13 Ways to Fix iPhone Cannot Send Text Messages.
Have trouble sending text messages on your Apple device (iPhone or iPad)? This guide will provide solutions when your iPhone is not sending text messages.
Before you do anything, close and reopen the Messages app and check the cellular signal strength on your iPhone’s status bar. If the signal bars are low, you are most likely in an area with poor cell coverage.
Move to a location with better cellular coverage to send and receive messages on iPhone. Also, make sure your iPhone is not in Airplane Mode. Open the iPhone settings menu, turn off Airplane mode and try again.
1. Confirm the Contact Details
Messages may show a “Not Delivered” or “Message Could Not Be Sent” error if the recipient’s contact information (read: phone number) is incorrect. If you’re getting delivery errors when you first message someone, make sure the person’s phone number is correct.
If the number is correct but the message was not delivered, the recipient’s number might be disabled or unreachable. Try contacting the recipient by phone or using an instant messaging service (possibly WhatsApp) to verify the authenticity of the phone number.
2. Check Your Account Balance
SMS messages are not free. Cellular carriers charge standard messaging fees based on sender and recipient location, message length, character limit, etc.
Many carrier networks have local messaging rates that are lower than international rates. Some carriers may even charge you to receive international text messages.
If your messages are not being delivered, please make sure you have enough funds in your account to send text messages. Better yet, sign up for a plan that allows you to send unlimited messages at no additional cost. Contact your cellular service provider for more information on text messaging fees and data plans available in your country.
3. Check iMessage System Status
Server outage is another noteworthy reason for message crashes on iPhone, especially if you are unable to send iMessages. Go to the Apple System Status page and find iMessages in the list of services.
The messaging service is working properly if its status indicator is green. A red or yellow icon means there’s a problem with iMessages. Wait for Apple to restore the service, or contact Apple Support to report the issue.
4. Connect to Cellular Data or Wi-Fi
You need an internet connection to send and receive iMessages and MMS on iOS. If your iPhone can’t send these messages, make sure you’re connected to the Internet via cellular data or Wi-Fi.
5. Close and Reopen Messages
Force quitting a problematic app can sometimes fix problems that cause the app to crash. Close and reopen the Messages app if you can’t send messages despite a stable internet connection, SMS/MMS plan, and strong cellular signal.
6. Enable MMS
MMS messages include media files such as pictures, GIFs, videos, voice memos, and more. If you can’t send or receive cellular media messages, MMS messaging may be disabled on your iPhone. Here’s how to turn the feature back on.
Open the Settings app, select Messages, scroll to the SMS/MMS section, and turn on MMS Messages. You should also turn on the group messaging feature if your carrier supports MMS group messaging.
MMS messaging requires a network connection, so make sure you have an active cellular plan that supports MMS messaging. You may not be able to send or receive MMS messages over a Wi-Fi connection.
Go to Settings > Cellular or Mobile Data and turn on Cellular or Mobile Data.
7. Try the Airplane Mode Trick
You can use Airplane Mode to troubleshoot network issues. Putting your iPhone into and out of Airplane Mode will reset your cellular radio, refresh your cellular connection, and improve your signal strength.
If your iPhone isn’t sending text messages due to poor cellular reception, turning airplane mode on and off may fix the problem.
Open your iPhone’s Control Center and tap the Airplane Mode icon until it turns orange. Wait 5-10 seconds and tap the orange Airplane Mode icon to turn it off and restore cellular coverage.
Wait another 5-10 seconds, open the Messages app and see if you can now send and receive text messages.
8. Update Date & Time Settings
Your iPhone may not send messages if the date, time, and time zone settings are incorrect. Or if these settings don’t match your network’s date and time.
Go to Settings > General > Date & Time and select the Automatic checkbox.
Wait a few seconds for your iPhone to update the date and time settings and try resending the undelivered messages.
9. Re-Insert Your SIM Card
This tool is an effective troubleshooter for poor cellular reception and iOS network errors. Insert the SIM eject tool that came with iPhone into the hole next to the SIM card tray. Use a paper clip or other small, thin object if you can’t find a SIM eject tool.
Remove the SIM card from the SIM tray, wipe the metal surface of the SIM card with a clean, dry cloth, and insert it back into the SIM tray.
This can automatically install carrier settings updates. Skip to the next section if the problem persists.
10. Install Carrier Settings Update
Like iOS updates, carrier settings updates help fix bugs and network issues, improve cellular connectivity, and improve network performance.
Outdated carrier settings may be the reason why your iPhone is not sending text messages. While most carriers automatically push these updates to mobile devices, follow these steps to manually install updates on your iPhone.
Connect iPhone to a cellular or Wi-Fi network, go to Settings > General > About, and wait a few seconds.
A message should appear on the screen if a carrier settings update is available for your iPhone.
11. Restart Your Phone
Performing a device reset can be another simple solution. Press and hold the side button + volume up or down button and move the power off slider to the right.
Or go to Settings > General > Power Off, move the slider to the right, and wait about 15 seconds for your iPhone to turn off completely.
Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen to restart your iPhone.
12. Reset Network Settings
Problems with your iPhone’s cellular or network settings can cause messaging errors. Perform a network reset if your iPhone is still not sending text messages.
Note. Resetting the network not only returns the cellular network settings to factory defaults. Other network components such as Wi-Fi (networks and passwords), VPN settings, and Bluetooth connections are also reset.
Open Settings, select General, tap Transfer or reset iPhone, and select Reset.
If your iPhone is running iOS 14 or earlier, go to Settings > General > Reset.
Select Reset Network Settings, enter your iPhone passcode, and select Reset Network Settings at the confirmation prompt to continue.
This will restart your iPhone and reset network settings to factory default.
13. Update or Downgrade Your iPhone
The version of iOS you have on your iPhone often comes with issues that you don’t know about. For example, iOS 14.2 had bugs that prevented iPhone from receiving MMS messages and message notifications. Apple has since fixed the bug in iOS 14.2.1 and iOS 14.3.
If your iPhone is not sending text messages, installing an iOS update might fix the problem. Connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network and follow the steps below to install the iOS update.
Go to Settings > General > Software Update to install the latest version of iOS available for your iPhone.
Has your iPhone stopped sending text messages after installing an update? Update your iPhone to a previous stable version if you can’t wait for Apple to fix the issue.
Contact Your Cellular Carrier
Your service provider may be experiencing a temporary service outage. Or, your cellular plan may not support MMS messaging. It should be noted that hardware issues (such as a damaged SIM port/tray, faulty cellular antenna, etc.) can also cause this issue.
If the issue persists, contact your carrier, Apple Support, visit your nearest Apple Store, or make an appointment at a Genius Bar to have your iPhone checked for hardware damage.
13 Ways to Fix iPhone Cannot Send Text Messages
13 Ways to Fix iPhone Cannot Send Text Messages
iPhone Not Sending Text Messages? 13 Fixes to Try