How to Send Email to Any Cell Phone for Free (2024)

By Bertel King

Updated

Did you know that you can send email to phones for free? Try this with any SMS-capable feature phone and reap the benefits.

How to Send Email to Any Cell Phone for Free (1)

You're at your computer, and you want to send your friend a message. You could send an email, fire off a Facebook message, or hit them up on Twitter. They use iMessage, right? All of these methods are available on a desktop. But if you're talking to someone who isn't carrying around a smartphone, these options don't work. What then?

Simple—send an email to their phone number. This works with virtually any SMS-capable phone, whether it runs apps or not, thanks to SMS gateways.

What Is an SMS Gateway?

An SMS gateway converts an email into SMS, enabling you to send emails to a phone from a PC.

Sending an email to a phone number is the same as writing any other email. All you need to know is the recipient's gateway address. If you know which mobile network they connect to, finding out their address shouldn't be a problem.

SMS gateways are typically free to use. But while you can send an email for free, it may still cost money for the person on the receiving end. An SMS that originates from email isn't any different from any other as far as cellular plans are concerned.

Uses for an SMS Gateway

Using an SMS gateway for free email isn't only useful for sending a text from your PC to a phone. Sure, that may be technically all that a gateway does, but that's not being imaginative enough. Before diving into how to email a phone number, here are some other uses.

1. Notify Yourself When an Email Arrives

On smartphones, a notification appears whenever a new email lands in your inbox. On a phone without this feature, forwarding an email to your phone is one way to keep tabs on whose reaching out to you. The entire message won't fit in a single SMS, but you will at least know that the desired package has shipped or that a colleague has pinged you about the current project.

Using filters, you can opt to only forward certain emails. If you use Gmail as your email service, here is how to set up a Gmail filter. This is beneficial even if you're a smartphone user. Receiving a text for the most important mail only is a nice balance between always being online and disconnecting from the web entirely.

Forwarding email to SMS for free doesn't require anything special on your part. Forward to a gateway address the same way you would a standard email address.

2. Transfer Files

Sending text messages makes for an easy way to get files from your phone to a computer. This method works for sending pictures that you take yourself or forwarding images received from others, allowing you to view them on a larger screen. This saves you the effort of plugging your phone into a computer and figuring out how to transfer files that way—if you even can.

To make the magic happen, all you have to do is type in an email address instead of a phone number when sending a picture message.

3. Make a Feature Phone Smart Using IFTTT

Many of today's smart gadgets assume you have a smartphone. Some won't even do anything without the ability to install a companion app on your device. Fortunately, in some cases, there is a workaround.

IFTTT is a web service that can perform certain tasks in response to particular actions. With IFTTT, you can make your feature phone smart or compatible with smart devices.

IFTTT recipes let you perform many actions simply by sending a text, such as adjusting lights or playing music. If you're working with limited storage on your device, you can use IFTTT to back up SMS messages to a spreadsheet. Or you can receive an SMS message whenever a package arrives.

And if you prefer, there are various IFTTT alternatives you can check out instead.

4. Send Bulk Messages

SMS gateways aren't just here to make our lives more convenient. Companies turn to them as a way to message thousands of phones at once. Though, this service isn't always free.

When you receive an impersonal message from a carrier, a company, or a political organization, they're probably using an SMS gateway. This is also a way that employers in large companies can communicate with all of their employees, regardless of where they are in the world.

How to Send an Email to a Phone Number

To email a phone number, you're going to need to know the recipient's gateway address. Let's say they use AT&T. In that case, just type in their ten-digit phone number followed by @txt.att.net. Do not use dashes.

The result should look like this: 1234567890@txt.att.net. This is the same regardless of which carrier or Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) you use. If you want to read more about MVNOs, this article on what APN settings you need explains what an MVNO is.

SMS Gateways for US Carriers and MVNOs

Here is a list of gateway addresses for major US carriers as well as some MVNOs. If you don't see your MVNO listed, find out which carrier's network they utilize, and try that carrier's SMS gateway.

Use the first address to send SMS and the second for MMS. Some carriers don't use separate addresses.

  • AT&T: txt.att.net | mms.att.net
  • Boost Mobile: sms.myboostmobile.com | myboostmobile.com
  • Cricket Wireless: txt.att.net | mms.att.net
  • Mint Mobile: tmomail.net
  • Project Fi: msg.fi.google.com
  • T-Mobile: tmomail.net
  • US Cellular: email.uscc.net | mms.uscc.net
  • Verizon Wireless: vtext.com | vzwpix.com | mypixmessages.com

International Carriers

Most people don't live in the US. We could undergo the effort of trying to compile a list carrier-by-carrier, country-by-country, but other people have already done the heavy lifting. If you live outside the US, check out these links to see what your carrier's SMS gateway might be.

When All Else Fails, Use SMS Gateways

If you don't have a phone of your own, you can text friends by sending email to their phone numbers using SMS gateways. Just don't be surprised if there are periods when your inbox has more phone numbers than email addresses.

SMS gateways can also be used to forward a picture message or web address from a feature phone to a computer. Despite most people using smartphones now, this is still a great trick to have up your sleeve. And if you need other methods to send free SMS messages, there are plenty of options online.

How to Send Email to Any Cell Phone for Free (2024)

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