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

How to send text message instead of iMessage on iPhone

Apple’s iMessage is the go-to choice for all iPhone users while texting someone. However, there are instances where sending iMessage as a text message (SMS) becomes necessary. In this post, I will share how to send text messages on iPhone instead of iMessage and situations when you need it.

How to send text message on iPhone instead of iMessage

Before diving into the steps to send iMessage as a text message, refer to our detailed article to learn the difference between iMessage and SMS.

There may be situations when you need to send an SMS text to an iPhone user. We will discuss them later in the post. Let’s learn the steps first. Here, I will share three different methods to force send text messages Instead of iMessage to a contact.

Method 1: Send all messages as SMS text 

  1. Open Settings → Messages.
  2. Toggle off iMessage.

    tap messages, toggle off iMessage in Settings

It will disable the iMessage service, and now all your messages will be forced send as regular text messages. 

Method 2: Send SMS when iMessage is unavailable

iMessage uses your internet connection to send texts. So, your message will not be delivered if you have limited or no internet connectivity. That’s why I have enabled the following feature so my iPhone automatically attempts to send text messages as SMS when iMessage is unavailable. 

  1. Go to Settings → Messages.
  2. Toggle on Send as SMS.
    You must have iMessage enabled.

    tap messages and toggle on Send as SMS in Settings

Method 3: Bonus trick to send text as SMS on iPhone 

Do you know you can send text messages on iPhone instead of iMessage without disabling iMessage services? Not kidding; follow the steps below:  

  1. Open an inbox in the Messages app.
  2. Type your message → Tap the blue arrow to send it.
  3. Immediately tap and hold the text bubble → Select Send as Text Message.

    write a text, tap blue arrow, long press the text bubble, tap Send as SMS in Messages

When you need to send iMessage as text message on iPhone

While iMessage offers a range of features and seamless integration within the Apple ecosystem, there are specific situations where I prefer to force sending SMS text messages on an iPhone. Here are a few common scenarios: 

  • Limited or no internet connectivity: iMessage relies on an internet connection through Wi-Fi or cellular data. In areas with poor network coverage, access to the internet may be limited or nonexistent. Therefore, sending an SMS ensures that your message reaches the recipient. 
  • Non-Apple users: iMessage is an exclusive messaging service for Apple devices. If you need to communicate with someone who doesn’t own an iPhone or Apple device, sending an SMS is the best option. SMS is a universal messaging service that works across all mobile phones. 
  • Avoiding additional charges: While iMessage uses an internet connection, SMS is typically included in mobile phone plans and does not incur additional charges. If you are concerned about data usage or want to avoid extra internet charges, sending an SMS can be cost-effective. 
  • Ensuring message delivery: When sending essential messages, using SMS can provide a higher chance of successful delivery. Unlike iMessage, which relies on the sender and recipient’s active internet connection, SMS messages are delivered directly through cellular networks. 

What to do if iPhone won’t send SMS messages?

In case you encounter issues while sending SMS messages, try the following troubleshooting steps: 

  • Send the text message to the phone number of your contact rather than the email address. 
  • Ensure that you have cellular network coverage with sufficient network signal strength.  
  • Restart your iPhone to refresh the device’s network settings. 
  • Set the correct date and time. 
  • Contact your mobile service provider to verify if there are any network-related issues. 
  • If the problem persists, you may consider resetting your network settings or contact Apple Support.


How to turn off iMessage for one person? 

Unfortunately, you can’t turn off iMessage for a specific contact. You may send messages as SMS individually by tapping the text bubble and selecting Send as SMS. Alternatively, if the contact disables iMessage for themselves, they will receive SMS texts.

Does iMessage automatically switch to SMS?

If you don’t have an active internet connection, the Messages app will try to send the iMessage as a standard SMS text message. Besides, if the recipient has switched to Android, they will only receive SMS texts.

Why is my iMessage working but not my text messages?

You must be connected to a solid cellular network to send a text message by SMS. Ensure your iPhone is not in Airplane mode and you have an active mobile plan.

Send messages in every situation!

While iMessage offers a range of convenient features, there are circumstances when sending a regular text message (SMS) becomes necessary. You can effortlessly send text messages on your iPhone by understanding the differences between iMessage and SMS and using the abovementioned methods.  

Do you enjoy using iMessage? Let me know in the comments below!

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Author Profile
Content Writer at iGeeksBlog

Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.

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