Fix: Can’t send SMS messages from the iPhone

iOS is an ecosystem that provides numerous benefits to people inside it. One of the greatest perks of owning an iPhone is exclusive access to iMessage, Apple’s in-house messaging service. Not only that iMessage eliminates the need for other messaging apps, but it also renders its own functionality, SMS messaging, obsolete, because using iMessage is free for any iPhone user as long as they’re connected to the internet.

But then comes the time when you need to send an actual SMS. Maybe you’re not connected to the internet, or you’re simply trying to contact an Android user. Having to pay for communication in 2020 should be dissatisfying enough, but what if your iPhone suddenly can’t send SMS? Well, you won’t be alone, as many users have already reported similar issues.

That’s why we’ll try to find a solution in this article and to make your iPhone capable of sending SMS again. Even if you actually send SMS twice a year.

Table of contents:

  1. Connect to a network
  2. Check your SIM card
  3. Make sure SMS is enabled
  4. Restart your iPhone
  5. Check for updates
  6. Reset Network settings

Check the technicalities

Before we move on to any solutions, let’s get a few “technicalities” out of the way. What I mean by that is just make sure you got the recipient’s number right, or that the number isn’t blocked, or just about anything that could prevent the SMS from being sent.

Probably the best way to determine if the problem isn’t related to an individual number is to just send an SMS to another number. If the message proceeds, your problem is no more. If it doesn’t, well, continue reading.

Solution 2: Check your SIM card

You won’t be able to send SMS messages if there’s something wrong with your SIM card. First thing first, check if the signal bars aren’t low. In case there’s no signal, go somewhere else and try to catch it. Also, your carrier could be experiencing technical difficulties, in which case all you can do is wait.

On top of that, make sure your SIM card is placed properly. Open the SIM card tray and look whether the SIM card is firmly in its predicted position.

Solution 3: Make sure SMS is enabled

Now, this one’s a little tricky. If you’re trying to send an SMS to a person who doesn’t use iMessage, you can skip this step. However, if you’re trying to send a regular SMS to an iMessage user, your iPhone will automatically perceive it as an iMessage message. So, if you’re not properly connected to the internet, or you had iMessage disabled, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to send an SMS.

But there’s a simple solution to this confusing situation. All you need to do is to ‘tell’ your iPhone to send a message as an SMS if it fails to send it through iMessage.

Here’s how to make sure SMS is enabled:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Messages.
  3. Enable the Send as SMS option.

Solution 4: Reboot your iPhone

As generic as it sounds, rebooting your iPhone may resolve all sorts of issues. So, before making any radical changes, it’s always a good idea to reboot your device and see if the problem persists.

To reboot your iPhone, press and hold the Side button + the Volume Up button at the same time until the Power off slider appears. Now, just drag the slider to the right, and wait for your iPhone to turn off. Once your iPhone boots back up, try sending an SMS message to see if the problem is still there.

Solution 5: Check for updates

No iPhone feature is safe from iOS updates. Although updates are meant to improve the OS and make its apps and services run better, it’s common for some updates to disrupt a certain feature. That’s why it’s possible that the latest iOS update you installed on your iPhone actually broke the Messages app.

If that’s the case, you can’t do much about it (unless there’s a recommended solution, so make sure to look it up). You’ll have to wait for Apple to fix the problem and deliver it through future updates. Now, that may take days, but also months. We never know. You can only hope the update will arrive sooner rather than later.

Solution 6: Reset Network settings

If none of the solutions I listed above resolved the problem with sending SMS messages from your iPhone, try resetting the network settings. Just keep in mind this will reset all your network settings, so you’ll have to set everything up from scratch.

Here’s how to reset network settings on the iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to General > Reset.
  3. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  4. Enter your passcode to confirm.

That’s about it. I hope at least one of these solutions helped with the problem, and that you’re now able to send SMS messages from your iPhone. If you want to discuss this issue further, but also find more articles like this, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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