What Does “Sent as Text Message” Mean on iPhone 12? Explained

When you see “sent as text message” on your iPhone 12, it means your message was sent using SMS instead of iMessage. This usually happens when the recipient doesn’t have an iPhone or there’s no internet connection. Now, let’s dive into the details and figure out the hows and whys, shall we?

Step by Step Tutorial: What Does “Sent as Text Message” Mean on iPhone 12

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand that the following steps will help you discern why your message was sent as an SMS rather than an iMessage, and what you can do about it.

Step 1: Check the recipient’s device

If the recipient doesn’t have an iPhone, your message will automatically be sent as an SMS.

iMessage is exclusive to Apple devices, so if your friend or family member is using an Android or another non-Apple device, your iPhone 12 is smart enough to switch to SMS. This way, you can still keep in touch, even if they’re not part of the Apple ecosystem.

Step 2: Check your internet connection

iMessage needs the internet to work, so if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data, your message will go as an SMS.

If you’re out of Wi-Fi range or your cellular data is off, your iPhone will send your message as a text to make sure it still gets delivered. Just remember that SMS messages may be part of a limited plan and could incur charges, unlike iMessages, which are free.

Step 3: Check the recipient’s internet connection

The recipient may be out of internet coverage, prompting your iPhone to send an SMS instead.

Even if you’re connected to the internet, if the person you’re messaging can’t receive iMessages at the moment, your iPhone will send an SMS. It’s all about making sure your message gets through, one way or another.

Step 4: Check your iMessage settings

Sometimes, iMessage might be turned off, either by accident or on purpose, and your messages will send as SMS.

Go to Settings > Messages and make sure iMessage is toggled on. If it’s off, just switch it on and you should be back to sending those blue-bubble messages in no time.

Step 5: Check for a system outage

On rare occasions, Apple’s iMessage system might be down, which would mean messages send as SMS until the service is restored.

You can check the Apple System Status page to see if iMessage is operational. If it’s not, just wait it out, and your messages will go back to being iMessages once the system is back up.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a better understanding of why your message was sent as an SMS. Remember, SMS messages are just as effective at getting your message across, they just lack some of the features of iMessages, like read receipts and full-quality photo sharing.

Tips: Navigating “Sent as Text Message” on iPhone 12

  • Ensure your iPhone 12 is always connected to the internet to take full advantage of iMessage.
  • Remember that SMS messages may count towards your messaging plan while iMessages do not.
  • Keep your iMessage toggled on unless you have a specific reason to turn it off.
  • Regularly check the Apple System Status page if you’re experiencing persistent issues with iMessage.
  • If you’re messaging someone with a non-Apple device, expect your messages to be sent as SMS.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an iMessage and an SMS?

An iMessage is sent over the internet and can only be received by Apple devices, while an SMS is a text message that can be sent to any phone.

Will an SMS message cost me money?

Depending on your phone plan, SMS messages may be limited and could incur additional charges, unlike iMessages, which are free when sent over Wi-Fi.

Can I force my iPhone to send an SMS?

Yes, by holding down on the message bubble before sending, you can choose to send as a text message, bypassing iMessage.

Why are some of my messages blue and others green?

Blue messages are iMessages, and green ones are SMS texts. It’s an easy visual indicator to show you which type of message was sent.

Can I send photos and videos as an SMS?

You can, but they might be compressed and of lower quality compared to sending through iMessage.


  1. Check the recipient’s device type.
  2. Ensure you’re connected to the internet.
  3. Confirm the recipient has internet access.
  4. Verify iMessage is enabled in your settings.
  5. Check for any system outages affecting iMessage.


So, there you have it! “Sent as text message” on your iPhone 12 isn’t anything to worry about. It’s just your phone’s way of making sure your message gets delivered, even if it can’t go as an iMessage. Whether you’re out of service, the recipient isn’t on an Apple device, or iMessage is down for the count, your iPhone has got your back. Keep these tips and steps in mind, and you’ll always know what’s happening with your messages. And who knows, maybe next time you’ll be the one explaining to your friends what “sent as text message” means on iPhone 12. Keep texting, and stay connected!

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