Text messaging has become one of the most popular ways to carry on conversations in our world today. The convenience of using SMS is universally known. Sometimes, though, for one reason or another, you may prefer to have access to text messaging on your computer.
No matter your reason, if this is something you want to do, follow one of these texting methods that do not require the use of the messaging app on your phone.
1. Google Voice
Google Voice isn’t talked about much, but this handy service gives you a free virtual phone number that you can use to make calls and send texts. Currently, it’s only available in the US and Canada. If you find yourself in these territories, then setting it up is simple.
- Go to Google Voice and sign up.
- Click the Messages icon, then “Send a message.”
- Enter the name or number of the contact you want to text. (You can add up to seven people in a group text.) You can also attach images by clicking the image icon.
- When you’re ready, click the “Send” arrow.
- Get a voice number that works on smartphones and the web
- Voicemail transcription
- Call forwarding
- Free for personal use / Starts at $10/month for business use
2. Your Email Account
This only works for USA and Canadian phone numbers. An often unknown way for you to text without your phone is for you to use your regular email client. To use your email to send a message:
- Click to compose a new email like you normally would.
- Insert the person’s ten-digit phone number in the “To” field.
- Add your recipient’s carrier code.
For example, a Verizon number would look like firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not sure which carrier your recipient has, you can look it up.
These sites will check to make sure it is a wireless number and give you the SMS and MMS addresses for that contact.
3. Windows App
If you have a Windows machine, you can use the “Your Phone Companion” app or “Phone Link” to send and receive texts. The drawback to using Your Phone Companion is that you can’t send media. When using Phone Link, you can send media files.
To use the Your Phone Companion App to text:
- Press the Win button on your keyboard and type “Your Phone” (Windows 10 users) or “Phone Link” (Windows 11 users). Click on the appropriate app for your system.
- If you have not connected your phone yet, the app will walk you through that.
- Once they are connected, you have access to all your text messages and can create and receive messages from there.
You can also access pictures you’ve taken with your phone. You can’t send them with Your Phone Companion, but you can see them. If you’re using Windows 11 and Phone Link, you’ll be able to see and send media files.
4. Chrome Extension
If you are a Gmail user, you can use a Chrome extension called “Send Your Email to SMS (text)” to send text from your email. It’s a nice little app that allows you to send 10 messages for free each month. If you do more than that, you need to upgrade to an unlimited plan for about $50 a month. For a small business, this could be a way to send messages to your customers. The premium version also gives you a dedicated phone number.
- Go to the Chrome Web Store and download the extension.
- Open Gmail in your browser. You will see that the extension adds a phone icon to your email window.
- Click on Compose to begin a message.
- Click on the phone icon near the bottom-left corner.
- Type the number you want to text.
- Type your message and send it out.
With this extension, you don’t have to locate and type in the carrier code. It will automatically do it for you. As with most options on this list, it only works with US and Canadian numbers.
5. Free Websites
You have a choice of some free websites that you can use to send messages. Here are a few examples of the many that are available.
GlobFone only has an SMS option – you cannot send pictures. To use it, all you need to do is put in the number you want to text and add a message. The recipient cannot reply, but the site has a status check to make sure the message was delivered correctly. There are a lot of ads though.
Send text messages from your PC anywhere in the world with AFreeSMS. Simply choose the country, enter a number, and type your message. You can’t send media files, but you can send up to 160 characters in a single message.
To use SendSMSNow, you’ll have to register for a free account. This lets you receive text replies in your inbox. You can send unlimited messages as long as each one is 130 characters or less. Media files aren’t supported. Numerous countries worldwide are supported. If you want to send group texts, it costs $0.01 per person.
If you want to send free texts online that include images, try OpenTextingOnline. You can send images up to 300 KB. Send unlimited messages. Simply choose the country, enter the number and your message, and send.
You can enter your email address in the message if you’d like recipients to respond via email. Otherwise, stay on the page and wait for the reply.
6. Text Sync Apps
Another way of texting from your computer is to install one of several different apps that sync your text messages onto your laptop.
Pushbullet is one of the most popular desktop apps to connect your Android phone to your computer. It not only pushes SMS messages between the devices, but it includes Notification Mirroring, pushing all your notifications from your Android to your computer. Pushbullet used to be free, but they reduced the number of features on their free platform and added a paid level of $5.00 a month.
AirDroid is nearly the same as Pushbullet. You can also view your camera and dial your phone remotely. All these features are only $2.00 per month.
This app for sending SMS messages from your PC is a browser option, not a desktop app like Pushbullet and AirDroid. MightyText lets you synchronize your SMS messages along with your notifications, photos, videos, and all the major desktop browsers. It’s free for up to 500 messages a month, and after that it will set you back $5.00 monthly.
If you find that texting on your phone is not the most efficient way for you to create messages, try one of these other ways to send them. And don’t forget to backup your messages in the event that your phone crashes. And, here’s how to recover your Android messages if you accidentally delete them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have a dedicated number to send text message from PC?
This depends on the option you choose. Some apps offer only a temporary platform and number to send and receive messages from. For instance, browser options that don’t have a sign-up option won’t give you a dedicated number to use over and over again.
Options like Google Voice do give you your own number with both the free personal and premium business plans.
Is sending text messages from a PC safe?
There is no guarantee that your text messages are secured when sending via a PC or browser. This is especially true when sending through free websites. Ideally, don’t send any personal information on sites or platforms that don’t require you to log in. You can also check the platform’s privacy information, which should be listed on the platform’s website, to see what security measures are used.
Will recipients know it's me?
Unless you’re sending from your email address or through your mobile device (via a desktop app), recipients won’t have any way to know that it’s you sending the message. You should always include your name to let them know who they’re getting a random text message from. This is especially true if you’re using a temporary number that a recipient may mistake for spam.
Remember that none of the options are completely anonymous. Some options will require more effort than others to track your IP address, but they’re not anonymous.
Is it better to use a computer versus a smartphone to send SMS?
The main benefit of using a computer is that it’s easier and faster to type a message using a keyboard versus a tiny phone screen. Otherwise, there isn’t much difference. You may opt for a computer if your phone is broken or if you’re on a limited texting plan. It’s also a great option if you need to send texts but don’t want to share your phone number with someone.
Image credit: Asterfolio via Unsplash
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