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Why is my iMessage Green? Here’s the answer

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Some users are wondering why iMessages sometimes turn green and they don’t get the Delivered tag underneath a message. The thing is rather simple and it has to do with the way iMessages and SMS are administered. If you are not sure why your iMessages are green, make sure to check the explanation below.

What does it mean when iMessage turns green?

When an iMessage turns green on your iPhone, it means that the message was sent as a standard SMS or MMS instead of an iMessage.

1. Difference between blue and green iMessages

Let’s go over the terms Apple uses here. iMessage has its own proprietary instant messaging service that uses a network (Wi-Fi or data) to send text messages, media, share location, and much more. It’s a part of the Messages app on every iPhone and works only (for the time being) in iPhone to iPhone conversations. And those come in blue bubbles and have encryption.

This speaks volumes about Apple’s closed ecosystem. Still, iMessages are probably something that Android can’t counter even with RCS Messages — a brilliant and convenient messaging service that has everything you need in one app.

Conveniently, the Messages app is not iMessages because not all messages are iMessages. Hope you are following. If there’s no network connection or you are messaging Android users, a regular, rather limited SMS or MMS is what’s being sent. These ones come in green bubbles, cost money depending on your carrier plan, and are not encrypted.

So, to conclude the difference between blue and green clouds in Apple Messages is:

  • Blue — iPhone-to-iPhone network-based messaging called iMessage with all bells and whistles and completely free.
  • Green — Classical GSM-based (cellular) SMS and MMS messages. They might include carrier fees.

2. How to Ensure that your iMessages are Blue

Now that you know what are the differences between iMessages and standard messages on an iPhone, you know why are your messages green. Either you sent them to an Android user or weren’t connected to a stable network while sending them to an iPhone user. This means that if an iMessage you’ve sent can’t be delivered, it automatically will switch to SMS. Thus, the green bubble message.

Alternatively, they might’ve disabled the iMessage function or even blocked you. You can disable both iMessage or Send as SMS features in Messages Settings. In this case, to avoid carrier fees and prevent SMS/MMS messages from being sent, you would probably want to disable Send as SMS feature.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Disable Send as SMS and MMS Messaging.
  4. Send iMessage and see if something changed.

Keep in mind that you’ll still receive SMS messages. If you are experiencing issues with iMessage, you can try some other instant messengers like Signal or Telegram that focus on privacy.

If you want to disable iMessage and stick to SMS messages for some reason, just navigate to Settings > Messages and toggle off iMessage. As simple as that.

That’s it. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions with us and our readers in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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