Fix: “Sent As Text Message” in iMessage on iPhone or iPad?

sent as text message

Apple users heavily rely on the company’s iMessage facility for messaging purposes. But if the message gets sent as text message instead of being delivered as a normal iMessage, it confuses the users. If you are also getting this issue with your iOS device where the messages are being sent as normal SMS text messages, then this specific article is for you. Here I have discussed all the possible things that you should know about the scenario and why your messages are being sent as text messages.

sent as text message

Text message VS iMessages

Both normal iMessages and text messages (SMS) can be sent using iMessage. iMessage is a modern messaging app that you can consider more like a social media app exclusive to Apple users. iMessage, in normal conditions, works as a modern messaging app where you can send and receive almost all kinds of data e.g. text, images, videos, payments, etc. This takes up your internet bandwidth for this communication.

On the other hand, the normal text message (also known as SMS) is a traditional form of messaging where only normal text messages can be sent and received. This doesn’t require an internet connection. Instead, this service is served directly by your carrier provider and charges for that. The messaging that you do on a feature phone is actually this service.

Sent as text message VS Delivered

Now, the iMessage has a specialty that it can serve as both, a traditional messaging app and as a modern messaging app, depending on your network conditions. That means you can use iMessage for both types of messaging i.e. SMS and modern messaging.

If you use modern messaging, the iMessage shows that message in a Blue message bubble whereas the message that has been sent as a normal text shows in a Green message bubble. This is how you can differentiate b/w these two types of messages on iMessage.

The normal iMessage text, when delivered, gets a small label under the message bubble with the tag “Delivered” whereas the SMS text messages when sent with iMessage, show either no status or the “Sent as text message” under the message bubble.

Why messages are being sent as text in iMessage?

As I told you, iMessage can send messages as both normal and SMS. But by default, it prefers to use the former one and the latter one is opted by the app in cases there is something wrong with the normal iMessage service or your network connection.

However, you can disable this feature of iMessage to send the message as SMS. I’ll be showing you how later in this guide. But since iMessage is sending the message as SMS and is using your cellular service to fulfill the purpose, it may charge extra to the users depending on what carrier plan they are using.

And if iMessage is sending SMSes instead of normal iMessages, then there is definitely something that you need to pay attention to in order to solve it.

This can happen due to a number of reasons. The possible reasons can be:

  • iMessage service is down.
  • Your Wi-Fi is not working.
  • Your cellular data is not working (if you use that).
  • The recipient is no more on iMessage.
  • You’ve been blocked on iMessage.

How to Fix if message is being sent as text message on iMessage

Fix 1: Check if iMessage is down

If the iMessage service is not functioning properly and is currently down, then it can be the reason for your messages being sent as an SMS text instead of normal iMessages. In such a case you can’t actually do anything as the company itself is responsible for the issue and you’ll have to wait for the service to go up again. In order to check if the Apple services are working properly, head over to the Apple System Status page and if the iMessage block is having a green dot next to it, then the service is working properly.

iMessage service status

Fix 2: Disable Send as SMS

Apple lets you decide whether you want iMessage to send the SMS text message as an alternative when the iMessage is not working for some reason. If you don’t want to send the messages as text in iMessage in any situation, then you can turn the Send as SMS feature off. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iOS device (iPad or iPhone).

iphone settings
iphone settings

Step 2: In settings, scroll down a bit and go to Messages.

messages iphone

Step 3: On the Messages settings page, look for the Send as SMS option and switch its toggle to off.

disable send as sms

Once done, your iMessage will not send the message as an SMS in situations where the normal iMessage message is not able to be delivered.

Fix 3: Check your internet connection

In case, if your internet connection is not working properly, iMessage will send the message as simple text SMS via your carrier network as the internet network is unavailable, making the app not use the Apple iMessage service. Hence it is advised to check your internet connection.

If you are on mobile data, consider switching the Airplane mode on and off to refresh the carrier network. If you are using a Wi-Fi connection, try to reboot your router to refresh its connection.

Fix 4: Enable iMessage

It is possible that you have disabled iMessage on your iOS device. In this case, you’ll not be able to use the iMessage services instead, it will act as a normal messaging app that uses the carrier’s SMS facility. To enable iMessage:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iOS device.

iphone settings
iphone settings

Step 2: In settings, scroll down a bit and go to Messages.

messages iphone

Step 3: On the Messages settings page, look for the iMessage option and switch its toggle to on.

enable imessage iphone

Fix 5: Contact the recipient

It is possible that the person you are trying to send the iMessage is not more using the service because of the possible reason that he has moved to some other platform like Android. It is also possible that the recipient has disabled iMessage on its iOS device or has blocked you specifically on iMessage. Hence you can try contacting that person and ask him if this is the case.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does “Sent as text message” mean?

If you are getting the “Sent as text message” status written under the sent message in the iMessages app, this means that the message that you have sent has not been delivered to the recipient via the iMessage service. Instead, it has been delivered via the carrier’s SMS facility.

Does “Sent as text message” mean I am blocked?

Yes, it is possible in some cases as it is one of the reasons why you may get the “Sent as text message” status in iMessage under the sent message. However, this may not be the case that you’ve been blocked as there are also other reasons why may end up seeing the “Sent as text message” status.

Does a green “Sent as text message” message mean you are blocked?

The messages that are sent as SMS text messages on iMessages appear in a green message bubble and hence if you are seeing a green message bubble then it is a normal text SMS text message that has been sent instead of a normal iMessage.

And if your messages are being sent as SMS text messages on iMessage, it is possible that you have been blocked by the recipient. However, there is no concrete evidence of this as there can also be other possible reasons for the green SMS text messages that are being sent on iMessage.

Bottom Line

With that said, here comes the end of this guide and I am hoping that this will have cleared almost all of your doubts regarding the “Sent as text message” iMessage status for the sent message. If you have some questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.

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Posted by
Bhanu Pratap

Hi! I am Bhanu Pratap, co-founder of Yorker Media Group. A die-heart fan of tech and keeps track of every little happening of the same. When not writing, I usually keep myself busy on YouTube making and exploring new and awesome tech content.

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