How to Forward Text Messages to Your Email

Posted by Jamie on December 28, 2018

Email has stuck around for more than two decades as the primary method of long-form, asynchronous communication, while text messaging has, in the last decade, taken over the role of short, immediate communication. While both are saved indefinitely, texts are far more ephemeral than emails.

So if you want to save something permanently, remember it, or just organize it – whether it’s an important link or just a video you want to see on a full screen – texting is not the way to do so. When you receive a text with any of this information, wouldn’t it be great if you you could forward the text message to your email account so that you could archive it or just view it on a screen more suitable for the message?

Fortunately, you can forward text messages to your email account fairly easily on most devices. This tutorial will walk you through that process.

Forward text messages to email

There are two basic approaches to forwarding text messages to email. One way is to use an app to automatically forward all of your text messages to an inbox of your choosing. Alternatively, you can manually forward texts individually. Here’s how it works for Android, then iPhone.

Text forwarding for Android

If you own an Android phone and want an app to automatically forward all of your texts to your email account, the Google Play Store has a plethora of them. Download and install one that looks good to you and has been well-reviewed. The app will take care of the rest.

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

The iPhone used to have 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 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 popup appears. Tap “More…” at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Make sure a blue checkmark 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.

You can forward normal text messages, MMS or videos via Android or iPhone. Any content that can be transported by the SMS protocol can be forwarded to an email address if your network allows it. Most 3G and 4G contracts should allow you to send or forward media and messages anywhere you like. If you have issues, you may need to check directly with your network provider.

Text forwarding for any device

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 click the three vertical dots on the left side of the screen. Then, click “Settings,” then “Messages.” Finally, enter an email address to forward to and toggle the button the right side to the on position. That’s it! Now every text that is sent to your Google Voice number will automatically be forwarded to your email address.

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!

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

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.
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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.