Sync iMessage Across All iOS Devices: iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

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Now that you’ve set up iMessage, if you use multiple iOS devices you’ll want to be sure to sync your conversations across them all. This is supposed to happen automatically as long as the iMessage account on each iOS device is set to the same Apple ID, but it doesn’t always do so.

If your iMessages aren’t syncing, there’s a quick fix to have them reliably sync across all your devices. You’ll probably want to verify this process on each iOS device you intend to sync the iMessages to.

Sync iMessages

Do this from the iOS device:

  • Tap on “Settings”
  • Select “Messages”
  • Scroll down and tap on “Receive At”
Sync imessages
  • At the bottom of the iMessage account screen, tap on “Caller ID”
syncing imessages
  • Tap on the Apple ID as your caller ID (yes, even on the iPhone)
  • Close out Settings and repeat on your other iOS hardware
  • Send a new iMessage and check your iOS devices, they should now all be synced

It’s obviously necessary for you to be using the same Apple ID or iMessage account here, and this also requires iOS 5 on every device since iMessage is a feature of that OS update.

Why Don’t iMessages Sync Automatically Until I Do This?
They’re supposed to, and some do and some don’t. The sporadic or unreliable syncing behavior seems to be most problematic when using iMessage between an iPhone and another iOS device like an iPod touch or iPad, and presumably that is due to the Caller ID associating with a phone number rather than an Apple ID. While verifying this to be the case, I discovered that MacGasm came upon the same solution when syncing messages with an iPhone 4S, further implicating the iPhone’s phone number as the cause of the problem. I’ll bet a future iOS 5 update will fix this, but in the meantime it’s easy enough to do manually.

This post is in response to an excellent question submitted to us by Jeremy L, who wrote in asking:

Hi! I had a question about using iMessage across multiple devices. How can iMessage be made to push and sync more efficiently across multiple devices? Most of the time (read: almost every time) I must begin sending messages from iPad before incoming messages will begin getting pushed to that device. I just want it to be the case that whenever I participate in a text conversation between other iMessage users, that all my non-deleted conversations will appear on all my devices exactly as they were; regardless of which device I used previously.

We hope this answers your question Jeremy, enjoy iMessage!

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J8mesz
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