AT&T SMS email how-to

If AT&T Wireless (formerly Cingular) is your cellular service provider, here’s the lowdown on how to use SMS with your phone.

  • Maximum message length: 160 characters
  • What happens to longer messages: They’re broken into 160-character segments and delivered piece by piece.
  • Cost per message: 20 cents each to send or receive (or less, if you sign up for a text messaging package); messages sent to international numbers cost 25 cents each. Text messaging packages start at $5 per month for 200 messages (10 cents for each additional message) and go up to $20 per month for unlimited texting.
  • More information: AT&T text messaging
  • Sending email to an AT&T phone: Use the address format Example:

Notes: The address for sending pictures — assuming you have an MMS-compatible phone — is

AT&T also has a group messaging feature, if you want to text a bunch of your friends at once. You create your groups using the AT&T website, and then you get a custom 10-digit code that lets you send texts to everyone on that group. For more information, see the instructions on Group Messaging on AT&T’s site.

You can check with AT&T customer service (dial 611 on your mobile phone) if you have questions about rate plans or if you have problems with your SMS service (e.g. you’re getting unwanted messages).

Updated 8/5/2015

About Dylan Tweney

I'm the publisher of and of several other sites, including daily haiku/micropoetry site In my day job, I'm an editor.
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48 Responses to AT&T SMS email how-to

  1. SJ says:

    What if NONE of those work? I have no other way to contact my ppl other than through email..and I keep using these different addresses but literally NONE of them work..So what does that mean?

  2. douglas says:

    i have unlimited tex do they still charge for text or emails or send pics to an email i dont have internet on my cell

  3. EdM says:

    This does not work with Gmail, Yahoo, and several other free accounts. ATT has blocked many of those because of spam.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So, you're telling me that AT&T has a server big enough to store trillions of text messages that are sent on a daily basis? I call b.s. on that one. I think the Patriot Act gives law enforcement the right to START saving text messages if they suspect illegal activity, but I doubt that any company has a server big enough to hold every text message from every phone number in the world.

    • @alexcooper0 says:

      I have a 1TB drive sitting here on my desk, smaller than a textbook, that can hold 6,246,878,387 (6 billion) text messages. If you calculate 160 bytes per text. A source says "2.5 billion text messages are sent each day in the USA" ( That means my little desktop external drive can hold 2.4 days worth of the entire USA's text messages. And companies have towers holding many drives and they have rooms or farms you could say of these towers. Can you imagine how large youtube's servers are???

      This isn't meant to disprove you as much for me to learn by researching an interesting question. You are just far off because a text message is very little data at all compared to music or videos.

      I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T saved 30 days of texts which were then able to be accessed and documented by federal agencies in their own databases.

      • king steve says:

        Your estimate is a little off. Storing the 160 characters from the text isn't enough. You'd also need to store two 10-digit phone numbers, and a date/timestamp. Still not much, but when you're dealing with billions of the things, it exponentiates the size requirements.

        Also, I'd guess that they'd also want to store MMS messages, which could contains pictures and videos, etc, because that's where the illegal photos go through, and that's more data still.

        Now I'm not saying they don't store them, I'm just saying you've got a bit more data to take into consideration.

  5. ehjsdfhd says:

    okay so i have a question. i used to have texting on my phone, but it got taken off. I wanted to see what would happen if i sent a text anyway. But it couldn't be received. (of course) but if I put texting back on my phone will the text message be received by the person?

  6. blehbleh says:

    Is there a privacy warrentee? will the pictures ONLY be seen by the reciever?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Due to the patriot act, cellphone companies are required to keep text messages on their servers indefinitely. They can be retrieved by law enforcement with a court order (warrant).

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! Super helpful. Works like a charm!

  9. Anonymous says: should work fine. I have been testing this capability with no problem. Do remember to put just 10-digit, no 1 in the front.

    By the way, does anybody know how to send from e-mail as if it was from another phone (that is, no FRM and no MSG tags)? Thanks!

  10. Anonymous says:

    OMG if only I had known this 2 years ago! I could have been chatting with my hubby who is in Greenland!!! >:(

  11. alex says:

    work just fine!!! thx bro!!!

  12. trizeysteel says:

    I have been trying to send sms via email to an ATT phone with no luck. I've been using ATT sites shows … but that does not work either. Any thoughts???

  13. Anonymous says:


  14. Todd says:

    Looking to find the lowest cost US SMS carrier – i.e. leave a device on network and only use it for 2 sms's a month. No other data. Any ideas?

  15. Anonymous says:

    does at&t; keep and archive old text messages? if so, how long do they keep them? if someone wanted historic text message data, how far back can it be retrieved, and does it contain the actual text mesage or just the number?

  16. Anonymous says:

    u r amazing. these directions worked very well. thnx

  17. Johnny Flash says:

    You are awesome. Thanks!

  18. Anonymous says:

    anyway to program sim so it doesn’t overwrite deleted sms? I am trying to check up on teenagers activities. my reader indicates everytime he deletes, new ones overwrite, so unrecoverable.
    att 64k sim card in a samsung a707

  19. Anonymous says:

    ok i have att and unlimited msgs so i wanna kno if i receive email to my phone and i send msgs from my phon to an email do i get charged for doin that?

  20. says:

    is there any way to email ringtones to my phone? my sd card has failed, and i tried a new one and still nothing works…i don’t want to purchase more ringtones thru my phone, as that costs too much. i have some on my laptop but don’t know how to get it over to my att phone…

    any ideas!? thanks!

  21. Anonymous says:

    hey can you send like music or ringtones?

  22. John says: (Best for MMS) (Best for SMS) (loses from address) (loses from address) (loses from address and splits message)

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am a former Cingular customer, and just tried this. It did not work with, but did work with

  24. Anonymous says:

    Just to let you know, any “former Cingular” customer is going to have the same e-mail as an at&t; subscriber. To e-mail a text it’s the phone number and for mms it’s the phone number You can find this info on at&t;’s website. I know this information is correct because I work as a customer care rep for the company.

  25. nesNYC says:

    Cingular is now just AT&T;, the new address to the phones are:

  26. sameeppass says:

    I Pray to God to give U
    I Pray to God to give U
    aur SNEH.

  27. The new addresses are for SMS and for MMS messages.

  28. cingularbro says:

    what if i recieve a text and not open it does it still count as an opened test

  29. Anonymous says:

    afaik, you are charged the txt fee whether you open it or not…though I don’t know…

    As far as the address(es)…I think the latest is

    Does anyone know if that address will accept attachments though, say a ringtone (mp3)? 🙂

  30. Anonymous says:

    “what is the way to “rject” a SMS that you do not wish to recieve…-:(“

    At least for me, just don’t open it. If I don’t actually open the SMS, I’m not charged for it. I even have a friend who has a phone that scrolls the contents of a message across the screen in the “inbox” view, but as long as she reads them that way rather than actually opening them, she’s never charged for receiving them. So she never opens texts.

  31. Anonymous says:

    if you follow your own link in the instructions, you’ll find the current address is now

  32. Anonymous says:

    I agree…it is so weird to charge to recieve SMS messages….what if someone keeps sending email to you on your cell using ….you end up paying…

    if I were to get a call that I do not want to accept…I can reject it…and not loose airtime or pay if I am going over my quota….

    what is the way to “rject” a SMS that you do not wish to recieve…-:(

    Cingular…very bad on this one…

  33. Anonymous says: works for me, not .com

  34. Anonymous says:

    charge to send sms, i understand.. but charge to receive sms? weird…..

  35. Anonymous says:

    Cingular doesn’t appear to want to keep customers. Anyone up to switching to a service that cares about what the client wants?

  36. Anonymous says:

    It appears that cingular has taken out the ability to send text messages from their site. no longer works!

  37. Dylan says:

    Anonymous: When you send an SMS message to someone via email, you’re not charged. And the recepient is only charged their usual SMS message fee to receive the text message (they are not double-charged). The carriers only charge to *send* or *receive* text messages *on your phone*.

    Teleflip is free to send but the recipient will still get charged for receiving the text message. (Unless they have an unlimited SMS account.)

    And if you can receive SMS messages, you can use your phone’s SMS address as a way of receiving ordinary Internet emails, yes. However, the messages you receive will be very short (depending on the carrier’s limits for text messages) and you may not be able to reply.

  38. Anonymous says:

    who pays for the sending half of the cost when you send form e-mail? Does the receiver pay double?

    If teleflip is free does that mean its free to receive too?

    Can a phone setup to receive text msgs but not e-mail still do this receiving of e-mail as a text msg?

  39. Dave says:

    After sending test messages and MMS messages from my phone, I was able to receive replies to the addresses and with useful Subject: and From: headers, but now those do not seem to work, and only mail filteres through the filter with anonymized ‘From:101001017’ headers seem to arrive.

    (I am using Cingular through Trakfone, so that may be an issue.)

  40. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget about for former at&t; wireless phones.

  41. Anonymous says:

    For whatever reason, does not work on my phone. Another option is Also, there is a separate address to send pictures (as opposed to just text)…

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