Why is My iMessage Sent as a Text Message on iPhone? Common Causes

Have you ever sent an iMessage from your iPhone, only to see it turn into a text message? It’s a common issue that can leave you scratching your head, wondering what just happened. Well, in this article, we’re going to dive into the nitty-gritty of why your iMessage was sent as a text message and what you can do about it. So, buckle up and let’s get started!

After reading this article, you will understand the reasons behind the switch from iMessage to text message, and learn how to prevent it from happening in the future.


Have you ever been in the middle of an iMessage conversation when, out of nowhere, your messages start sending as regular text messages? If so, you’re not alone. This is a common occurrence for many iPhone users, and it can be pretty frustrating. But why does it happen? Understanding the intricacies of the iMessage service and the circumstances that can trigger this switch is crucial for iPhone users who rely on this feature for their daily communication.

iMessage is Apple’s messaging service that allows users to send texts, photos, videos, and more to other Apple devices over Wi-Fi or cellular data. It’s known for its blue bubble in text threads, which differentiates it from the green bubble of regular text messages (SMS). The switch from iMessage to text message can occur for various reasons, such as network issues, incorrect settings, or even problems with Apple’s servers.

This topic is particularly important because iMessage offers several advantages over traditional text messaging, such as encryption, read receipts, and the ability to message over Wi-Fi. So, when an iMessage is sent as a text message, it can disrupt the seamless communication experience iPhone users are accustomed to.

Step by Step Tutorial: Understanding Why Your iMessage was Sent as a Text Message

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to achieve. We’re going to explore the potential reasons why your iMessage was sent as a text message and provide solutions to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Step 1: Check Your Internet Connection

Ensure your device is connected to a stable Wi-Fi or cellular network.

A weak or unstable internet connection is one of the main reasons an iMessage might be sent as a text message. iMessage requires an internet connection to work, so if your Wi-Fi or cellular data isn’t working properly, your iPhone might switch to SMS automatically.

Step 2: Confirm iMessage is Enabled

Navigate to Settings > Messages and ensure the iMessage toggle is switched on.

Sometimes iMessage can be accidentally turned off, which would cause messages to be sent as SMS. Double-checking this setting can help you rule out this possibility.

Step 3: Check the Recipient’s Device

Confirm that the person you’re messaging has an Apple device with iMessage enabled.

iMessage only works between Apple devices. If the recipient’s device isn’t an Apple product or their iMessage is turned off, your message will be sent as an SMS.

Additional Reasons Why an iMessage Might Be Sent as a Text Message

Everyone’s access to iMessage is currently unavailable.

While this is extremely rare, it does occur. Apple’s iMessage service is one that is supported.

This, like many other Internet-based features, can occasionally cease operating properly.

In such cases, a message that would have previously been delivered as an iMessage will now be transmitted as a conventional SMS text message.

You may validate that the iMessage service is operational by visiting Apple’s System Status page.

You or the Recipient Purchased a New Phone

When switching phones, or upgrading to a new iPhone, it can take some time for everything to update.

It is also conceivable that a setting must be changed. Some settings to keep an eye out for are:

Check that iMessage is turned on by navigating to Settings > Messages > and looking for the iMessage option. If it’s turned on, try turning it off and on again.

Confirm that Cellular Data or Mobile Data is enabled. This can be found in Settings > Cellular > and validate that Cellular Data is enabled.

Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update and confirm that no updates are available. If they exist, download and install them.

Check that you’re using automatic time. This may be found by going to Settings > General > Date & Time > and ensuring that Set Automatically is enabled.

The recipient’s phone may be turned off or have a low battery.

If the iMessage service is unable to reach the recipient’s phone because it is switched off, the message cannot be sent. This can prompt the iMessage service to assume something is wrong and transmit the message as an SMS instead.

While this is more prevalent when a phone is turned off, it is possible that it will occur if the phone’s battery is also very low. This can result in unexpected actions, such as iMessage failure.

You Might Be Blocked

Many people will believe they have been blocked if they see a green notification instead of a blue one.

This is most likely not the case. While it is usual for people to block spammers, telemarketers, or other strangers with whom they have no interest in talking, it is far less typical for people to ban people they know in real life and with whom they have an existing relationship.

Most people will not block you at random, so you may need to investigate what transpired to lead that person to block you.

You might also attempt to contact the recipient and see what happens. If you are blocked, the call will be routed to voicemail.


Encrypted MessagingiMessage encrypts messages end-to-end, meaning only the sender and the recipient can read them. This provides a higher level of security compared to standard text messages.
No Charges for MessagingiMessage uses an internet connection, so you don’t incur SMS charges, which is especially beneficial for international communication.
Feature-Rich CommunicationiMessages come with a range of features like read receipts, typing indicators, and the ability to send photos, videos, and other multimedia without quality loss.


Requires InternetiMessage needs an internet connection to work, so if you’re in an area with poor Wi-Fi or cellular service, you won’t be able to send or receive iMessages.
Limited to Apple DevicesAs iMessage is exclusive to Apple devices, it limits who you can communicate with using this service.
Potential for GlitchesiMessage is not immune to technical issues, such as server problems or bugs, which can sometimes cause messages to be sent as SMS unexpectedly.

Additional Information

When dealing with the switch from iMessage to text message, it’s also worth considering the recipient’s status. If the person you’re trying to message has recently switched from an iPhone to a non-Apple device without deactivating iMessage, your iPhone might still try to send an iMessage to their number, even though their new device doesn’t support it. This can cause the message to be sent as an SMS.

Another important tip is to ensure that your device’s software is up to date. Sometimes, a simple software update can fix any underlying issues that might be causing iMessages to be sent as text messages. To check for updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Lastly, if you’ve tried all the above steps and your iMessages are still being sent as text messages, contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store might be your best bet. There could be a more complex issue at play that requires professional assistance.


  1. Check your internet connection.
  2. Confirm iMessage is enabled in your iPhone settings.
  3. Ensure the recipient has an Apple device with iMessage activated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my iMessage turn green?

Your iMessage turned green because it was sent as an SMS, which can happen if there’s an issue with your internet connection, iMessage is turned off, or the recipient doesn’t have an Apple device with iMessage enabled.

Can I force an iMessage to send as a text message?

Yes, you can. If an iMessage fails to send, simply press and hold the message, and select “Send as Text Message” from the options.

Will I be charged for sending an iMessage?

No, iMessages are sent over an internet connection, so there are no SMS charges associated with them. However, if an iMessage is sent as a text message, standard messaging rates may apply.

How do I know if my message was sent as an iMessage or SMS?

iMessages appear in blue bubbles, while SMS messages appear in green bubbles in the Messages app on your iPhone.

Can I send an iMessage to someone with an Android phone?

No, iMessage is exclusive to Apple devices. Messages sent to Android phones will be SMS, displayed in green bubbles.


In conclusion, having your iMessage sent as a text message can be a real pain, but it’s usually a problem that’s easily solved. Whether it’s a matter of checking your internet connection, ensuring your settings are correct, or confirming the recipient’s device compatibility, you can usually get your iMessage back on track with a few simple steps.

Remember, communication is key, and with iMessage, you want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the seamless, feature-rich experience it offers. So the next time your iMessage turns into a green bubble, take a deep breath, run through these troubleshooting tips, and you’ll be back to those blue bubbles in no time.