How to Make iPhone Messages Text Instead of iMessage: A Guide

Turning off iMessage and sending texts instead is simple. Just head into your iPhone settings, navigate to the Messages section, and toggle off the iMessage feature. Your messages will now be sent as standard text messages, which can be helpful if you’re messaging someone without an Apple device or if you’re experiencing connectivity issues.

After completing this action, your messages will be sent as SMS texts, which will be indicated by green message bubbles instead of the usual blue for iMessages. This means your messages will go through your carrier’s text plan and may incur charges, depending on your plan.


Texting has become a staple of modern communication, with billions of messages sent every day. For iPhone users, iMessage is a popular feature that allows for free messaging over Wi-Fi or cellular data. However, there are situations where you might want to send a regular text message instead. Maybe you’re messaging someone who doesn’t have an iPhone, or perhaps you’re in an area with poor internet connectivity.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to know how to switch between iMessage and standard text messaging to ensure your messages are always delivered. This guide is relevant to any iPhone user who wants to have more control over how they send messages, especially those who frequently communicate with non-iPhone users or have limited internet access.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Make iPhone Messages Text Instead of iMessage

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to achieve. By turning off iMessage, your iPhone will default to sending standard SMS text messages. This can be useful in various scenarios, such as when you’re trying to conserve data or ensuring compatibility with non-iPhone users.

Step 1: Open Settings

Navigate to your iPhone’s main settings menu to begin the process.

Opening Settings is your gateway to modifying all kinds of features on your iPhone, including message settings.

Step 2: Scroll to Messages

Scroll down and find the ‘Messages’ option to adjust your messaging preferences.

The Messages section is where you’ll find all the settings related to iMessage and text messaging.

Step 3: Toggle Off iMessage

Find the iMessage toggle switch and turn it off to disable iMessage and send texts instead.

When you turn off iMessage, your phone will no longer send messages via Apple’s servers but will use your carrier’s SMS service instead.


Ensures DeliverySending texts ensures your message gets delivered even if the recipient doesn’t have an iMessage-capable device.
No Internet NeededTexts rely on your carrier’s signal, which can be more reliable than internet-dependent iMessage in some areas.
Avoids Potential ChargesIf you’re messaging internationally, texts can avoid the data charges that might apply to iMessage.


Additional ChargesDepending on your cellular plan, you may incur charges for sending texts, especially if you don’t have an unlimited texting plan.
No Read ReceiptsUnlike iMessage, standard texts don’t have a read receipt feature, so you won’t know if the recipient has seen your message.
Limited FeaturesText messaging lacks the rich features of iMessage, such as high-quality media sharing and message effects.

Additional Information

Remember, when you switch off iMessage, you’re not just changing how you send messages, but also how you receive them. Any messages sent to you will also be as SMS texts. Also, keep in mind that text messaging doesn’t support end-to-end encryption like iMessage, so your texts won’t be as secure. If you need to send sensitive information, you might want to use another secure platform.

Additionally, if you’re in a group chat that was using iMessage, you’ll need to start a new group thread for SMS texts, as the two services aren’t compatible. Lastly, remember to check your cellular plan for any potential fees associated with text messaging, and manage your usage accordingly to avoid surprises on your phone bill.


  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll to the Messages section.
  3. Toggle off the iMessage feature to send texts instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will turning off iMessage delete my message history?

No, turning off iMessage will not delete your existing message history. Your previous iMessages will remain accessible.

Can I still receive iMessages if I turn off iMessage?

No, if you turn off iMessage, you will not receive iMessages. Messages sent to you will be through SMS.

Will I be charged for sending text messages?

It depends on your carrier’s plan. Some plans include unlimited texting, while others charge per message or have a monthly limit.

Can I switch back to iMessage at any time?

Yes, you can re-enable iMessage at any time by going back to Settings and toggling it on.

Will turning off iMessage affect my other Apple devices?

Turning off iMessage on your iPhone will not directly affect your other Apple devices, but it may change how messages are delivered if they are linked through iCloud.


Understanding how to switch between iMessage and SMS texts on your iPhone is a valuable skill that can improve your communication flexibility. Whether you’re looking to ensure message delivery, save on data, or communicate with non-iPhone users, knowing how to make iPhone messages text instead of iMessage is a handy trick.

Remember to keep in mind the potential costs associated with text messaging, and don’t forget about the security implications when sending sensitive information. Happy texting!

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