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Send & get text messages

You can send text messages for free to U.S. and Canadian numbers using your Google Voice number. Texts sent using Google Voice will use Wi-Fi, or mobile data from your cell phone service plan if you're not connected to Wi-Fi. If you're outside the U.S. and are not using Wi-Fi, your cell phone company might charge you extra roaming fees to send a text.

Google Voice & Hangouts: You can choose to link Google Voice and Hangouts. If you do, you'll have to use Hangouts to send texts, not the Google Voice website or apps. To stop using Hangouts for texts, turn off Google Voice in Hangouts.

Send a text message

With the Google Voice website and apps, you can text people messages and photos and send texts to groups of people.

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

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

  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. Open the tab for Messages Messages tab.
  3. At the top, click Send a message.
  4. Enter a contact’s name or phone number.
    • To create a group text message, add up to 30 names or phone numbers.
  5. At the bottom, enter your message, and click Send Send.

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

Can't text without a Google Voice number
If you don't have a Google Voice number, Google Voice doesn't support text messaging. You can upgrade your Google Voice account for free.
Can't text from recently ported numbers

If you recently paid to move your Google Voice number, your texts might not work until 5 business days after your transfer finishes.

To check the status of your port, open Google Voice. Click Menu Menu and then Legacy Google Voice. At the top, click the message, "You have a porting request in progress."

Get a text message

You can get text messages from anywhere in the world.

  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. Open the tab for Messages Messages tab. Messages you haven't read yet are in bold.

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

Note: To get text messages from websites, like a bank or subscription service, you'll need to use your mobile carrier number.

Reply to a text message

  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. Open the tab for Messages Messages tab.
  3. Click the text message you want to reply to.
  4. At the bottom, enter your message, and click Send Send.

Note: If you have more than one Google Voice number, you can only send texts from your main number. If you get a text to your second number, your reply will be sent from the main one.

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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