June 28, 2024

How to message with TextNow

Written by Valeria

Tips & Tricks

"Text" is in our name, so you can bet it's one of our most reliable features. But what you may not know is that there are multiple ways to text with TextNow –all made to make your life easier.

Using TextNow on your computer

You may have found TextNow by searching through your mobile app store, or seeing a review on your favorite social media app, but our service doesn't just stop on your phone.

If you have access to a computer, you can head over to our website, and log in to "Web messaging" to access your phone number with all your texts (and calls)!

You can continue to text right there from your computer, and those conversations will still show up on your mobile app as well.

Texting other non-TextNow numbers

It's important that we make a distinction here about TextNow. We are not like WhatsApp. (Hint: we're better!)

While WhatsApp and other similar messaging apps give you a closed platform where you can message other people in that same platform, TextNow lets you text any American or Canadian number for free. You don't all need to be using TextNow to text each other. TextNow works just like your phone service's native messenger – you have a valid phone number that we provide you for free, and you can use it to text anyone, again, for free.

Texting international numbers

While we're on the subject of texting phone numbers, we do also support international texting (outside of U.S and Canada) for – our favorite word – free.

Not all international numbers will be supported, but you can check out this list to see which international carriers that are supported with this feature.

If you try to text an international number and get an error, most likely it's simply not supported. You'd have to either call the number instead, or find another way to contact them (this is where WhatsApp may come in handy!)

Using iMessage with TextNow

If you're one of the thousands of people who are saving big on their monthly bill by switching to TextNow's nationwide 5G service, and you're using an iPhone, then you may have noticed that you're no longer able to use iMessage. The reason being that our SIM-enabled service simply gives you access to the network to use your free TextNow app (plus other essential apps) without paying for a data plan.

But the way our SIM service is set up is not like traditional carriers. We don't store your number or contacts on it. All of that information is stored on your TextNow account, so you can access it from anywhere (like your computer, as we mentioned earlier, or even on another phone or tablet). So if you try to use the native iMessage app, that app can't access a phone number to be able to send a message.

But that doesn't mean you can't use it. You just can't use it with your phone number. But you can set it up with your Apple ID/email, and all your texts from there will simply show up from that email. Your friends and family can easily update your name in their own contacts so that your texts will show up from your name, but any new numbers you text will see your email as the contact "number" at first.

Here are the full steps to enable iMessaging:

  1. The first step is to create an Apple ID if you haven't already. You can check out this article from Apple to learn how to create an Apple ID online, or create one on your iOS device by going to Settings > iCloud > Create a new Apple ID.

  2. Next, go to your phone's Settings > Messages and turn on iMessage, using the switch at the top of the page. If the switch is already green, it's already on. Make sure to keep the Send as SMS (further down that page) switch off.

  3. Under Send & Receive, double check to make sure your Apple ID email is set up for both options.

  4. You're set!

Got any other texting questions? Contact us on X, or Facebook and we'd be happy to help.