for forwarding all your text messages to email addresses so you don’t need a separate app; it is just a matter of setting up the built-in function.

Navigate to Settings and Messages on your iPhone.
Select Receive At and Add an Email.
Add your email address and confirm.
Depending on the version of iOS you use, this should be enough to have texts forwarded to your email address.

Emory says:
What if your Verizon Android Samsung G7 phone has no “share” icon?

What if you only want to send one text message to your e-mail address?

It looks to me like these instructions were merely copied from another website and like those instructions are rubbish.

orrin says:
this does not work from ios to android

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