How to send text message (SMS) instead of iMessage on iPhone

How to send text message (SMS) instead of iMessage on iPhone

While iMessage comes in handy most of the time, sometimes you’d rather send an SMS text message. You can achieve changing your bubble from blue to green manually, but it can also happen automatically under certain circumstances.

Here’s what you need to know.

How to send iMessage as text message from iPhone Settings

Before you can send texts, we’ll need to check your Settings.

  1. Head to Settings → Messages.
  2. Scroll down to Send as SMS and enable it.

    Send iMessage as Text SMS on iPhone

Now that you have the option enabled, here’s how to send a text instead of an iMessage.

Send text as SMS instead of iMessage from Messages app

  1. Open the contact you want to send a text to. 
  2. Type your message, then press the Send icon.
  3. Quickly tap and hold the message bubble that you just sent. A menu with a few different methods will populate.
  4. Select Send as Text Message and watch your bubble turn from blue to green. That’s how you know your message has been sent as an SMS text rather than an iMessage.

    Send text as SMS instead of iMessage from Messages iOS app

That’s all there is for how to send iMessages as text messages on iPhone. As far as automatically goes…

Send texts to a non-Apple user

If your recipient isn’t an Apple user (iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.), they’ll receive text messages instead of iMessages by default. If the bubble is green, you’re good to go.


Q. What to do if your iPhone isn’t sending texts?

There are a myriad of problems that come with just as many solutions for an iPhone that won’t send texts. These include restarting your iPhone, turning off text message forwarding, and so on.

To learn more about what you can do, read our article on the topic.
If you’re having problems with text notifications, we’ve got you covered there too.

Q. What to do if you aren’t getting text notifications?

We’ve created a guide to solving all of your potential iMessage notification problems. If you’re not getting notified about iMessages, we bet one of our solutions will do the trick.

Read more at our article How to fix iMessage notifications not working on iPhone.

Q. Why does my iPhone send text messages instead of iMessages?

Are you sending messages to non-Apple users? If you are, you’ll send text messages by default. 

You cannot enable iMessage for non-Apple recipients. You can, however, use an iMessage alternative

If your recipient is an Apple user and you’re still sending text messages, you should check your SMS settings as outlined in this article. You should also make sure that you have Wi-Fi or Cellular Data enabled, and a connection to either of the two.

Wrapping up…

Were you successful in figuring out how to send an iMessage as a text message? If so, well done. If not, let us know where you got caught up and we’ll do our best to help.

Have any other questions about your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple products? Ask away in the comments below. We want to hear from you!

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Marcus is a freelance tech writer/editor with a focus on succinctly explaining consumer devices and their software. His previous work has been published on MakeUseOf where he covered everything from iOS to Git and UI design.

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