How to Fix an iPhone That Won’t Send SMS Text Messages

iPhone’s SMS text messaging service is usually very reliable. Once your sent message arrives at the other end, you’ll typically see a “Delivered” notification below it.

How to Fix an iPhone That Won’t Send SMS Text Messages

However, there are times when you’ll see that big exclamation mark and red “Not Delivered” message displayed. Which means there is a problem at the recipient’s end or yours.

In this article, we’ll help you to work out why your SMS message isn’t going through, and hopefully get your communication flowing again.

SMS Not Sending to One Specific Person

There are a few possible reasons why you’re not able to send an SMS to a specific number. Their phone could have no signal, it could be switched off or there’s an issue with your phone. Let’s go through checking some of the basics before considering more specific causes.

After you’ve tried one of our tips, resend the message to see if it goes through successfully this time.

Tip 1: Check You Have the Right Number

Have you ever been successful previously in texting that number? Is the recipient still using it? If they’ve changed their number and forgotten to deactivate iMessage, their old number is now inactive, and you’ll receive the “Not Delivered” message every time you SMS it.

If you have another method to contact them e.g., by email, use that to verify that the number you have is correct, or maybe check with a mutual friend.

Tip 2: Close and Restart Messages

Forcing an app to close then re-launching it can resolve any bugs, conflicts, or memory-related issues. Problems like these will cause apps like Messages to do strange things. Try restarting the Messages app by closing it, then re-launching it.

Tip 3: Restart Your Phone

As well as resolving app issues, restarting your phone can prolong battery life, retain memory, and help your phone run more smoothly. It may not fix this particular issue, but it’s worth a try before delving into more precise options.

Tip 4: Delete and Create a New Message

If you’ve already been communicating successfully through SMS, sometimes deleting the message thread and starting a new one is enough to resolve the issue. To do this:

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Go to the message thread and swipe left on it.
  3.  Tap “Delete.”
  4. Select the new message icon to create a new thread then try sending it to the recipient again.

Tip 5: Check Whether the Problem Is With Apple

It could be that the problem has nothing to do with your iPhone and the cause is with Apple. Check Apple’s system status page to confirm. There you can see whether there is a problem with their iMessage service. If there is, they’ll surely be doing all they can to get it up and running quickly, so just keep checking the status.

The Recipient May Have Blocked You

Is it possible that your number has been blocked? Apple does not notify people once they’ve been blocked on someone else’s phone, so you’ll need to figure this out for yourself. Here are a few things that might happen and what they might mean:

  • If you call and it rings once and then goes to voicemail, it could be that they’re on a call, have no reception, or their phone is switched off. Try calling again another time and see what happens.
  • If you keep getting sent to voicemail, try calling from a different number. If their phone rings a few times then goes to voicemail, your number may be blocked.
  • If you receive a standard disconnected message, that’s clearly the problem. Try asking a mutual contact for the intended recipient’s new number.

Check the delivery notification message:

  • If neither “Delivered” nor “Read” is displayed beneath the message you’ve sent, their phone could be out of service, have no Wi-Fi, is switched off, or your number may be blocked. If you’ve already tried a couple of times, try again after a few hours and see what happens.

SMS Not Sending to a Group Message

Assuming you can send SMS messages to other contacts, there are a few things you can check to troubleshoot. For example, you may need to enable “Group Messaging” or free up some storage space on your device. Here are some troubleshooting tips to try from your iPhone.

Once you’ve tried a tip, resend the message to see if it’s now successful.

Tip 1: Ensure SMS Group Is Enabled

If this is your first time sending a text to an SMS group, you’ll need to enable the “Group Messaging” setting to be able to do so. Here’s how:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Choose “Messages” to access the settings screen.
  3. At the “Group Messaging” option, tap the switch to enable the feature.

Tip 2: Ensure Your iPhone Has Enough Storage Space

If the storage space on your phone is running low, you’ll likely have problems sending and receiving group texts. You can check your storage space situation by following these steps:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Tap “General” then “Storage & iCloud Usage.”
    • This screen displays how much memory space your phone has left.
    • If you want to see which app is occupying the most space, tap “Manage Storage.”
    • Once you’ve deleted the apps you no longer use, go back to “Storage & iCloud Usage” to see how much space you’ve managed to free.

Tip 3: Close and Restart Messages

Closing the Message app then re-launching it may fix conflicts, bugs, or memory issues. Problems like these will cause apps to stop working as expected. Try restarting Messages by closing it then re-launching it.

Tip 4: Restart Your Phone

In addition to fixing app issues, restarting your phone helps extend your battery’s life, preserve your phone’s memory and, overall, help your phone to run more smoothly. Doing this may not fix this particular issue but is worth a try.

Tip 5: Delete and Create a New Message

If you’ve been successful in sending SMS’s to this group before, try deleting the message thread and try again. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Launch the Messages app.
  2. Go to the group message thread and swipe left on it.
  3. Tap “Delete.”
  4. Tap on the message icon to create a new thread then try sending it to the group again.

Finally Getting Your Messages Across

Communication through text messages is quick, convenient, and for the most part, reliable. However, despite this medium being around since the early 1990s, there are times when deliveries are unsuccessful. The causes that can return the dreaded “Not Delivered” message can include the recipient’s phone being unavailable to the actual service being unavailable.

When experiencing problems sending SMS messages to someone, check that the number is correct and that you haven’t been blocked. When sending to groups, ensure you have the “Group Messaging” option enabled, and enough storage memory.

What made you decide to get an iPhone? What are some of the things you like/dislike about it?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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