Texting has its ups and downs. On the one hand, it’s a fast and convenient mode of conversation that everyone uses. On the other, it’s still slower and more prone to typos than typing by a traditional keyboard. Wouldn’t it be great to get the best of both worlds?
Well, it’s possible!
The answer is to send SMS texts directly from your computer, which enables you to type your messages in less time with fewer typos, plus it allows you to take advantage of certain advanced tools like text expanders. And best of all, there are several different ways to make this happen.
Here are some of the best and easiest ways to send an SMS text message from your Windows PC for free.
Pinger is the company behind Textfree, a mobile and web app that facilitates the sending of free SMS texts by providing you with a U.S.-based phone number. These messages are regular SMS messages, so you can send them to anyone, even if they don’t use a Textfree app.
Other supported features include group messaging, MMS photo messaging, international messaging, and voicemails.
Pinger offers an awesome standalone app called Pinger Desktop, but recently decided to cease acceptance of new Pinger Desktop accounts due to a greater focus on mobile apps instead. Fortunately, it’s similar enough to Textfree Web that you won’t lose out on much with the latter.
Texting is free to the United States, Canada, and these international countries.
Pushbullet has been a fan favorite app for a couple of years now. It started out as a simple way to forward notifications and transfer files between your mobile device and your desktop computer, but has recently evolved into something much more.
In late 2014, Pushbullet added the ability to send SMS texts from your computer through your phone. Then, in 2015, they expanded the feature so that messages are synced across all of your devices and you can have full conversations regardless of which device you’re on at the time.
As of now, the feature is guaranteed to work as long as you’re using Pushbullet on Android 4.4+ as well as the Pushbullet Chrome extensions or the Pushbullet desktop app.
MightyText is an awesome little app that can synchronize an Android smartphone’s messages with Android tablets and any of the mainstream browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE). It’s very useful and worth checking out if you haven’t alrady.
But for the purposes of sending an SMS from your desktop, you’ll need to install a secondary Chrome extension called GText. This extension modifies your Gmail inbox with a Compose SMS button (but first you’ll have to authorize the extension to access your inbox).
Learn more by checking out our overview of sending text messages with MightyText and Gmail.
Like Pushbullet and MightyText, AirDroid is another app that makes it easy to check your SMS texts from your computer. It works by synchronizing your devices together, allowing you to read and write SMS texts right from your computer in real-time.
All you need is the AirDroid app on your Android smartphone. Then, you can synchronize using the Windows client or the AirDroid web client (or the OS X client if you also have a Mac lying around somewhere).
But what’s great about the latest version of AirDroid is that it’s about more than just synchronization. It has a bunch of advanced features that make it easy to manage your entire smartphone remotely, including: mirroring the device’s screen on your computer, answering or rejecting calls, file transfers, contact list management, and more.
Learn more in our overview of AirDroid 3 features. Be aware that some advanced features (like unlimited file transfers or remote access to the mobile camera) are only available in AirDroid Premium, which starts at $1.99 per month.
Do you remember Google Voice? It peaked in popularity a few years ago, but it’s still around and still quite useful — not just for setting up call forwarding, but also for a bunch of other neat uses like sending and receiving texts.
That’s right. As soon as you claim a Google Voice number, which only takes a few minutes at most, you can start sending SMS texts from that new number. Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier than this.
You can also send SMS texts through Google Voice using Google Hangouts. Not only is Hangouts one of the best Android messaging apps available, the new Hangouts web client is sleek, beautiful, and worthwhile. To get it working, you’ll have to enable Google Voice integration in the Hangouts settings.
Note: Google Voice is only available to residents of the U.S. so international users will need to resort to another service instead.
Did you know it was possible to send SMS texts using Microsoft Outlook? The process is a little more involved than some of the solutions offered above, but as long as you can get it up and running successfully, it works well enough — especially if Outlook is already part of your regular toolset.
The easiest way is to set up an account with a third-party service that supports the Outlook Mobile Service (OMS) protocol. Fortunately, this can be done through a painless step-by-step wizard within Outlook itself.
In the ribbon, navigate to the Home tab, then click on New Items, then select Text Message (SMS). This will launch the wizard that configures your Outlook account with a nearby third-party service.
Note: This feature is only available in Microsoft Outlook 2010. It was removed in Microsoft Outlook 2013. Also, some services may charge a fee on top of any mobile carrier fees you might incur per text message.
There are so many “free SMS text” services on the web that it would be impossible to list all of them to satisfaction. However, we’ve covered a few of them in our list of free online SMS services so check them out if you prefer an on-demand method with very little hassle (e.g. no account creation).
Long story short: In exchange for using this free service, Online Text Message collects your email address, phone number, and IP address. Messages are also limited to 100 characters. That’s the price to pay for instant convenience.
Sending Text Messages Is EasyYou have so many options and we’re confident that at least one of them will work out well for you. Give them all a try, though, and let us know which one you end up liking the best. As for me? I’m particularly impressed by the ease of use from Google Voice and Google Hangouts.
If you’re still looking for more ways to make your SMS life easier, consider these alternative SMS apps for Android and these Android SMS scheduling apps, both of which will improve your overall smartphone experience.