Send & receive text messages

You can send and receive text messages using your Google Voice number on the Google Voice website, in the Google Voice app, through your SMS messaging app, or through Hangouts.

International text messages: At this time, Google Voice supports sending text messages to phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada, but you can receive text messages from anywhere in the world. Currently, Google Voice only supports short codes within the U.S.

Send texts from your computer

Send a text message to a single recipient

Note: If you have linked your Google Voice number to Hangouts, you must use Hangouts to send text messages. To use the Google Voice website for text messages, you can unlink Google Voice and Hangouts.

Compose a new text message

  1. On a computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top left of the page, click the Text button. 
  3. In the "To" field, enter your recipient's phone number.
  4. In the "Message" field, type your message.
  5. Click Send.

Reply by text message to a voicemail, call, or text

  1. On a computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the left of the page, open History to view all your voicemails, calls, and texts.
  3. Find the voicemail, call, or text message you want to reply to, and click the Text link at the bottom of the message.
  4. In the text field, type your text message and click Send.

Note: If you have 2 or more phone numbers on your Google Account, you'll only be able to send text messages from your primary number. If you receive a text to your secondary number, your reply will be sent from the primary number.

Send a text message through your Contacts list

  1. On a computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the left of the page, click Google Contacts.
  3. Click a contact's name.
  4. Point to the phone number and select the text icon .
Send text messages to multiple recipients

Note: If you have linked your Google Voice number to Hangouts, you must use Hangouts to send text messages. To use the Google Voice website for text messages, you can unlink Google Voice and Hangouts.

Compose a new text message

You can send a text message to up to 5 recipients at a time, which will send the same message to each person individually (not as a group text message).

  1. On a computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top left of the page, click the Text button.
  3. In the "To" field, enter up to 5 recipients' phone numbers with a comma separating each number.
  4. In the "Message" field, type your message.
  5. Click Send.

To prevent abuse, there are limits to the number of text messages you can send from Google Voice. If you've reached the limits, you will see a message that says "Your message was not sent because the text message limit was reached. Please try again later or try sending to fewer contacts." You'll have to send to fewer people, or try sending your text message at a later time.

Reply to a group text message

Group text messages are only available if you have turned on Google Voice in Hangouts.

You can reply to group text messages with your Google Voice number in Hangouts version 4 and above, but you currently can't start them. To reply to Google Voice group texts, download the latest version of the Hangouts app.

 

If you're having trouble sending or receiving text messages, please use our troubleshooters to help you resolve your issue.

Send texts from your mobile phone

Google Voice app on Android

Download the Google Voice app on your Android device.

Send a text message

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Voice app Google Voice app icon.
  2. At the bottom left, touch the compose icon .
  3. Enter the name or phone number of your recipient, and select them from the search results.
  4. Type a short message, and touch the send icon .

The recipient will see your Google Voice number as the sender. 

Text messages will be sent through your data plan, as opposed to your text messaging plan, so there won't be any text messaging charges for messages sent to numbers in the US or Canada.

Reply to a text message

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Voice app Google Voice app icon.
  2. At the top of your screen, open the dropdown menu and select Inbox.
  3. Unread messages are bolded.  Select a message to open it.
  4. To reply to the message, type a short message and touch the send icon .

Stop multiple notifications for received texts

If you have your mobile phone listed as one of your forwarding phones, texts will come to your default text messaging app. You may get two notifications for the same text message if it is sent to both your default text messaging app and your Google Voice app.

You can disable texts from being forwarded to your mobile phone's default text message app, so that they are only sent to the Google Voice app:

  1. On a computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top right of the page, click Settings  > Settings.
  3. Open the "Phones" tab.
  4. Under your mobile phone, uncheck the box next to "Receive text messages on this phone."
  5. Your changes will automatically save.
Google Voice app on iOS

Download the Google Voice app on your iPhone or iPad.

Send a text message

  1. On your iOS device, open the Google Voice app Google Voice app icon.
  2. At the top right, touch the text icon .
  3. Enter the name or phone number of your recipient, and select them from the search results.
  4. Type a short message, and touch Send.

The recipient will see your Google Voice number as the sender. 

Text messages will be sent through your data plan, as opposed to your text messaging plan, so there won't be any text messaging charges for messages sent to numbers in the US or Canada.

Get notified about new text messages

  1. On your iOS device, open Apple's Settings app.
  2. Touch Notifications > Google Voice.
  3. To turn on notifications, touch the toggle button next to "Allow Notifications" so it turns green.

When you turn on notifications for the Google Voice app, your Google Voice number will automatically turn off text forwarding to your mobile phone. This prevents the Google Voice app and the iPhone Messages app from showing two notifications for the same text message. It also means that text messages sent to your Google Voice number will only show up in the Google Voice app.

Text messaging app

Texts sent to your Google Voice number will be forwarded to any phone you've marked with the "Mobile" phone type in the "Phones" tab in your settings. Text messages you receive will show up on your mobile phone in your default SMS app, like Messenger or Hangouts.

Depending on your carrier, you may be charged for your received text messages.

Reply to a text message

  1. On your mobile phone, open your text messaging app.
  2. Open the text message you received. It will be formatted with the sender's name or phone number, followed by their message (for example, "Chris Anderson - I'm going to pick up dinner").
  3. Touch the text box and compose your reply, then press send.

If you reply to the message, the recipient will see your Google Voice number as the sender. The whole conversation will be stored and searchable from your inbox on the Google Voice website.

Receive texts in your email

You can choose to have all text messages sent to your Google number delivered to the email address associated with your Google Account.

  1. On a computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top right of the page, click Settings  > Settings.
  3. Open the "Voicemail & Text" tab.
  4. In the "Text Forwarding" section, check the box next to "Forward text messages to my email."
  5. Click Save Changes.

If you reply to a text message from the email you received, your reply will be sent as a text message to the original sender.

Note: You can only reply to text messages from the email address it was originally sent to. If you forward the text messages to another email address and try to reply to the text message from the other address, your text message won't be delivered.

Megan is a Google Voice expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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