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How to Fix iOS 8.1 SMS Relay Configuration Issues

How to Fix iOS 8.1 SMS Relay Configuration Issues

One of the new features in iOS 8.1 is the ability to relay SMS messages from your iPhone to the Messages app on your iPad or in OS X Yosemite (previously, the Messages app on the iPad and in OS X could only send and receive iMessages with other Apple users). To set this SMS relay feature up, users need to enter an activation code on their iPhone when prompted by the Messages app in OS X or on the iPad. However, some users are reporting that the prompt for this activation code never appears on their iPhone.
SMS Relay Setup OS X Yosemite
Thankfully, a MacRumors reader discovered the solution to the problem: make sure your iCloud email address is enabled for iMessage on your iPhone:

…you need to have your email address turned on for iMessage on your iPhone in order to enable Text Message Forwarding. If you don’t, the numeric access code will not appear on your iPad or Mac during the setup process. As soon as you enable your email address for iMessage (you only need to do this on your iPhone) the numeric access codes appear as expected. Once you have text message forwarding setup you can disable your email address again in iMessage as it seems to only be necessary for the numeric access code setup step, not the actual text message forwarding itself.

As iMessage users will remember, Apple lets users enable both their phone number and email address as methods for the receipt of text messages. Some users may have disabled their email address and chosen only their phone number in order to maintain consistency between iMessages and regular SMS messaging, and it appears that these users are the ones experiencing problems with SMS relay setup.
To enable your email in Messages, grab your iPhone and head to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. There, you’ll find all of the addresses at which you can be reached via iMessage. Enable your iCloud email address by tapping on it, then head back to your Mac or iPad and again request the pairing verification code from the Messages app. This time, you should see a box appear on your iPhone in which you can enter the code.
SMS Relay Activation iPhone
Note that you don’t need to keep your email address enabled in iMessage. Once the pairing process is complete, you can head back to the location mentioned above and uncheck your iCloud address from the list.

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11 thoughts on “How to Fix iOS 8.1 SMS Relay Configuration Issues”

William Wong says:
Hey guys, just wanted to mention that the setting to enable SMS forwarding has been broken out into its own section now. Enable it from Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding :)
jeff says:
i also got it to work, however i upgraded my iPhone to the 6 plus and now it doesn’t work and then code won’t pop up on my macbook.
adisagio says:
the problem is not to see the box but get the code to put into the box :O
Keri Chapman says:
Tried all of this, and even the advice in the comments and the code is still not appearing for me
TG says:
Worked for me also, my wife’s iPhone and iPad fixed. Amazing that a corporation whose byline is “It Just Works” can make such an important and expected service so difficult to fix. And, you’d expect such easy solutions to this on Apples site in-lieu of a third party site. Thanks Tekrevue!
Now if they can only fix the 6gb ‘other’ storage loss on their mobile devices without reinstallation when all the usual tricks have failed. This has been an ongoing problem since 2007. Apple products, a love hate relationship.
Gert Agerholm says:
I couldn’t get it work on neither iPad nor MAC until I switched off iMessage on my iPhone and enabled it again. After that all E-mail addresses AND the phone number appeared on the iPad and MAC in messages/facetime setup and I was asked if I wanted to use the iPad/MAC with facetime and messages. Then the popup came and everything worked for me. The trick was disable iMessages in the messages setup on the iPhone and enable it again.
johnburgin says:
This worked for me! Thanks
vovin84 says:
I couldn’t get it to work until I tried this. Thank you!
Enno says:
You’re my god right now, thank you. And it’s a pity that “it just works” seems to be a thing of the past =/
John says:
This works for me. I just turn off and reactive iMessage from my iPhone then reboot it. BAM the code appear and now Im rolling!
peter says:
I finally enabled SMS relaying, thanks!
Roberts Brian says:
Thanks Gert – the so called fixes on this and other sites didn’t get the SMS’s flowing but your solution did. Strange thing is was working fine until I downloaded Yosemite – then it stopped and the numbers wouldn’t come up. Thanks again
Harvey Adcock says:
Would’ve thought the option to turn this on would’ve been part of the upgrade to 8.1 screen on iPhone – I’d just assumed it would automatically be enabled like handoff is, and hadn’t checked until now!
Mr_Meeee says:
Finally! This worked. Thank you very very much for this.
Jon says:
Everything worked as according to the article except disabling the icloud email address, as Jay mentioned.
Jay Wigley says:
This worked for me, BUT it has not worked to send SMS from my Macbook via the iPhone with the iCloud email address disabled (as you suggested would be ok to do at the end of your article). I had to re-enable my iCloud email for the SMS relay to send via the phone.
colonel179 says:
I had ONLY iCloud mail enabled and I still can’t get the code pop up on my mac!

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Jim Tanous

Oct 21, 2014

676 Articles Published