How to access iMessage on Windows PC

Apple's iMessage, while not as widespread as some top messaging apps, is immensely popular, especially as a default application on Macs
The image shows iMessage on iPhone. — Apple
The image shows iMessage on iPhone. — Apple

Apple's iMessage, while not as widespread as some top messaging apps, is immensely popular, especially as a default application on Macs. Accessing it outside of Apple's ecosystem can be challenging, but with certain workarounds, it's possible to use iMessage on Windows. Here are methods to do just that.

Using Phone Link to access iMessage on Windows

Linking your iPhone with Windows through the Phone Link app lets you seamlessly access iMessage from your PC. Note that only messages sent post-setup will sync. First-time messages from new contacts won’t sync.

  1. Ensure your iPhone (iOS 14 or later) and Windows (latest version) are updated.
  2. Locate and launch the "Phone Link" app in Windows. If unavailable, download it manually.
  3. Choose iPhone from the prompt in the Phone Link app.
  4. Follow the instructions to connect your phone via Bluetooth, including scanning a QR code.
  5. Confirm the pairing on both your iPhone and PC, adjusting Bluetooth settings as needed.
  6. Finalise additional setup steps on your PC, including notification access and contact syncing.
  7. Upon completion, your iPhone should be mirrored in the Phone Link app, granting access to iMessage and more.

Using a MacBook for iMessage on Windows

Chrome Remote Desktop can also facilitate iMessage access on Windows, requiring setup on both your iOS and Mac devices.

  1. In your iPhone’s settings, select your Apple ID and iCloud. Ensure Messages is activated.
  2. On your MacBook, sign into Messages with your Apple ID. Follow two-factor authentication if enabled.
  3. From the Messages app menu, access Settings and the iMessage tab.
  4. Enable your account and Messages in iCloud if necessary, selecting preferred contact details for iMessage.
  5. Decide on a default for new conversations and sync the settings.
  6. Install Chrome and the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on both your MacBook and Windows PC.
  7. Set your MacBook to avoid automatic sleep (System Preferences > Energy Saver) to maintain the remote connection.
  8. Generate a sharing code on your MacBook using Chrome Remote Desktop and enter it on your Windows PC to connect.
  9. Once connected, your Mac’s screen streams to your Windows PC, allowing you to launch iMessage.

These methods provide different ways to access iMessage on Windows, each with its own set of steps and requirements. While Phone Link offers a straightforward approach, it doesn’t display all iPhone messages on a PC. For complete access, Chrome Remote Desktop is an effective alternative, but it requires a Mac. Intel Unison is another option, though it involves a more complex setup. Choose the method that best fits your needs and setup.