Here's an automation challenge about forwarding Text Messages

In short, I am wondering whether it’s possible to automate forwarding any text message received from a specific person and forwarding it on to another.

I currently receive all of the messages from my kid’s school as the primary contact and then end up forwarding them on to my wife.

I’d love it if there was a way of automating that process?

I am not seeing it but it would be awesome if I could make that happen.

Can anyone offer any help? OR is it manual all the way :frowning:

I can’t think of one… but could there be a non-automation solution? I would think the school has to be able to have more than one account on file for a kid, just given the various custody arrangements they have to deal with.

Not as much fun, though.


So there’s no real hook into messages for achieving this. At least not on iOS.

Shortcuts can send messages, but I don’t think you save anything compared with the Message app’s built in forwarding. It’s difficult to get text out of messages — no share sheet, and no direct Shortcut’s functions. You’d have to select and copy the text, and then trigger a shortcut that grabs that text from the clipboard and puts it into a send message.

Even if shortcuts were better at messages, you’d still have to manually trigger it in the current implementation.

I think the easiest way to forward a message is still the built in, but somewhat hidden standard feature:

  • Long press the message
  • Tap more
  • Tap the forward icon
  • Select your recipient and send

Otherwise it’s a copy and paste exercise.

The lack of message handling functionality in shortcuts may be a design choice.

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A very considered and well communicated response @Wolfie, thanks for that.

I guess I’ll have to continue forwarding them then.

Thanks again.

You’d think so wouldn’t you @tf2 … But as if we don’t have enough to worry about they seem to struggle with this.

I guess I’ll just have to live with it.

I’m sure there is a way to do this via Keyboard Maestro.

Ok, here’s a possible approach. It isn’t free, though I think it would be pretty cheap, and it isn’t all on-device.

You can get a Twilio account and phone number — I think they’re $1 or $2 a month, plus a fraction of a cent per text message, at least for numbers here in the Eastern U.S.

You give the school your new Twilio number you text.

Then you use Integromat — or (I assume) IFTTT or Zapier — to watch for incoming texts to that number. When you get one, the recipe sends the contents to both of the target numbers.

I’m just about positive this is doable, and if I get a chance I’ll try to set up a proof of concept (I have a basic Twilio account and phone number). The drawbacks, beyond cost, are that I’ve found Twilio a little bewildering. I’ve used it a few times for work, and I always manage to get it working, but I’m never quite sure how…

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