macOS Catalina finally solves iMessage Location Mystery

iMessages comparison iOS vs macOS
macOS Catalina finally fixes the iMessage location bug

Many people have problems with macOS Catalina. For me Time Machine has been the biggest headache. Catalina does have one silver lining, it finally fixes the long standing Location issue for iMessages.


What’s interesting is that the macOS iMessage app still doesn’t have a dedicated Location setting like FaceTime app or iOS. Instead, iMessages Location seems to adapt in some other way I have not been able to figure out. It doesn’t matter, as long as it works.

Dear Apple

macOS Mohave Messages app Location Thingy

Dear Apple Engineers,

Please add the Location thingy to macOS Mojave Messages app preferences and everything will be insanely great.

Love and Kisses,

Ata Distance


macOS iMessage Location Mystery

macOS Catalina finally solves the iMessage Location issue

One thing I forgot to add to my WWDC18 Wish List was restoring a Location selection to the macOS iMessage account settings. Apple has done a good job integrating iOS and macOS functions over the years, global copy/paste, Handoff, etc., but there are strange and frustrating omissions such as Location in macOS iMessage.


Apple ID has a default Location setting that used to be determined by the iTunes account credit card issue country. This isn’t the case anymore, and the country setting in Apple ID settings doesn’t seem to change it either. It’s not a problem on iOS because Location settings in FaceTime and iMessages override default Apple ID country settings to correctly format local country iPhone numbers so they display and message without any problem. iOS iMessage says it best: “Choose a country or region to allow iMessage to message local numbers in your address book.”  I guess Apple means Contacts but we get the meaning.

Once upon a time macOS iMessage had Location selection but it was removed in OS X El Capitan and has not reappeared since. macOS iMessage is basically unusable unless all the iMessage contact numbers are formatted with country codes.iMessages comparison iOS vs macOS

Of course Apple Support advice is: format all of your contact numbers with international prefixes.

No thank you. iOS handles everything flawlessly with a Location setting, please fix macOS iMessage so that it does too.