Looking for information on AirMessage?

Below is a list of common questions about the software, from general software questions to setup and messaging troubleshooting. You can use the categories to browse, or use your web browser to search this page.

If you can't find what you're looking for, you can check the community subreddit, or create a post of your own. It's also a great place for feature suggestions and general discussion. Your question may have already been asked and answered before!

r/AirMessage

Alternatively, we would also be happy to help you personally. Send us a message and we'll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

hello@airmessage.org

General software information

What is AirMessage? expand AirMessage allows Android phone users to use iMessage, just like on an iPhone.
How does AirMessage work? expand AirMessage leverages the power of your Mac computer in order to route messages to and from Apple's iMessage servers. The server is to be installed on a computer at home, and will pass messages to and from your smartphone to allow the usage of iMessage and other installed services.
What can AirMessage do? expand AirMessage can handle text messages, media files, uploading image, video and audio messages, group chats, and the display of read receipts, tapback messages, stickers, and certain send effects.

AirMessage cannot handle chat modification, carrier messaging, location sharing, or iMessage apps. However, some of these features may be added at a later date.
What do I need to run AirMessage? expand In order to run AirMessage, you will need a smartphone, tablet, or computer running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or above, and a Mac computer running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or above.

Many people will use old Mac Mini or MacBook devices as a server. If you don't have one, you may be able to pick up a Mac Mini for around $50 to $75. Any Mac Mini device from early 2009 or later will work.
Is AirMessage secure? expand All of your messages are sent directly from your phone to your computer and back, no other services involved. Of course, your messages are also encrypted during transport, to prevent anyone from snooping.
How do I get started with AirMessage? expand Please take a look at the installation guide for step-by-step instructions on setting up AirMessage.
Do I have to pay for AirMessage? expand You do not have to pay for AirMessage. AirMessage does not contain any ads, and will be free forever.
Will AirMessage change my iMessage setup? expand AirMessage does not alter your iMessage setup in any way. However iMessage is configured to work for you now, it will continue to work the same after setting up AirMessage.

Since all of your messages are first routed through your Mac computer, it may simply be best to think of AirMessage as of extension of this computer. Using AirMessage will have the same effect of using iMessage on the computer.

Messaging information

Can I use AirMessage to send SMS / MMS / RCS messages? expand As of now, AirMessage cannot send SMS / MMS / RCS messages. This may be added at a later date.
Can I use AirMessage on my Windows / Linux PC? expand As of now, AirMessage does not have a desktop app. This may be added at a later date.
How do I use iMessage with my phone number while using AirMessage? expand In order to use iMessage with a phone number, you will have to register your phone number with iMessage. To do so, place your SIM card into an iPhone, connect the device to iMessage, and enable your phone number. Please see this Apple support article for details.

If you are switching from an iPhone to an Android phone, Apple will automatically deregister your phone number when you remove your SIM card from your iPhone. This Reddit post contains some instructions on retaining phone numbers when switching phones:

How to Use Phone Number with AirMessage (Sometimes Works)

Android app information

How do I download the app? expand The app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Click here to visit the store page.

Please note that the app cannot be used without the server component. Check the installation guide for details on setting it up.
Will AirMessage run on my phone? expand In order to run AirMessage, all that is needed is a smartphone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or above. Other factors, such as running a custom ROM or rooting the device should not affect AirMessage.
Can I use AirMessage on more than one device? expand You can use multiple devices with AirMessage. Simply connect them to the same server, and everything will work. However, please note that it is not recommended to connect large amounts of devices to a single server.
Can I show my previous message history on the app? expand If you have message history on your Mac computer and would like those messages to show up on AirMessage as well, you can copy those messages to your phone.

To do this, open AirMessage, open the three-dot menu in the top corner of the screen, navigate to Settings, then scroll down and select "Sync messages".

By default, only your recent messages and files will be downloaded. If you would like to fine-tune which messages are selected, select "Advanced" on the next screen.
How do I tell AirMessage to use another port? expand Simply append :<port number> to the end of your hostname.

If you leave this out, then AirMessage will attempt to connect to the default port, 1359.

Mac server information

How do I download the server? expand The server can be downloaded right here on this website. Click here to download the server.

Please note that the server cannot be used without the app. Check the installation guide for details on setting it up.
Will AirMessage Server run on my Mac? expand In order to run AirMessage Server, you will need a Mac computer running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or above.

OS X Yosemite will run on these computer models or newer (from Wikipedia):
  • iMac (Mid 2007 or later)
  • MacBook (Aluminum Late 2008 and Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009 or later; 15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later; 17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)


If you choose to run AirMessage on a Hackintosh device or a virtual machine, there will be no guarantees of its functionality. However, it should work as long as iMessage is working.
How do I update the server? expand Server updates will be released periodically to improve the functionality, performance and stability of AirMessage. When an update is available, you will be notified by a popup window on your computer. Download the update, then quit the app and replace the app file to install.

You can choose whether or not you want the server to check for updates in the app's preferences window.
Can I change the port of the server? expand Yes. Open AirMessage's preferences window on your Mac computer, and change the server port parameter.
Can I run multiple instances of AirMessage Server at once? expand You can only run multiple instances of AirMessage Server on different computers. A single computer can only host one instance of AirMessage Server.

If you want to run more than one instance of AirMessage Server on the same network, one of the computers must be assigned another port. To do this, open AirMessage's preferences window on your Mac computer, and change the server port parameter. Next, open up the new port on your router, and connect the app by appending :<port number> to the end of your hostname.
Can I run AirMessage Server on my old iPhone / iPad? expand AirMessage Server only runs on Mac devices. There are currently no plans to bring support to iOS devices.

Troubleshooting

AirMessage Server can't connect to the database expand AirMessage may be blocked by the system from reading your messages on macOS 10.14 Mojave or above. To correct this, navigate to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Full Disk Access, and add AirMessage to the list.
I can't log in to my server expand Your server password must match the password you assigned to your server. Not your dynamic DNS provider password, not your Google account password.
AirMessage on my Android device won't connect to my server expand Start within your local network. Enter the local IP address of your computer into the app, and try connecting. If you can't connect:

  • Check if you have any software that blocks local network access, such as firewalls, VPN services, security software or router services.
  • Make sure that the server is running properly, and has all the right permissions (if it says "server is running", then you should be OK).
  • Try rebooting the computer and connecting again.

If everything is good there, move on to your public IP. You can find your public IP address here. If you can't connect:

  • Check your port forwarding setup. Port check tool is a great tool for this (please note that it only works if the server is running). Also check that you've configured it for port 1359, the IP address is entered correctly, and that the type is TCP.
  • Again, check for any network blocking software. Sometimes they only block connections from external sources.
  • Try switching to mobile data. Sometimes trying to connect from different networks can help.

Finally, move on to your dynamic DNS provider. If that doesn't work:

  • Make sure that you're running their software on your computer, and that it's working properly. You can check on their website if the public IP listed there matches your actual public IP.
  • Switch to mobile data here too.
I lose connection to my server when I leave my home network expand You may be connecting to your server using your computer's internal IP address. Please connect to your dynamic DNS hostname instead.

If you don't have a dynamic DNS provider configured, we recommend that you take a look at Dynu Systems, No-IP, or DuckDNS (more advanced).

I lose connection to my server throughout the day, and can't reconnect until I use my computer expand Your computer may be going to sleep, and freezing any processes along with it. This will prevent your server from being able to respond to your messages. In order to fix this, open System Preferences, navigate to Energy Saver, and prevent the computer from sleeping.

If you are running AirMessage on a laptop, all processes will be frozen when the lid is shut no matter what. If you would like to turn your laptop into a stationary server, please use a keep-awake utility such as InsomniaX, Amphetamine, or Caffeinate (built-in commmand).
AirMessage is having trouble sending messages expand If you click the red error bubble next to a failed message, you'll see an error message. Here's what to do when you see an error message:

Couldn't connect to AirMessage Server
Your phone is disconnected from the your server. Check your network conditions or your connection setup.

Request timed out
Your phone is having trouble communicating with your server. Check your network conditions or try again later.

Couldn't connect to iMessage server
Your message was successfully delivered to AirMessage Server, but couldn't be passed on to iMessage. Please check your Mac computer's network connection, or check Apple's status page for outages.

The recipient is not registered with iMessage
The contact address you are trying to send a message to is not registered with iMessage, so the message could not be sent.

AirMessage Server isn't allowed to send messages
AirMessage Server requires automation access to request messages to be sent, and this permission has not been granted. On your Mac, navigate to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Automation, and enable AirMessage.

This conversation isn't available on the server
A matching conversation couldn't be found to send a message to. Perhaps this conversation is from an old connection? Delete this conversation and create a new one.

The selected content is too large to send
The file you are trying to send is too large. Please select a smaller file.

Couldn't process selected content / The selected content is unavailable
There was a problem preparing the selected file for upload. Please try reselecting the file.

An internal error occurred
There was a problem preparing the selected message for upload. Please try again.
Messages are sent to email addresses instead of phone numbers expand Please clear the address book on your Mac computer running the server. There is a bug in Apple's Messages interface to cause this to happen. We are looking for a solution, but for now this is the best option.