How To Use TextNow On Your Desktop

TextNow has recently redesigned our downloadable desktop app, now available in the Windows Store and Apple's App Store, or from our Downloads page. Here's a quick guide to the app and how to use it:

If you've created a TextNow account, you can log into your account on the app directly. Otherwise, create a new account and the app will ask you for an area code and assign you a number in that area code. Once you're logged in, you'll see this:


As the conveniently-placed arrow indicates, you can start messaging right away by clicking on the icon with the pencil, exactly where the arrow is pointing. What you may not know is you can also use the desktop app to place calls, directly from your desktop or laptop!

Click on the dial-pad icon, to the left of the new message icon, to bring up the dial pad:


If you're calling another TextNow user, you can type in their username instead of the number if you like. Otherwise, you can type in any US or Canadian number and call them, absolutely free!

You'll notice on the left-hand side there's a blue menu. Hover your mouse over that menu to pop it out, like this:


Let's go through the settings step-by-step:

Download Free App: Links to our downloads page where you can grab free downloadable versions of TextNow for Android and iOS.

Phones & Plans: Link to our Phones & Plans page, for the latest deals from TextNow.

Settings: The Settings page for the downloadable app. Here's what you can do in each section:

Settings > Account: View your phone number, edit the first and last name on your account, edit your email address associated with your account, and resend an email validation.

Settings > Password: You can change your password here.

Settings > Notifications: Setting for your desktop notifications to play a sound when receiving a text, or pop up a message on your desktop when receiving a text. You can also set the app to email you when you have a text.

Settings > Messaging: Add a signature to your messages.

Settings > Calling: Choose whether to send missed calls over the app to voicemail, and view your blocked numbers.

Help: A collection of useful links and resources.

Help > Support: Link to our Support page, with help articles, tip & tricks and a community forum.

Help > About: Link to our TextNow corporate page, if you want to find out more about us as a company.

Help > International Rates: Link to our international long distance rates page. 

Help > Engineering Blog: Link to our Engineering blog, where you can find out more about the technology that drives TextNow.

Help > Terms Of Use: Link to our Terms Of Use page, with details on our end-user service agreement.

Help > Privacy Policy: Link to our Privacy Policy.

Help > 2G Fair Use Policy: Link to our 2G Fair Use document, with details on how our unlimited 2G policy.

Log Out: Click here to log out of the app.

Was this article helpful?
4 out of 7 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Lorrie Jensen

    textnow on my mobile phone. Came across a small problem. While trying to interact with an automated voice directory
    when I use the dialpad . When the option to press "0" to speak to this department. The "0" view is under the "call end " button. So when you try to press the "0 " it ends the call.

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hi Lorrie! Luckily, this is an easy fix :) If you head into your phone's own settings, try to change the font size (to a smaller size), and that should fix the issue!

  • Avatar
    Don AKA Daddy. PawPaw Clark

    why does text now take sooo long to load on my android phone? Thanks

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hi there! We would need to upload your logs and submit them to our development team to look at.

    To do so, would you be able to email us at with regards to this issue?

  • Avatar
    Shannon Chester

    why don't I get notifications on my windows 8 desktop? thanks

  • Avatar
    Tootie Williams

    where are my contacts?

  • Avatar
    Cyrine Mae Keith

    My old phone number was assigned to a different person now. Is there any way I can retrieve my old messages? I need a conversation history for legal purposes.

  • Avatar
    Ruben Lara

    hello, i recently had a free text number and it was working perfect, but when i released it and got a new number, i'm no longer receiving text messages anymore what can i do to solve it please?

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey @Tootie- we don't keep an address book ourselves. If you're using the mobile app, then we would pull in the contacts from your own native contacts/people app. If you're using the browser, you'd need to simply add contacts by messaging/calling them and later editing their information to include their names.

    @Cyrine- unfortunately, if you're logged into your account and your conversation history is gone (due to being deleted or recycled for inactivity), then reassigning the old number won't change that. If you need it for legal reasons, then you can have a law enforcement involved to submit a subpoena request so we may recover what we can for their purposes.

    @Ruben- Sorry to hear that! Please head over to our live chat support on (they open at 10am EST) so they can take a closer look.

    Edited by Valeria TextNow Support
  • Avatar
    Isabel Marrero

    When someone calls me I can't hear them

  • Avatar
    M Clearwater

    desktop app was working ok, just never got notifications altho i set it up to notify... but today, just loads. circling circling dots.

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Isabel! We'd want to look into that specific issue more closely, if you could please head over to our live chat support on to do so!

    @M Clearwater- if the issue is still persisting, please contact us at with your account information.

  • Avatar
    Carol Bollinger

    how do I unblock?

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Carol! If you're looking to unblock specific numbers, you can look into these instructions :)

    Edited by Valeria TextNow Support
  • Avatar

    I dropped my phone which my number was set up on and assigned to. Is there anyway that I can use the same number with my new phone?

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hi there, absolutely! Just download the app and log back into the same account :)

  • Avatar
    Philip Branch

    I'm new and have played around a bit on my desktop app only to find that I cannot paste anything into a text message. the app lets me copy a text message but cannot paste it into a new text message and also cannot paste anything that I put into my clipboard into a new text message. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Phillip! I can't reproduce this issue on my end.

    Would you be able to potentially send us a screen recording of this occurring to ?

Powered by Zendesk