How to Send Text Messages Through Your Computer


It's helpful to know how to use your computer to send text messages for those times when a smartphone is not handy or just inconvenient. Steve Buissinne/CC0 Public Domain

Did you mean "coffee" instead of "covfefe"? We feel your pain. Smartphone keyboards are teensy, making it difficult to tap out long text messages — and that's just one reason you may want to send text messages from your computer instead. There are other benefits in texting by computer, too. It's a good way to skirt monthly message caps or to zip off texts in situations where you have no data signal on your phone.

There are a lot of ways to accomplish this task, from smartphone apps (such as MightyText or Join) to dedicated Web sites (like AFreeSMS or SendSMSNow), to Google Voice, or even a menu option right on your phone carrier's Web site. Some of these methods are pricey or convoluted. The steps below, however, are quick and easy [source: Coppock and Martindale].

With these three steps, you'll be able to e-mail 160-character SMS (short messaging service) messages directly to a mobile phone.

  1. Open your e-mail program and start a new e-mail message.
  2. Enter the cell phone number in the To: box using the format number@cellphonecarrier.com, where "number" is the phone number of the cell phone to which you're sending the message, and "cellphonecarrier" is the domain name that allows recipients to receive e-mail text messages. For instance, to send a text message to cell phone 123-456-7890, enter 1234567890@cellphonecarrier.com
  3. Don't know the domain name of your friend's phone company? No problem. Go to CarrierLookup or TextMagic and enter the phone number to find out.
  4. Write your message and click Send.

Here are the domain names of some of the more popular carriers

  • AT&T: @txt.att.net
  • Metro PCS: @metropcs.sms.us
  • Nextel: @messaging.nextel.com
  • Sprint: @messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • T-mobile: @tmomail.net
  • U.S. Cellular: @email.uscc.net
  • Verizon: @vtext.com
  • Virgin Mobile: @vtext.com

Remember that these domains only work for text messages. If you want to send pictures, video, or audio, you'll need to skip the SMS address and use the MMS (multimedia messaging service) address instead. You can find a list of some common MMS addresses here. You'll find more SMS addresses on this site, too. If you don't find your carrier listed there, Email Marketing Software has an even more comprehensive list.

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