Last reviewed on October 29, 2014   —  25 Comments

Many cellular carriers assign email addresses to cellular phone numbers and support SMS or text messaging by email. You don’t need to install special add-ins in Outlook to send text messages, but the recipient will need text messaging enabled on their cellular plan (most carriers enable it by default) and have a phone capable of receiving text messages (most new phones are text-capable).

To use, compose a short email message using less than 160 total characters in Outlook (or any email client) and address it to the cellular number at the carrier’s email domain. Remember to remove your signature from the message before sending. Note that some carriers will break apart larger messages into 160 character messages, others will deliver only the first 160 characters.

The phones only support plain text messages but the carriers strip multipart HTML, so you don’t need to remember to switch to plain text format.

Email sent to cell phones is billed to the subscriber as a text message.

See Tools below for add-ins that can send SMS to phone numbers.

US Cellphones

The major US cellular carriers use the 10_digit_number@cell.carrier_domain.com format for SMS to text capable cell phones, with a limit of 160 characters in the subject and message body (total).

Carrier Send Email to phonenumber@….
Alltel @message.alltel.com
AT&T @txt.att.net
Nextel @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com
SunCom @tms.suncom.com
T-mobile @tmomail.net
VoiceStream @voicestream.net
Verizon @vtext.com (text only)
Verizon @vzwpix.com (pictures and videos)

Verizon users can register an alias at vtext.com to give out instead of their phone number. Both alias@vtext.com and phone_number@vtext.com will be valid addresses for the phone.

If you don’t know the carrier, enter the number in 123-456-7890 format at Reverse phone number lookup.

Web Based Interfaces

If you know the phone number and carrier, you may be able to send SMS from a web page.

Verizon http://www.vtext.com

SMS Utilities and Services

Email to SMS

Send and receive text messages instantly from your email account with the Textmagic secure Email to SMS service.

FAB SMS Addin for Microsoft Outlook

Send Short Message Service (SMS) messages to virtually any SMS wireless device from Outlook, using any Outlook address list. Can also send vCard contacts and vCal appointments via SMS to compatible devices.

Headwind SMS Outlook Add-In

This add-in enables sending and receiving SMS from the Outlook application using the mobile phone or GSM modem. The short messages may be sent to any number, Outlook contact or distribution list. The received SMS are delivered to the Inbox folder. The add-in supports long SMS, non-Latin encodings and WAP Push messages.

Microsoft Outlook SMS Add-in (MOSA)

Use this add-in to send SMS text messages through most GSM mobile phones connected to your PC using Outlook 2003. You can enter your SMS text within a Outlook-type entry form and have it sent to your mobile phone for delivery through your mobile phone network service. There is no requirement to install third-party software or to subscribe to additional mobile network services if your mobile phone can be connected to your PC. This is typically via an infrared connection, Bluetooth technology, or a USB/serial cable. The SMS messages can be saved as a draft, grouped, and forwarded like standard Outlook 2003 e-mail.

OutlookSMS

Enables any version of Outlook to send SMS messages to mobile phone numbers listed in Outlook contacts and generate SMS appointment reminders automatically. Can also handle SMS replies back to your Inbox. Product consists of an Outlook add-in plus a service to generate the SMS messages. Does not trigger Outlook security prompts. A Lotus Notes version, NotesSMS, is also available.

Red Oxygen Office SMS

Red Oxygen Office SMS add-in allows you to send text messages from Microsoft Outlook 2013. Messages are sent from Outlook just like emails, but are delivered to phones as text messages. Replies are delivered to your Outlook Inbox as emails (or to your mobile device). Office SMS can scan your Outlook calendar and automatically send appointment reminders and notifications to your cell phone as text messages. Recurring reminders are fully supported.

SwiftSMS Outlook

Service and software that allows you to send SMS messages from within Outlook, use rules to forward incoming email messages to SMS with optional text compression, and send reminders to SMS. Tracks sent SMS messages in the Journal folder. Also available in a 2-way version that allows you to read SMS replies from your desktop.

TeleMessage MS Outlook Plugin

Use the global TeleMessage messaging service to send messages from within Outlook to telephones (using a text-to-speech engine), fax machines, pagers, SMS devices, email addresses, and instant messaging applications.

More Information

For a list of Outlook and Exchange Server SMS tools to forward reminders to your cellular phone, see


Comments

  1. len raphael says

    are most of the sms services for outlook 2010 and exchange 2010 have the same problem that when someone gets your outlook generated sms text, there is no caller id , but worse is that when peple respond to your outlook text, you cant do a lookup on their number automatically to find out who sent you a text.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Yes, that is a major problem with the services. If you use the email address of the phone and send it as an email, it should show your name as the sender - but you need to know the carrier, which isn't always possible.

  2. Arturo says

    Diane,
    Great article!
    I sent a txt message to myself to test it & it worked!
    What about being able to do this to send messages to phones in Canada?
    Thanks,
    Arturo

  3. ravi shah says

    i want to create a rule and alert for sms like e-mail
    means i connect gsm modem with outlook using ozkei NG sms gateway...now i just want that when i receive sms as reply its just go into the inbox of e-mail ...so its just work like email rules and alert

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Rules only work on items delivered to the Inbox. if the SMS is dropped in the inbox it should work. If not, you could use an ItemAdd event, which can work against any folder but something will need to sync the SMS to outlook before itemadd can kick in.

  4. Kenneth L. Wolfgram says

    Using Outlook 2010, I can generate and send an SMS through GVOMS but if I try to reply to a received SMS, it is sent as an email - not an SMS. How do I reply to an SMS with an SMS through GVOMS?!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Probably, but I've never tried it and I don't know any of the domains.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      I don't have a GSM phone so I never tested it. Microsoft tends to check for versions and not install if the version is not what they expect. You can avoid this check by extracting the files using WinZip or similar and running the msn directly. It may require 32bit outlook.

  5. R Saraf says

    I am using a tablet with windows 8.1 and it has 3G. I am able to use People (windows 8.1 app) to send SMS, but cannot open outlook 2013 to send sms. Is there a better way?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Outlook doesn't support sms directly. It can send sms by email and can use sms servers, but at this time, it can't send sums directly.

  6. James Pius says

    can anyone help me with Gmail Send Text Messages To Multiple Recipients Software User License?

    Kindly contact me [removed personal information]

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You'll need to contact the developer of the application for assistance, sorry. I cant find a website for the application and have no idea if it's still being supported.

  7. muffitt says

    yes I have spent some time talking to employees at 02 and on their chat line but they dont know and are saying its not available. However, i Know its possible because i tested it out from http://www.cbfsms.com/

  8. Stephanie says

    Whenever my coworker tries to respond to the text he received from me in outlook he gets an error saying it could not send. Instead of my email address showing up as the sender it shows some weird number i have never heard of. He does have an android phone but nobody else in my building has a problem responding to my texts from outlook (iPhone and Android users), just him. I assume it is just a setting issue but we cannot figure out why he cannot reply.

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