How to get MacOS Message app to sync up with iPhone messages (get it to update)

As a quick note, I often have a problem where the Messages app on MacOS (formerly Mac OS X) won’t update to receive new messages. By this I mean that I receive messages on my iPhone, but then when I go to my Mac and open the Messages app, my new text messages either never get there, or it takes a long time for them to show up in the Messages app.

Personally I’ve only found a few ways to get the Mac Messages app to “wake up,” i.e., sync my text messages:

  1. I send a text message to myself. Sometimes that gets all of the messages flowing.
  2. If I know I’ve received a message from someone on my phone, I’ll go into Messages and start to send them a text message. That is, if I know I’ve received a message from Kim on my phone, I’ll go into MacOS Messages, select Kim, then start typing her a message. When I do this her texts will often come in at that time.
  3. Another thing that (very rarely) works is to open a conversation in a new Messages window. That seemed to work a few months ago, but now I find that the first two “tricks” work much better.

Unfortunately these really are only tricks rather than a proven technical solution. That being said, I have been using the first two techniques during the last couple of weeks, and I can confirm that they work with MacOS 10.12, circa March, 2017.

(Please note that this assumes that you’re using the same Apple User ID on both your Mac and iPhone. If you’re not using the same ID on both systems, well, that’s a completely different problem. This solution assumes that you are using the same User ID.)

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Anonymous format

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <pre>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.