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Forward Text Messages to Another Apple Cell Phone

Updated on July 3, 2018
FalconSays profile image

I like to help others in any way I can, to navigate the sometimes cumbersome world of tech gadgets.

Forwarding functionality between two Apple cell phones with separate phone numbers.

After some searching and digging in to random dead-end posts that seemed to be spelling out dooms-day for wanting to forward text messages, I finally found light at the end of the tunnel.

I am starting a work-from-home venture and wanted a separate business phone number to keep my long-established personal cell phone number private. So, why on earth did I need to go to so much trouble to be able to forward text messages, have the ability to read and respond to those text messages as if they are coming from my personal number? I needed (wanted) a new iphone with a larger screen anyway, so I grabbed my business phone number with the purchase of an iphone 7 plus. I don't know how I managed to struggle so long on my old (still functional) iphone 5 teenie, tiny, little screen.

I love my new phone so much, that I find myself using the new phone the majority of the time. I have two separate bills now, but I have separate carriers, AT&T and Verizon. Someday I hope to travel more, a lot more, so I wanted the power of two separate carriers. I often hear stories of carrier/cell/data coverage/strength being one vs the other in many geographic areas. But I digress.

Below are the relatively simple steps to being able to forward, read and respond to texts via an alternate cell phone. These steps apply to Apple iOS only.

Step 1:

iPhone 7 plus
iPhone 7 plus

Touch to open your iphone 'Settings', seen in the above photo with the red circle around it. I included the iphone App Store app as a landmark. If you are unsure where settings is located on your phone, it may be near the App Store. I blocked out other apps I use because no iphones are alike; displaying multiple varying apps may distract from the purpose of this article to help you find the steps to forwarding text messages.

  • Note: All of these steps were completed on my alternate phone, the phone I wish to receive (and reply to) the forwarded text from my old iphone.
  • Note: The red dots that happen to show a 1 and 2 have nothing to do with the steps for this article purpose of forwarding text messages. The red dots on any of your apps on your iphone are 'Notifications'; way to alert you, catch your eye, for you to open any app with the dots to see the 'call to action' or simply check the notification. Once you have viewed the notifications or completed the call to action, for example, a software update, the red dot will disappear off the app.
  • Note: You can also control how you receive (see) notifications appear on your phone, on your apps, within the 'Settings'. This task is not covered in this article.

Step 2:

Settings, Messages, Apple id & more . . .
Settings, Messages, Apple id & more . . .

Settings open, find and touch to open 'Messages'. This section may appear differently on your iphone. For example, the two phones I am working for this purpose are an old iphone 5 and my new iphone 7 plus. Also, for the aesthetics of this article post, I cropped, edited and merged pics together to bring the images of phone, messages and my iphone Apple id closer together.

Step 3:

Settings, Messages, iMessage on, Text Msg Fwd
Settings, Messages, iMessage on, Text Msg Fwd

Messages open, find and touch 'Text Message Forwarding'. The above image appears differently than your phone. I took this screen-shot after I completed the task, therefore displays a device already associated with the text message forwarding option.

  • Note: Also be sure 'iMessage' is on, toggled to green-for-go.

Step 4:

Settings, Messages, Text Msg Fwd
Settings, Messages, Text Msg Fwd

Text Messaging Forwarding open, find 'Allow these devices. . . . ' and enter the phone number of your alternate phone; it should then appear as the phone is identified with your Apple id. Next, toggle the 'Allow' switch to appear green-for-go, or yes.

  • Note: No need to try and find the above pictured iphone. Your iphone id will appear entirely differently. The iphone name as appears for this article and this step is my personal iphone 5 identification.

Step 5a:

Settings, Messages, Send & Receive
Settings, Messages, Send & Receive

Wait, there's more. While it may seem logical that simply telling your iphone to allow text message forwarding to your alternate phone should complete the loop, there is another task to make both of your phones function, properly forwarding, receiving and being able to reply to text messages from your alternate phone while appearing to be connected to the other phone number. Pretty neat, huh?

Go back to 'Messages' in your settings. Scroll down, find and open 'Send & Receive'. Most likely you will find this near the bottom of your messages section, but can appear differently depending on your iphone make/model.

  • Note: My phone already displays '3 Addresses' as I have already completed this task. Also, the multiple addresses account for my other phone number and two different email addresses where I would like automatic blind-copies of all my texts.
  • Note: As I recognize the above note can leave a bit to the imagination, the text message copies are not for nefarious reasons. Copying text messages to any email you choose can and does serve a logical purpose. If by chance you are away from your phone, lost a phone, damaged a phone beyond proper use, etc, you can reply to text messages via email. That particular task is not covered in this article.

Step 5b:

Settings, Messages, Send & Receive
Settings, Messages, Send & Receive

Remember in step 3 above, we made sure iMessage was turned on, toggled to green-for-go? Here is where you will complete the text messages and forwarding loop from step 5a.

Settings, Messages, 'Send & Receive' open, find and touch to choose which phone numbers and/or emails where you would like to be reached. A small check mark will appear or disappear next to your choices and this can be changed at any time.

Important! Also, scroll down and choose which phone number you would like your text messages to be identified as originating from. Keep in mind, the phone number you choose is the phone number that appears on any other person's phone.

  • Note: Although for this step you are in 'Send & Receive', once you open that, for some reason it appears (on my iphone anyway) as iMessage. This can be confusing, but I double checked and this step (pictured) is under Send & Receive.

Step 6:

iph 5 text msg fwd to iph 7 plus, photo proof of successful results
iph 5 text msg fwd to iph 7 plus, photo proof of successful results

The final step is to be sure your other phone has been told to forward its texts to your alternate phone. This step is not time-sensitive, can be completed before, during or after with successful results.

  • Note: Both phones have iMessages on, toggled green-for-go and Text Message Forwarding enabled. iMessages must be turned on.
  • Note: I received incoming text from my friend. I then inquire, "What ph# shows that this is coming from?" - My friend replies "The 5639 number"(my iph 7 does NOT end in 5639)
  • Note: Just a tiny bit of the bottom of the texts do not appear identical on both phones. Because of the text message forwarding and very slight time/data difference, the text message bubbles were received out of sync. You may or may not ever experience this, but I am glad it happened, for visual proof, for the purpose of this article. I did and still do, however, receive every text and pic and so far no more out-of-sync hiccups. I presume that will be few and far between.
  • Side Note: Forgive our gushiness as our friendship is blossoming. You may comment your gags below. lol'ing

I sincerely hope the above steps help you set up your phones, if this is a function that you find useful. Please leave a comment if this article is helpful for you or if you just want to say hi. I'd love to read from you.

© 2018 Karen S Falcon


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