How to Receive SMS Alerts in Gmail

Written by andrea ruiz Google
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Gmail is the preferred free e-mail platform for millions of people worldwide. To facilitate access to its e-mail services, Google has developed proprietary applications for nearly all brands of smartphones, including iPhones, Android phones and BlackBerry phones. These applications provide access to the full gamut of Gmail's e-mail services, such as sending, receiving and organising e-mail. However, if your phone doesn't have the capability to download one of these apps, or if you simply don't want to manage your entire Gmail account from your mobile phone, you can still easily set up your phone to receive SMS alerts whenever you receive e-mails at your Gmail account.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Log into your Gmail account and click the cog icon in the upper right corner.

  2. 2

    Click "Mail Settings" from the drop-down menu that pops up.

  3. 3

    Click the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab and click the "Add a Forwarding Address" button in the "Forwarding" section.

  4. 4

    Enter your mobile phone's carrier-specific e-mail SMS gateway. Typically, this is in the form of

  5. 5

    Confirm your cell phone's e-mail address. Gmail will send a confirmation e-mail to your phone. Open this e-mail on your phone, then click the confirmation link it contains. This allows your Gmail account to use your cell phone's SMS gateway address as a forwarder.

  6. 6

    Click the "Filters" tab in your Gmail settings. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the "Create a New Filter" link.

  7. 7

    Customise your new filter. For example, if you'd only like to get SMS alerts when you get mail from specific e-mail addresses, enter those e-mail addresses, each separated by a comma, in the "From:" field. If you'd like to receive an SMS alert each time you receive an e-mail, no matter who the sender is, enter your own Gmail address in the "To:" field.

  8. 8

    Check the box next to the "Forward It To:" field and select your cell phone's e-mail address in the adjacent drop-down menu.

  9. 9

    Click the "Create Filter" button. Gmail will immediately start forwarding all incoming e-mails that fit your filter's criteria to your phone as SMS alerts.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't know your cell phone carrier's e-mail SMS gateway syntax, see the Resources section for a comprehensive list of the email address formats for all major US, Canadian and international carriers.
  • If you still can't find your carrier's e-mail SMS gateway address format, contact your service provider for more information.
  • Standard text message rates apply if your cell phone usage plan does not include unlimited text messages.

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