Use these steps to stop your iPhone from sending iMessages as text messages.
- Open the “Settings” app.
- Scroll down and choose the “Messages” option.
- Tap the button to the right of “Send as SMS” to turn it off.
There won’t be any green shading around the button when this option is turned off. I have it turned off in the picture below.
The steps above were performed on an iPhone 11 in iOs 13.4.1. These steps will also work on other iPhone models using iOS 13, as well as most other recent versions of iOS.
The iMessage feature on your iPhone provides some additional messaging features that aren’t available with traditional SMS text messaging. This includes things like Apple Pay, animojis, and some other interesting options found in the Messages app.
You can tell if you have sent an iMessage because the shading around the message will be blue. Traditional SMS text messages have green shading around them.
But even if you and your recipient have iMessage enabled on your Apple devices, it’s possible that a message will be sent as an SMS. This can happen if iMessage is down, or if there is a network issue on the part of the sender.
Additionally, if the message was intended to be sent as an iMessage but was unable to do so, then there will be a little indication under the green message bubble stating that it was sent as an SMS instead.
In many cases this switch isn’t problematic, but you may prefer that you only send intended iMessages as iMessages, and that the iPhone not fallback to the SMS option.
Following the steps above will prevent your iPhone from sending your iMessage as a text message. Note that this may result in the message not being sent at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not necessarily. As mentioned previously, an iMessage sent as a text message is usually indicative of a network issue. If your iMessage doesn’t have a “Delivered” message underneath it, but previous ones in the conversation did, then this could be an indication that you have been blocked.
Any message sent to a non-Apple user will be sent as a text message. The iMessaging service is only available for Apple devices. But if the iMessage couldn’t be sent, or if the recipient doesn’t have iMessage enabled, then your iPhone will send it as a text message.
You can enable or disable iMessage by going to Settings > Messages and tapping the button next to iMessage at the top of the screen.
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Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.
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