iMessage is one of the most popular messaging services for iOS users. With great features like encrypted messaging, real-time syncing across devices, multimedia sharing and built-in apps, it‘s easy to see why iPhone owners love using iMessage.
However, this also means that if you‘re an iPhone user but have a Windows PC, you can‘t take advantage of iMessage on your computer. Without an official way to use iMessage on Windows, you‘d constantly have to switch between your iPhone and PC which can get distracting.
Fortunately, there are a few workarounds that allow you to mirror iMessage from your iPhone onto a Windows computer. In this guide, we‘ll go through the different methods you can use to get iMessage working on a Windows PC.
Why Use iMessage on Windows PC?
Here are some of the biggest reasons for wanting to use iMessage on your Windows computer:
No context switching: When you get an iMessage on your iPhone, you‘d have to stop your work and pick up the phone to check it. With iMessage on Windows PC, you can view and reply to messages without having to switch devices.
Larger screen: Reading and typing messages is easier on a large monitor compared to the iPhone‘s small screen.
Faster typing: For longer messages, you can type much faster using a full-sized physical keyboard on your laptop.
Syncing: Any messages you send or receive will automatically sync across to your iPhone and other Apple devices.
Built-in apps: You can use apps like Photos, Music, GIFs, Memoji etc. right within iMessage using your Windows PC.
End-to-end encryption: iMessage uses end-to-end encryption so your conversations remain private and secure.
Requirements for iMessage on Windows
To get iMessage working on Windows, you‘ll need:
A Windows PC running Windows 10 or later.
An iPhone with iOS 12 or later that uses the same Apple ID as your computer.
A good internet connection on both devices.
One of the solutions mentioned below for mirroring your iPhone onto your Windows screen.
Now let‘s look at the different methods you can use to enable iMessage for PC.
1. Use an iOS/iPhone Emulator
An emulator is a software program that mimics the hardware and software environment of a different device or operating system. For example, an iOS emulator would allow you to run iOS apps on a Windows computer.
Here are some emulators that will let you mirror your iPhone‘s screen and use iMessage for Windows:
Appetize.io is a popular web-based emulator that lets you run iOS and Android apps in your browser without downloads or installations.
To use it:
Go to https://appetize.io/ and create a free account.
Click on Apps > iOS Apps and search for iMessage.
Launch the iMessage app in your browser.
Scan the QR code shown using your iPhone‘s camera. This will install the Appetize mobile app.
On your iPhone, open the Appetize app, select iMessage and tap Start.
You‘ll now see your iPhone screen mirrored in your web browser. Open iMessage on your iPhone and you can start using it on your Windows PC!
The free version of Appetize gives you 100 minutes of usage per month. You can upgrade to a paid plan for more time if needed.
Ignition is another browser-based emulator similar to Appetize. Just visit their website, add your Apple ID and launch iMessage to view your iPhone‘s screen on Windows.
The free tier has a 5 minute time limit per session. You‘d have to upgrade to the paid version ($12/month) for unrestricted access.
iPadian is a popular iOS simulator for Windows. Here‘s how to use it:
Download and install iPadian on your Windows PC.
Launch iPadian and go to the App Store to search for and install iMessage.
On your iPhone, under Settings > Messages, enable iMessage syncing using your Apple ID.
On iPadian, sign in using the same Apple ID and your messages will start syncing.
While iPadian works well, the downside is you‘ll have to keep the app open at all times to receive messages in real-time.
2. Use Remote Desktop Software
Remote desktop software allows you to remotely access and control another computer over the internet. You can use it to mirror your iPhone‘s screen onto your Windows PC.
Here are some top options:
Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is a free remote access tool from Google. Here‘s how to set it up:
Install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on your Windows PC and Mac computer.
On the Mac, enable remote access through the extension.
From your Windows PC, connect to the Mac using the unique code provided.
On your iPhone, under Settings > Remote Desktop, add your Mac as the host computer.
Your iPhone‘s screen will now be cast onto the Windows computer through the Mac host.
Open iMessage on your iPhone and you‘ll be able to use it seamlessly on your PC.
TeamViewer is a popular remote access tool for Windows and macOS.
To use it:
Install TeamViewer on both your Windows PC and Mac.
On your Mac, enable remote control through the app.
From your Windows PC, connect to your Mac‘s TeamViewer ID.
Follow the same iPhone setup process above to add your Mac as host and cast your iPhone screen to Windows.
You can now use iMessage and any other iPhone apps through TeamViewer.
TeamViewer has a free version but it limits remote sessions to 5 minutes. You‘ll have to upgrade to a paid plan for uninterrupted access.
AnyDesk is another excellent remote desktop app with clients available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.
The setup process is similar:
Install AnyDesk on your Windows PC and Mac.
From your PC, connect to the Mac‘s AnyDesk address.
On your iPhone‘s AnyDesk app, add your Mac as the host computer.
Your iPhone‘s screen will now be mirrored to the Windows PC through AnyDesk.
AnyDesk is also free for personal use but has session limits unless you upgrade to a paid license.
3. Use a Virtual Machine
A virtual machine (VM) allows you to run another operating system like macOS as an app within your existing Windows system. You can install iMessage on the VM and sync it to your iPhone.
Some good virtual machine software options include:
Here is a quick rundown of the setup process:
Download and install the virtual machine software on your Windows PC.
Download a macOS image and use it to install macOS in the VM.
Once the installation completes, you‘ll have a separate macOS workspace within your Windows environment.
On this macOS VM, sign in with your Apple ID and enable iMessage.
Your iPhone‘s iMessage will sync with the VM allowing you to seamlessly send and receive messages.
The benefit of using a VM is that you get a dedicated macOS machine for running iMessage, Sidecar, FaceTime and other Apple apps natively in Windows. The downside is that it takes up more storage space and requires decent hardware resources.
4. Use a Third-Party iMessage Client
There are some third-party apps that let you access iMessage on Windows by syncing your account in the background:
Beeper brings 15+ messaging platforms including iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Signal and others into a unified inbox on your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS devices.
To use it for iMessage on Windows:
Download and install the Beeper app on your PC.
Add your Apple ID when prompted. Beeper will silently sync your iMessage in the background.
You can now send and receive iMessage texts directly from the Beeper app.
Beeper offers a generous free tier with unlimited messages. For full functionality, you‘d have to upgrade to their paid plan.
AirMessage is an open source project that enables iMessage on Android, Windows and Linux.
To set it up:
You‘ll need a spare Mac to act as the server which will sync your iMessages in the background.
Install AirMessage on the Mac and link your Apple ID.
Download the AirMessage client on your Windows PC.
Connect the Windows app to the Mac server.
You‘ll now be able to send and view iMessages from the AirMessage Windows app.
Since it requires a dedicated Mac server, AirMessage is a bit tricky to configure. But it‘s a good free, open source alternative.
Troubleshooting Common iMessage Issues
When setting up iMessage on your Windows PC, here are some troubleshooting steps for common problems faced:
Can‘t sign in to iMessage
- Make sure you‘re using the exact same Apple ID as your iPhone.
- Check if two-factor authentication is enabled on your Apple ID and generate an app-specific password to sign in.
- If you previously disabled iMessage on your iPhone, re-enable it in Settings.
Messages aren‘t syncing
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages and check if iMessage syncing is enabled with your Apple ID.
- Ensure iMessage is enabled in the Mac System Preferences if you‘re using a Mac as your host computer.
- Make sure your Windows PC and iPhone are connected to the internet.
- Try restarting your devices and router if connections are spotty.
Can‘t see iPhone screen on Windows
- For remote desktop tools, check if remote access is enabled on the host Mac/iPhone.
- Make sure the Windows PC is connected to the host using the correct credentials.
- Confirm screen mirroring is enabled on your iPhone.
- On virtual machines, check macOS and iMessage are configured properly.
Messages sent from Windows aren‘t showing up on iPhone
- Open the Messages app on your iPhone to force a manual sync.
- Toggle iMessage off and on under iPhone Settings.
- Reboot both devices and reconnect the Windows PC to your iPhone.
iPhone shows "Not Verified" error
- This means your iPhone is failing to recognize the Windows PC.
- Unpair your iPhone from the Windows computer and reconnect it.
- Make sure your iPhone is updated to the latest iOS version.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about using iMessage for Windows:
Is it safe to use iMessage on a PC?
iMessage has end-to-end encryption so it‘s generally safe to use on a trusted Windows computer. Just don‘t sign into unknown third-party apps with your Apple ID credentials.
Do I need a Mac to use iMessage on Windows?
Most solutions either use a Mac as a host or emulate macOS in a virtual machine. But some apps like Beeper work without a Mac.
Can I use FaceTime and Apple apps too?
If you‘re using remote desktop or a VM, you‘ll be able to use FaceTime, Safari, Apple Maps and other iOS apps on your Windows machine as well.
Will my iPhone messages remain in sync?
Yes, any messages sent or received on your Windows PC will automatically and instantly sync to your iPhone and other Apple devices.
Is there an official iMessage app from Apple for Windows?
Unfortunately no. Apple has not released an official iMessage client for Windows, which is why you need to use workarounds.
While there‘s no native support for iMessage on Windows, the methods above provide pretty good integrations. Remote desktop solutions offer the most seamless experience but third-party apps like Beeper are more convenient since they don‘t require a Mac.
Using iMessage on your Windows laptop eliminates device switching and improves productivity. With the guide above, you should be able to get iMessage working on your PC and enjoy its features right from your desktop.