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Apple iOS 8.1 Upgrade Problems: How To Fix the SMS Text Forwarding Issue

( [email protected] ) Oct 21, 2014 04:29 PM EDT
SMS Text Forwarding is supposed to allow SMS text messages on your phone to be mirrored onto your iPad or OS X Yosemite-installed Mac from a truly cross-compatible experience across Apple products. But some users found the activation process to be buggy and confusing.
Apple's iPhone 6

Monday's iOS 8.1 patch for Apple mobile devices introduced a host of highly anticipated features, but, as often happens with new software launches, everything didn't go exactly as planned with the SMS Text Forwarding feature.

SMS Text Forwarding is supposed to allow SMS text messages on your phone to be mirrored onto your iPad or OS X Yosemite-installed Mac from a truly cross-compatible experience across Apple products. But some users found the activation process to be buggy and confusing.

"To send and receive your iPhone text messages [...] on this Mac, enter the code below on your iPhone now," read the pop-up message on a user's Mac when trying to activate the feature. The problem is, many users say they never received that code.

Related: iOS 8.1 and OS X Yosemite Upgrade: Should You Install Apple's Latest Software? 

"When i open the messages app on my iPhone i see the messages icon pop up in the dock so i know the 2 are communicating, but like you when i enable text message forwarding the code never appears on my iMac," wrote one customer in the MacRumors forum. "Just tried on Mac Book Pro and have same issue."

Some forum members claimed to fix the problem through repeated restarts, but others were completely stumped. Luckily, one MacRumors reader discovered a simple solution to the problem involving the use of an activated email address.

"You need to have your email address turned on for iMessage on your iPhone in order to enable Text Message Forwarding," reader Michael wrote in to the site. "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."

MacRumors was able to replicate the issue and verify that activating your email on your phone will fix the problem, even when the email address is later removed from iMessage. 

To add your email address to your iPhone's iMessage, head to Settings > Messages > Send and Receive.