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How to automatically forward text messages to another phone

How to automatically forward text messages to another phone

Tired of manually forwarding texts? 

Good news: you don’t have to!

These step-by-step instructions explain everything you should know about how to automatically forward text messages to another phone.

Just keep in mind auto-forwarding isn’t always the best solution for business owners (especially if you manage a team). In this guide, we also provide an alternative to text forwarding for business communication.

TL;DR
  • You can forward text messages automatically with an iPhone.
  • Android users will need to download a text-forwarding app.
  • For growing teams and businesses, shared phone numbers can help you split responsibility for incoming messages.
  • With OpenPhone, you can also automatically forward text messages to any Slack channel or email inbox.

Different ways of forwarding a text message to another phone

Here are a few ways to forward text messages to another phone:

  • Automatically. You can set up a workflow to auto-forward messages through a third-party app or your phone’s built-in settings.
  • Email. Some texting apps send notifications via email so you can forward the messages on another device.
  • Texting apps. Messenger and WhatsApp, for example, have mobile and desktop apps so you can access text messages on other devices.
  • Virtual number app. You can forward SMS messages to another device and tap into business-friendly features like call forwarding, auto-replies, and shared phone numbers (more on this later).

For most personal users, automatic forwarding is likely the most cost-effective option.

Here’s the step-by-step process for getting started with automatic forwarding, beginning with iOS devices.

How to automatically forward text messages from your iPhone

iOS devices have a built-in forwarding feature to help you automatically send text messages to Apple devices (including your Mac and iPad).

Here’s how it works:

1. Under Settings, select Messages.

How to automatically forward text messages to another phone: For step 1, under Settings, select Messages

2. Tap Text Message Forwarding.

How to automatically forward text messages to another phone: For step 2, tap Text Message Forwarding

3. You should see a list of currently owned devices linked by your Apple ID. Toggle on the devices you wish to send and receive text messages.

How to automatically forward text messages to another phone: For step 3, toggle on the devices you wish to send and receive text messages

Now, any SMS messages sent to your device will be automatically forwarded to the devices on your list.

Just keep in mind this auto-forward feature only works with devices you personally own. You can’t automatically forward messages to your colleagues or any other iPhone users — you have to manually forward those texts from your iPhone instead.

How to forward text messages from your Android phone

Android devices don’t have a built-in auto-forwarding feature, so you’ll have to install an SMS forwarding app instead.

Here’s how to use a specific app (SMS Forwarder) to forward text messages on Android:

1. Download the SMS Forwarder app from the Google Play Store.

How to automatically forward text messages to another phone: For step 1, download the SMS Forwarder app from the Google Play Store

2. Set up a filter for who should receive forwarded messages. There are additional customization options for forwarding conditions, word replacement, and more.

How to automatically forward text messages to another phone: For step 2, set up a filter for who should receive forwarded messages

3. Toggle the ‘on’ switch for your specific filter.

Your device will now auto-forward SMS messages to the recipients you selected.

Keep in mind most forwarding apps come with a relatively steep learning curve. Also, not all features are free — and premium features (such as auto-replies) require in-app purchases. Even then, you’ll want to go with more than a simple text forwarding solution if you want to save time sending repeat text messages. But that’s not only the scenario.  

3 key scenarios when you need more than a basic solution to text forwarding

If you’re just texting with friends and family, basic text forwarding should get the job done. But when running a business or managing a growing team, you’ll need more than just a basic forwarding app.

A VoIP app with a dedicated virtual phone number makes more sense than text forwarding if:

1. You want your conversation history centralized 

If you don’t have access to a single source of information, it gets easier and easier for conversations to fall through the cracks.

Most forwarding solutions can’t centralize a contact’s conversation history.

But a VoIP system can. With a VoIP phone solution, you can easily access your phone number from any computer, laptop, or smartphone. Plus, your teammates can call and text from the same number. 

2. You need to split responsibility for incoming texts

Delegating one person to manage text conversations can put a significant bottleneck on your team. A single team member can only keep up with so much, and as your business grows, they can easily get overwhelmed.

The better solution is to set up a single inbox where everyone on your team can send and receive texts. That way, you don’t have to worry about clocking out for the day. You can rest easy knowing there’s always someone around to answer incoming texts. Plus, your team can call and text from the same number. And when you do reach out over a call, they’re more likely to recognize the number you also text from. 

3. Your team collaborates on responses

Forwarding apps can only send your text messages elsewhere — they don’t come with collaboration tools to help you answer messages as a team. If you manage a growing team and want to collaborate on responses in real time, you’ll need an advanced solution like a VoIP phone number.

Or more specifically, a shared VoIP phone number.

Shared phone numbers: A better alternative to automatically forwarding texts

OpenPhone's desktop app

Automatic text forwarding may be helpful in the early days of your business, but as your team grows, it makes less and less sense.

This is where shared numbers come into play. They’re not just the easiest way to forward a text message — they split responsibility for incoming messages and keep everyone on your team on the same page.

The benefits speak for themselves:

  • With shared phone numbers, everyone on your team can see the same contacts, phone calls, and text messages in a convenient single view. They can also see who has responded to what so they don’t accidentally do the same work twice.
See full SMS conversation history with OpenPhone
  • Not sure how to answer an incoming message? With internal threads, you can tag teammates for help. You can also write notes on individual messages so you can delegate tasks and follow up on requests.
  • Shared numbers make it easy to call and text from multiple devices. As long as you have a WiFi connection, you can use your personal phone to make and receive calls (without having to give out your personal phone number).
  • You can put more hours back into your day with time-saving features and automation workflows. With auto-replies, you can set expectations when you’re away with an out-of-office message. You can also use scheduled messages to reach customers in different time zones during appropriate business hours. Do you find yourself addressing the same questions over and over? Snippets can help you answer them in three taps or fewer.

Shared numbers with OpenPhone start at $15 per user per month. If you need more than 10 users per number (or want advanced features like our HubSpot and Zapier integrations), just upgrade to our Business plan (starting at $23 per user per month).

How to automatically forward text messages to any Slack channel or email inbox with OpenPhone

Shared phone numbers are the easiest way to manage conversations as a team.

But what if you need to loop in teammates who aren’t customer-facing?

You can use OpenPhone’s Slack and email integrations to fill in the gaps. Each time you receive a new (relevant) text message, OpenPhone automatically forwards it to the right channel or inbox.

Here’s how to forward text messages through our Slack integration

1. In the left menu of our web or desktop app, click Settings.”

2. Tap Phone Numbers under Workspace.

3. Choose the phone number you’d like to connect with Slack.

How to automatically forward text messages to Slack: For step 1, choose the phone number you’d like to connect with Slack

4. Under Integrations, tap Connect to your Slack.

How to automatically forward text messages to Slack: For step 2, under Integrations, tap Connect to your Slack

5. Follow the prompts to sign into your Slack account and give OpenPhone permission to post forwarded texts in a channel.

How to automatically forward text messages to Slack: For step 4, follow the prompts to sign into your Slack account and give OpenPhone permission to post forwarded texts in a channel

That’s it. Your forwarded text messages will look like this:

What your forwarded text messages will look like in your Slack channel

Here’s how to forward text messages through our email integration

1. In the left menu of our web or desktop app, click Settings.

2. Tap Phone Numbers under Workspace.

3. Choose the phone number you’d like to forward messages from.

Choose the phone number you’d like to forward messages from

4. Under Integrations, tap Connect to your email.

4. Under Integrations, tap Connect to your email

5. Add email addresses you want to notify of incoming text messages. You don’t need to add the address on file with your OpenPhone account, though.

6. Modify which events create an email notification. You receive text messages, missed calls, and voicemail notifications by default.

Here’s what these notifications look like in Gmail:

How the notifications will look in your Gmail account

Save time and improve your customer communication with OpenPhone

OpenPhone desktop and mobile apps

Knowing the ropes for how to automatically forward text messages will come in handy if you’re in a pinch. But if you manage a small business and need to forward messages consistently, OpenPhone’s shared numbers will be a more future-proof solution.

OpenPhone makes it simple and easy to set up a shared inbox that works for your team. Add as many users as you need, connect with the tools you already use, and collaborate from anywhere on the devices you already own.

You can set up a business number and start automatically forwarding texts by signing up for a seven-day free trial of OpenPhone.

Can I automatically forward a message to multiple people at the same time?

You can forward messages to multiple people by copy/pasting the text into your native message app, SMS forwarder, or email provider. The easiest solution for businesses is to set up a shared number in OpenPhone so everyone on your team receives incoming messages simultaneously.

Can I automatically forward text messages to HubSpot or Salesforce?

You can automatically forward SMS messages to your HubSpot account through OpenPhone’s native HubSpot integration. You can also connect with our Salesforce SMS integration to easily log texts in your CRM.

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