Ahoy there! All messaging transmitted using Twilio’s messaging channels is treated as Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging and subject to Twilio’s Messaging Policy. For detailed information on policy rules to ensure you remain compliant while using Twilio’s services, please see our Acceptable Use Policy.
Looking for .NET Core? We have a quickstart for that too!
With just a few lines of code, your .NET Framework application can send and receive text messages with Twilio Programmable SMS.
This C# SMS Quickstart will teach you how to do this using our Communications REST API and the Twilio helper library for .NET.
In this Quickstart, you will learn how to:
- Sign up for Twilio and get your first SMS-enabled Twilio phone number
- Set up your development environment to send and receive messages
- Send your first SMS
- Receive inbound text messages
- Reply to incoming messages with an SMS
Prefer to get started by watching a video? Check out our C# SMS Quickstart video on Youtube.
Already have a Twilio account? Go ahead and skip this section.
You can sign up for a free Twilio trial account here.
- When you sign up, you'll be asked to verify your personal phone number. This helps Twilio verify your identity and also allows you to send test messages to your phone from your Twilio account while in trial mode.
- Once you verify your number, you'll be asked a series of questions to customize your experience.
- Once you finish the onboarding flow, you'll arrive at your project dashboard in the Twilio Console. This is where you'll be able to access your Account SID, authentication token, find a Twilio phone number, and more.
We'll need to use the Twilio CLI (command line interface) for a few tasks, so let's install that next.
Once you have installed Homebrew, run the following command to install
brew tap twilio/brew && brew install twilio
The suggested way to install
twilio-cli is by using Scoop, a command-line installer for Windows. If you don’t already have it installed, visit the Scoop site for installation instructions and then return here.
Note PowerShell will need to be run as an administrator to avoid common permission issues when installing via Scoop.
- Add the
scoop bucket add twilio-scoop https://github.com/twilio/scoop-twilio-cli
- Install the app:
scoop install twilio
twilio-cli can be installed using the Advanced Package Tool (
apt) on most distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint.
To do so, run the following commands in your terminal:
wget -qO- https://twilio-cli-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/twilio_pub.asc \ | sudo apt-key add - sudo touch /etc/apt/sources.list.d/twilio.list echo 'deb https://twilio-cli-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/apt/ /' \ | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/twilio.list sudo apt update sudo apt install -y twilio
For other installation methods, see the Twilio CLI Quickstart.
twilio login to get the Twilio CLI connected to your account. Visit https://www.twilio.com/console, and you’ll find your unique Account SID and Auth Token to provide to the CLI.
You can reveal your auth token by clicking on the eyeball icon:
If you don't currently own a Twilio phone number with SMS functionality, you'll need to purchase one. With the CLI, run:
twilio phone-numbers:buy:local --country-code US --sms-enabled
Replace US with your ISO-3166-1 country code if you would like a phone number in another country. If you aren't finding any SMS enabled numbers, try looking for a mobile number instead of a local number:
twilio phone-numbers:buy:mobile --country-code DE --sms-enabled
Select a phone number to add it to your account.
Next, we need to install Visual Studio and the Twilio C# Helper Library.
If you have Visual Studio installed, you are ready to get going. Otherwise, you should download and install it now.
Once you have Visual Studio, open it up and create a new Console project. Click the "Create a new project" button:
And then choose "Console App (.NET Framework)" from the list of project templates:
Once you have Visual Studio, open it up and create a new Console project. Select the "File" menu and choose "New" then "Project..." and select "Console App (.NET Framework)".
Then, select "Tools," "NuGet Package Manager," and "Package Manager Console" from the main menu in Visual Studio and type this command:
Now that we have .NET and the Twilio .NET library installed, we can send an outbound text message from the Twilio phone number we just purchased with a single API request. Open the file in your new project called
Program.cs and type or paste in this code sample, replacing the template code that's already there.
You’ll need to edit this file a little more before your message will send:
Swap the placeholder values for
authToken with your personal Twilio credentials. Go to https://www.twilio.com/console and log in. On this page, you’ll find your unique Account SID and Auth Token, which you’ll need any time you send messages through the Twilio Client like this. You can reveal your auth token by clicking on the 'view' link:
Program.cs and replace the values for
authToken with your unique values.
Please note: it's okay to hardcode your credentials when getting started, but you should use configuration to keep them secret before deploying to production. We recommend using environment variables to store your user secrets.
Remember that SMS-enabled phone number you bought just a few minutes ago? Go ahead and replace the existing
from number with that one, making sure to use E.164 formatting:
[+][country code][phone number including area code]
to phone number with your mobile phone number. This can be any phone number that can receive text messages, but it’s a good idea to test with your own phone, so you can see the magic happen! As above, you should use E.164 formatting for this value.
If you are on a Twilio Trial account, your outgoing SMS messages are limited to phone numbers that you have verified with Twilio. Phone numbers can be verified via your Twilio Console's Verified Caller IDs.
Save your changes and run your project in Visual Studio.
That's it! In a few moments, you should receive an SMS from your Twilio number on your phone.
Are your customers in the U.S. or Canada? You can also send them MMS messages by adding just one line of code. Check out this sending MMS tutorial to see how it's done.
When your Twilio number receives an incoming message, Twilio will send an HTTP request to a server you control. This callback mechanism is known as a webhook. When Twilio sends your application a request, it expects a response in the TwiML XML format telling it how to respond to the message. Let's see how we would build this in C# using ASP.NET MVC for .NET Framework.
In Visual Studio, click "Create a new project":
Select "ASP.NET Web Application (.NET Framework)" from the list of templates:
When prompted, choose "MVC" as the project type:
In Visual Studio, select the "File" menu and choose "New" then "Project..." and select "ASP.NET Web Application (.NET Framework)."
Next, choose the "MVC" template.
Select "Tools," "NuGet Package Manager," and "Package Manager Console" from the main menu in Visual Studio and type the following command:
Install-Package Twilio.AspNet.Mvc -DependencyVersion HighestMinor
In the directory named
Controllers, create a new Controller called
SmsController.cs. (Right-click on the Controllers folder, select "Add >", "Controller..." and choose the "MVC 5 Controller - Empty" template.)
Use the following code to create an action that can handle incoming messages. Be sure to use the entire code sample (note, for example, how the
SmsController inherits from
From Visual Studio, run the application (click the green "play" arrow). This should open a web browser with the ASP.NET welcome page showing with a URL something like https://localhost:44360. NOTE: your port number may be something other than 44360. You will need this URL in the next step to wire up your application to your Twilio phone number.
Now, you need to configure your Twilio phone number to call your webhook URL whenever a new message comes in. Just run this CLI command, replacing the phone number with your own Twilio phone number and ensuring the URL has your correct port number:
twilio phone-numbers:update "+15017122661" --sms-url="https://localhost:44360/sms"
The CLI will start an ngrok tunnel (so Twilio can reach your development machine) and wait patiently for incoming text messages!
Make sure your project is running and your ngrok tunnel is running.
With both of those servers running, we’re ready for the fun part - testing our new ASP.NET SMS application!
Send an SMS from your mobile phone to your Twilio phone number that's configured with this webhook. Your ASP.NET app will process the text message, and you’ll get your response back as an SMS.
Now that you know the basics of sending and receiving SMS and MMS text messages with C# and .NET, you might want to check out these resources.
- REST API documentation
- TwiML reference docs
- Tutorials with full sample applications in C#
- Secure your C# / ASP.NET app by validating incoming Twilio requests