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Send & get text messages

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For Voice for Google Workspace accounts managed by your work or school, text messaging is available only in the US.

With your Google Voice number, you can send text messages at no charge to U.S. and Canadian numbers (excluding U.S. territories American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands). Texts sent using Google Voice use Wi-Fi, or mobile data from your phone's service plan if you're not connected to Wi-Fi. If you're outside the U.S. and aren't using Wi-Fi, your mobile phone company might charge you extra roaming fees to send a text.

Use Google Voice for interactive messaging only

Due to carrier limitations and to protect against spam, Google Voice messaging is intended only for interactive conversations. It's not intended for bulk messaging, which can result in messages being reported as spam and blocked. If you have blocked messages, refer to the "Why can't I send text messages?" section below.

If you're a teacher and need to send bulk announcements or notifications, we recommend using email, your school's website, social media sites, or other apps for teacher communication.

If you haven’t yet, download the Google Voice app on your iPhone or iPad.

Send a text message

You can use the Google Voice app to send text messages to one or more phone numbers.

If you send a text longer than 160 characters to a non-Google Voice number, it's sent as multiple messages.

Tip: You can't send texts to five- or six-digit “short code” numbers.

  1. Open the Voice app .
  2. Open the tab for Messages Messages tab, and then tap Compose .
  3. From your list of contacts, tap the person you want to send a text message.
  4. At the bottom, enter your message, and then tap Send .
  5. Enter a contact’s name or phone number.
    • To create a group text message, add up to 7 names or phone numbers. Group messages can have up to 8 participants, including the person who sends the message.

To include an image with your message, tap Select image . If your image is bigger than 2 MB, it will be sent as a smaller file. But GIFs bigger than 2 MB won't send.

Why can't I send text messages?

If you send many text messages in a short period, or recipients mark your messages as spam, Voice may temporarily restrict you from sending more messages. If you exceed your quota, your messages are blocked. You’ll get an error message: “Message not delivered. You’ve sent too many messages.”

Text messages that may be blocked

Due to carrier limitations and to protect against spam, Google Voice messaging is intended only for 1:1, personal conversations. It is not intended for bulk messaging, which can result in messages being flagged as spam and blocked. Text messaging behaviors that may be blocked include, but are not limited to:

  • Sending the same text message to multiple recipients, especially when those messages do not receive replies
  • Sending URL links
  • Sending large numbers of text messages in a short period of time

If your message is blocked due to spam or abuse, you’ll get an error message: “Message not delivered. See Acceptable Use Policy.”

To learn more, see the Voice Acceptable Use Policy

What happens when messages are blocked

There are two stages:

  1. Your Google Voice account may be temporarily blocked from calling or sending messages. If this happens, please wait 24 hours and try again.
  2. If you repeat the same behavior, or if the initial behavior requires immediate intervention, your account will be suspended. If you received a suspension notice via email or your Google Voice web page, then your access to Google Voice is now suspended.  Click Contact us in the suspension notice to appeal. 

Cost of text messages

For Voice for Google Workspace accounts managed by your work or school, text messaging is available only in the US.
Messages you send to US or Canadian numbers don't use Google Voice credit or your mobile phone plan's text messages.
Messages in the Google Voice app are sent with data, not with your text messaging plan. Standard data limits and rates apply, based on your plan with your carrier.

Can't text without a Google Voice number

If you don't have a Google Voice number, Google Voice doesn't support text messaging. Use your normal phone number, or set up a full Google Voice account at no charge.

Can't text from recently ported numbers

If you recently paid to move your Google Voice number, your texts might not work until 3 business days after your transfer finishes. You can check the status of your number porting.

Get a text message

You can get text messages from anywhere in the world. Some websites, such as banks or subscription services, won’t send text messages to Google Voice numbers. In those instances, you may need to use your mobile carrier number.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Voice app .
  2. Open the tab for Messages Messages tab. Messages you haven't read yet are in bold.

If you don't get a text you're expecting, check if it got marked as spam. At the top left, tap Menu Menu and then Spam.

Tips:

  • To get text messages from websites, like a bank or subscription service, you need to use your mobile carrier number.
  • Google Voice is not compatible with iMessage. To get text messages sent by iPhone users to Google Voice users on iOS, de-register your phone number from iMessage

Get notifications for new texts

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Notifications and then Google Voice.
  3. Next to Allow Notifications, turn on the setting.

Google Voice will automatically stop delivering texts to your default text messaging app, so you don't get 2 notifications.

Reply to a text message

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Voice app .
  2. Open the tab for Messages Messages tab.
  3. Tap the text message you want to reply to.
  4. At the bottom, enter your message, and then tap Send Send.

Tip: You can also reply to a text message from a notification.

Allow Google Voice notifications when iOS Focus mode is enabled

Focus mode may block notifications for:

  • Messages (SMS)
  • Missed calls
  • Voicemails
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings and then Focus.
  2. Select your Focus.
  3. Under Allowed Notifications, select Apps or Add App and then Google Voice app and then Done.

Tip: When in Focus mode, make sure the Google Voice app is in your “Allowed Notifications."

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