Send SMS Text Messages From AIM for Free

   Posted September 28, 2003 by David Kirk in Instant messaging

AIM is an easy and free way to send SMS text messages.

Instant messages and SMS messages are very similar. One day the two will be completely interchangable and probably more popular than email. Recently this integration has begun.

With all modern versions of AIM, users can send SMS messages to most mobile SMS-capable devices.

1. Click IM
2. In the “To” field enter the phone number in the following format:

The leading “+1” is required before the 10 digit phone number.

This will work with any IM client that uses the AIM protocol too. Here is me demonstrating it using the adium client:

send text messages to SMS via AIM

Some phone services will let you reply to AIM as well; however, this is not yet standard. Here is my iPhone receiving and replying back to the text message:

replying to a text message sent from AIM

AIM now has a related new feature as well. You can “add mobile” numbers to your buddy list just as easy as adding other AIM accounts.

1. Click Setup
2. Click Add Mobile
3. Insert number as directed.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Matt

    Is it consider a text message to the person receiving it on the phone?

  • Alex

    This just stopped working for me recently. It doesn’t reply notifying that my message has been sent to the phone number and I know that those people I send too have text messaging.

  • son

    can we use this method to send message in yahoo using phone number as the address?

  • Tanzeel Ahmad Shiekh

    Only speaking from experience, Cingular charges for an AIM-generated SMS messages just like any other SMS message that is received.

    Of course, there is no way to bill the person creating the SMS message using AIM

  • gotnate

    it would appear that the AIM sms gateway is down right now, i can’t send a message to my own phone or my friends phone. it says that mine is offline and my friend never got his O_o

    Edit: suddenly my phone is in my buddy list and i can send messages to it.

  • reginald davis

    thank you for our time…..for the last two days i have not been able to sign in to my yahoo site….as if someone has changed my password and id! i have had this free site for over 5 years now and i would hate to loose everything i have saved over the years……please if you can find the time in your busy schule…………..i need access to my site! thank you for any help………..reddogdudu at

  • Jackie

    when you send an sms it asks the person if they want to accept sms through aim by texting back the letter “a” if a person denies it is there any way to accept it again if they change their mind.
    everytime i try to send it again it says the user does not accept sms through aim

    • rodney

      did you ever find an answer i am having the same problem

    • Tamika

      Yes i am having the same problem with it as well! doesn’ anyone know how to change it?

    • Anonymous

      Did u find the answer to the problem??

      • David Nichols

        You can also change your IM to Mobile settings using text messages right from your phone. Text any of the following commands to 265019:
        ‘a’ Accept all text message IMs from the specified sender
        ‘d’ Decline all text message IMs from the specified sender
        *** ‘on’ Allow all text message IMs from any sender *** try this one
        ‘off’ Block all text message IMs from any sender
        ‘ask’ Ask Me to accept or decline each new sender
        ‘block screenname’ Block all text messages from a specific sender
        ‘unblock screenname’ Unblock a previously blocked sender
        ‘help’ List of commonly used IM to Mobile setting commands

        • mclovincldubz

          Thank You!! This is the only way i’ve found to block messages to my phone from AIM that wouldn’t cost money…you’re a life-saver

        • Skiz

          Thank you! Just started getting AIM spam on my phone, and I’ve never even had AIM. Frustrating that AOL allows and supports this type of blatent abuse.

          Seems like your fix works though. Should be off by default, you should have to opt in, and even then, only from people you trust and accept.

  • Anonymous

    hey text back is me veronica

  • Dan

    ok, why does the ‘characters remaining’ not work all the time? It is very inconsistent. Is there a patch, or an AIM version that actually fixes this? Oh I’m talking about texting to a phone of course. Otherwise it doesn’t matter the amount of characters.

    • Anonymous

      Yoo This keeps happing to me 2 !!! you find an answer yet?

  • socalrj

    How do you get rid of “So and so sent you a message from AIM” and “You can reply to this message”? it’s very annoying.

  • duck

    so does that mean its counted as an actual text message? like charged as one and everything?

  • robert


  • Haley

    someones been iming/texting my phone from aim. how do i block them?

  • Isaac

    I am trying to text to my mobile with Aim but it shows that Im offline.
    I use to be able to do it up last week,
    Pls advice how can I fix this problem.

    • kelsey

      the same thing is happenign to me.!

  • Sharon

    A user I added to my buddylist last week is showing online, but I can’t confirm that he’s receiving messages. Any new cell numbers are showing offline and respond with “user is not accepting offline messages” type error. Is this service offline?

  • Anonymous

    Help please!
    I sent a text to a friend on my iPod Touch using the free AIM. He deleted the text without accepting it, how am I supposed to re-send it for him?

  • Anonymous

    how do i change someone’s name from their mobile number to their name or nickname when in the conversation box while texting them?

  • Name

    how do you block aim user from texting your cell phone?


    i was able to text from aim to just about everyone, now it says offline, even when i text myself, and I know I am not offline??? Any idea’s



    did you find out why, I used to aim text all the time to all phones, now I am getting the message you are

    • Sarah

      The same thing is happening to me!

      • coby

        lmao same here…. all my phones are offline now

        • Anonymous

          how do you fix it?

          • Name

            Im having this same problem except i can still get texts from the offline phones… any ideas?

          • Pawl

            Try signing in to aim on a pc…this reset all my buddies’ mobile status

  • Anonymous

    it’s not working for me?? all the phones on my buddy list appear offline and whenever i send a message to a phone the phone doesn’t get it and it says this person currently appears offline

  • Anonymous

    This is just a test

  • Anonymous

    will someone please explain how i send a message as a text i just got this e-mail address and i havent figured out how this works i went to my e-mail account and see no options to send a mobile message…..PLEEEEEEEEEASE HELP ME!

  • birkin

    Your post is really great and I appreciate your straight approach.

  • Anonymous

    Can you im someones phone and have them text your screen name back even if your offline. Will you recieve it as an offline message?

  • Anonymous

    when i completed all the steps and type in wut i wanna say it doesnt send? any answers

  • Anonymous

    Anybody have the problem that the ‘characters remaining’ not work all the time? Any answers???

  • naomi

    It says : +1xxxxxxxx is not avaible .
    what do i have to dooo

    • Anonymous

      what you did was incorrect you do not use the xxxxxxxxx as the number you want to call you have you replace the X’s with an actual phone number for example +1909 458 6565

  • Anonymous

    how do i make it so that people cant send me ims to my cell phone number

  • Matt

    You may want to try It seems to work pretty well.

  • Anonymous

    Thats weird it was working for my sidekick lx then all of a sudden it stopped does anyone have an idea of what i could have done wrong by any chance

  • Anonymous

    tht kool..but how do u aim txt

  • Anonymous

    I have a buddy with just a mobile number and it says he is offline? But it is a mobile number? What do i do?

    • Richard

      I have the exact same issue suddenly. What happened?

    • Melisgard

      i have same problem i called him and he said no he hasnt been reciving my aim messages, wats happening???

  • Guest

    can you block someone from sending you text messages on a blackberry?

  • Anonymous

    does it work in uk

  • lizzy b

    Nope! my ex is in the army, in afghanistan with a cell fone from there. and we txt all the time using aim 🙂

    • cash-bee

      it’s not working . How do i do it if i have a T-mobile Sidekick09 ?

    • Cb_doc

      My husband is in Afghanistan. I’ve been trying to text his number by every means possible but he cannot get them. I have been texting him via Skype and he gets them but cannot send back. How were you guys doing it?

    • sfisher8592

      how do you add the number into the mobile settings if they live out of country? im talking to someone out in the UK and he can’t get his mobile number to register so we can’t AIM text and i don’t have the money to add international texting/calling… any ideas?


  • missi


  • Suyapa_mejia

    amor conectate al msj

  • Yessfnait_

    salam tahna

  • bunny

    Does this work with cricket??????

  • Hinnie

    How do you send picture messages through aim to a friend that’s mobile? 0-o

  • AtaahuaPhiche

    So I am trying to text a cell phone from AIM. It says that the phone is capable of being txtd by AIM but for some reason my txt messagees won’t get through. I’m very confused.

  • Pathofskulls

    Is it possible to text a 14digit number from AIM?

  • michelle

    how do you unblock message aim user from your phone when i try to aim text it says Free:msg Receiver 265019 unable to receieve message – message blocking is active

  • Shahmeer1998

    Does this work in other countries besides US. I live in Pakistan and want to send a message to a Pakistani mobile

  • Emma

    does it cost money?

  • Unmanyday


  • Nancy

    I use this method all the time on a Mac with iChat. It has built in AIM features. Then you create “Buddies” and in the AIM field on the Info card you put the +15555555555 number. Used it on Jan 12, 2012 so it’s definitely still working in some capacity.

  • samad

    3id mobarak said

  • Nimbus

    Has anyone used the retrieval of deleted text messages from James Ceeyu that he claims above in this thread?