Using your phone number for iMessages & FaceTime on Mountain Lion & iPad

With yesterday’s Mountain Lion and iOS updates, Apple added the ability to use your phone number for iMessages sent from devices other than your iPhone. However, this feature is not turned on by default.


  • Get your iMessages and FaceTime calls on your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch even if the sender uses your phone number
  • Send iMessages from your computer on a luxuriously large keyboard
  • iMessage alerts in more places means you are more likely to get your messages promptly


  • If your iMessage is undeliverable, your Mac and iPad have no way to fall back to regular text messages because only your iPhone has a direct connection into your cell phone company’s text message system. An iMessage can be undeliverable because of network problems for you, Apple or your recipient, and would simply fail. This probably isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s something to be aware of.
  • The flurry of noises when you receive a message can be annoying, especially because they are usually spread out by a few seconds. For this reason I disabled the iMessage notification sounds on my iPad and Mac, leaving only my phone to make the noise.
  • This only works if you have an iPhone with at least iOS 5 and have iMessages enabled on it.


  1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app > Messages > Receive at or Send & Receive (you will see one or the other depending on your configuration)
  2. If there is a button that says Use your Apple ID for iMessage go ahead and tap it and complete the setup
  3. Make sure that your phone number and any relevant email addresses are checked
  4. Start new conversations from should also be set to your phone number

How-to on Mac:

  1. Make sure you have installed the latest software update that came out yesterday.
  2. Open the Messages app. If you don’t see it on your dock you can find it in your Applications folder.
  3. If it wasn’t already in your dock, add the Messages app so that you can always see the number badge for unread messages. Just drag the icon to a new location in your dock and it will stay there. The badge will update even if you don’t have the Messages app actively running.
  4. Go to the Messages menu > Preferences.
  5. From the Accounts tab select your iMessage account from the left column.
  6. Make sure “Enable this account” is checked.
  7. Under “You can be reached for messages at” check the box by your phone number. If your phone number is not in the list try disabling and re-enabling iMessages on your iPhone then disable and re-enable it on your Mac.
  8. While you are in there you should also add any other email addresses people might try contacting you on.
  9. For “Start new conversations from” choose your phone number. If it’s not in the list try closing the preferences window and opening it back up again.
  10. Open FaceTime and in the Preferences window configure it in the same way.

iMessage Window

How-to on iPad & iPod Touch:

  1. If you haven’t already, install the iOS 6 update.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. In the Messages section make sure iMessage is set to On.
  4. Under Send & Receive make sure your phone number is selected for both “You can be reached by iMessage at” and “Start new conversations from”. If your phone number is not available If your phone number is not in the list try disabling and re-enabling iMessages on your iPhone, then disable and re-enable it on your iPad or iPod Touch.
  5. In the FaceTime section configure it in the same way.

iMessage settings on iOS



If you have having trouble try disabling and re-enabling iMessages on your iPhone in Settings, then try disabling and re-enabling iMessages on your Mac/iPad/iPod Touch. Also, check out Apple’s article on the subject as well as this resource from OS X Daily.