How to Send Text Messages Instead of iMessages on an iPhone

The difference between text messages and iMessages can be difficult to grasp, as the only indicator that there’s really a difference is the color around the message in your conversation.

You might need to know how to send text messages instead of iMessages on an iPhone if your iMessages aren’t being sent. Your iPhone is capable of sending two different kind of messages from the Messages app. You have probably noticed this before, as some of the messages that you send will show up with a green background, while some have a blue background.

The messages that have the green background are regular SMS text messages, and they are for conversations that take place with people using non-Apple products, such as an Android or Blackberry device. Messages with the blue background are with people using iOS devices, such as an iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, who also have the iMessage feature enabled on their phone.

iMessage is great if you use more than one Apple product, or if you have a limit on the number of text messages that you can send. But if you share an iPad or Mac computer with another person, you might not want them to see your iMessages on that device. The solution to this is to turn off the iMessage feature on your iPhone, and instead send everything from the Messages app as a text message.

How to Turn Off iMessage and Only Send Text Messages on an iPhone

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select the Messages option.
  3. Tap the button to the right of iMessage to turn it off.

Our article continues below with additional information on turning off iMessage on your iPhone, including pictures of these steps.

How to Send a Text Message Instead of iMessage on an iPhone

The steps and images below will work for iPhone models using iOS 7 or higher. Note that this is a feature that you can turn on or off at any time. So if you decide later that you want to use iMessage again, you can simply follow the steps in this article to return to the same menu and turn iMessage back on.

Step 1: Tap the Settings icon.

touch the settings icon

Step 2: Scroll down and select the Messages option.

select the Messages option

Step 3: Touch the slider button to the right of iMessage to turn it off.

You will know that it is turned off when there is no green shading around the button, as in the image below.

how to use text messages instead of imessage on an iphone

Note that there is also an option on this menu called Send as SMS. If you wish to keep iMessage enabled on your iPhone, then turning on that setting will allow your iPhone to send a message as an SMS if it’s unable to complete the iMessage send for some reason.

One other useful option is the ability to put a conversation into “do not disturb” mode. You can do this by swiping left on a conversation and tapping the bell icon.

If you are trying to use text messages instead of iMessages because you are having difficulty with the service, then check out this support article from Apple. The iMessage service rarely goes down, so if you are experiencing extended difficulties it is worth contacting your cellular provider to see if they can help you to resolve the issue.

Do you need to know what time you received a text message? Learn how to find a text message timestamp on an iPhone by finding some information in your message conversation.

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