Message setting tweak

When I got my new MacBook Air a few weeks ago, I decided to start it from scratch rather than have it migrate from my iMac. This isn’t as much work as it used to be, as most of the files I wanted on the new machine would come over through Dropbox and iCloud Drive. And most of the settings would transfer when I signed into iCloud. It all worked pretty much as expected, but there have been a few stragglers.

This morning I was using the Air to assemble my 2020 tax information and had to sign in to brokerages and banks to download statements and other documents. Because I’d never used the Air with these accounts before, they texted me security codes that I would then enter to confirm (more or less) that I was who I said I was.

This process has improved a lot over the years. It used to be that I’d get the texts on my phone and then type the code into my Mac. Later, I was able to copy the code from my iPhone, and it would be transferred automatically to my Mac’s clipboard, and I could paste it in. Finally, I got things set up so my Mac got the text directly, and when I clicked in the security code field, it would offer to enter the code itself. No need to select and copy it out of the text message.

That’s what I expected to happen this morning, but it didn’t. The texts came to my phone but not to the Air. I looked through the settings in Messages on the Air, hoping to find the solution, but nothing looked right (Enable Messages in iCloud was already turned on).

The answer, as 9to5Mac told me, was on my phone. I metaphorically smacked myself on the head. Of course. Only the phone can receive regular SMS messages, so only it can initiate the transfer of those messages to a Mac. I opened Settings>Messages>Text Message Forwarding and flipped the switch to enable the Air.

Message forwarding settings

It’s possible I have too many devices now.

It’ll probably be a while before I stop running into these little tweaks that need doing. I’m kind of surprised at how few I’ve hit after the first week. iCloud really has improved tremendously over the years.

I don’t get many regular (i.e., non-iMessage) texts these days, so I was wondering how long it would be before I could be sure my setting change had worked. As I was writing this post, a spam text came in on the Air. Success! Sort of.