Activation Code for Text Message Forwarding Does Not Appear on iPad

Beginning with iOS 8.1, Apple introduced the Text Message Forwarding feature to allow SMS text message to be sent and received on the iPad. When someone sends you an SMS text message, it is actually received on the iPhone and forwarded to the iPad. Likewise, when you send an SMS text message from the iPad, it is actually forwarded to your iPhone and is sent from the iPhone.

To setup the Text Message Forwarding feature, both your iPhone and iPad need to be using the same Apple ID for iMessage and be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This article provides additional details for setting up Text Message Forwarding.


Where’s the Activation Code?

As part of the setup process for Text Message forwarding, an activation code is supposed to appear on the iPad. You would then enter that code on the iPhone to authorize Text Message Forwarding to the iPad.

Activation Code


If no activation code appears on the iPad during the setup process, be sure both the iPhone and iPad are connected to the same wireless network.

Additionally, on both the iPhone and iPad, go to Settings -> Messages ->Send & Receive and make certain the same Apple ID is being used for iMessage. The Apple ID should be shown at the top of the window.

Apple ID for iMessage


If you see a button to “Use Your Apple ID for iMessage”, this indicates you are not signed in to iMessage with your Apple ID.

Not Signed in to iMessage


Tap the button and follow the on-screen instructions to sign in to iMessage. You need to be signed in to iMessage on your iPhone to use Text Message Forwarding. The Text Message Forwarding menu may not even appear on your iPhone if you are not signed in to iMessage.



Reset iMessage

If the activation code still does not appear on the iPad, you may need to reset iMessage on your iPad. To reset iMessage, Go to Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive and uncheck the email addresses in the “You Can be Reached by iMessage at” section.

Reset iMessage


Then, tap your Apple ID at the top of the screen and select Sign Out.

Sign Out of iMessage


After signing out, make sure the slider for iMessage is set to the off position.

iMessage Off


Next, reset the iPad by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button for about 10 seconds. While you are holding the buttons, the screen will go blank. Continue holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo. You can release the buttons after you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

Home and Sleep/Wake Buttons

Once the iPad restarts, wait 5 – 10 minutes, then turn the iMessage slider back on and sign in with your Apple ID. The iMessage activation should proceed normally. Once iMessage is activated, go back to Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive and make sure any email addresses you want to use for iMessage are selected.



Setup Text Message Forwarding

Once you have completed the process to reset iMessage, you can now proceed with setting up Text Message Forwarding as described in this article.



What If There Is No Activation Code After Resetting iMessage?

If you reset iMessage on your iPad and the activation code is still not visible on the iPad, try resetting iMessage on your iPhone.