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.


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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Here’s an interesting thread

It looks like Apple removed the AppleScript handler from Messages in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4

One of the replies mentions Jared, it looks like you may be able to use this to respond to new messages. Jared accesses the SQLite database used by Messages.

Marcus, Do the messages always come from the same number? Or do they always contain some of the same text that’s unique to these message types?

If so, this sounds like something that could be accomplished with a Personal Automation, but might require a tap to run…

Set up a new personal Automation for a text message from the number for the school including some content you specify. Set up actions like this:

I thought we’d discovered you couldn’t get the contents of a message in Shortcuts PA. :frowning:

That changed in iOS 14.3 :slight_smile:

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Yeah, but in which direction? :slight_smile:

Idk, I tried it yesterday and it was working when I had the Get Text from Shortcut Input action in the personal automation itself. But I still had to click Run so it wasn’t fully automatic. I didn’t get it to work when the PA triggered a separate shortcut that had the same action in it.

Another thought: give the school a Google Voice number to text. You can have Voice SMS forwarded to your Gmail, and you can set up automatic forwarding of email in Gmail based on characteristics of the emails. So that could be a fully automated solution. I haven’t tested that at all.


Perhaps get a google voice account for everything that is shared and use that number for joint communications?

I got a workaround. I have the same problem as you. But the silver lining is that the School has a CMS website where all the messages are actually displayed. The SMS just shows an alert that a message has been received in CMS.

So, whenever I receive a message from his school wherein His SCHOOL NAME is in the text of the message, I have set an automation through which my wife is automatically notified with the alert and she visits the CMS to read the message. Hope this helped.