Full Guide to iMessage Sent as Text Message

Are you seeing “Sent As Text Message” underneath your iMessages? What does sent as a text message mean on iMessage? And how can you send iMessages again? This guide will answer these questions for you.

Demi by Demi Updated November 21, 2023
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In the world of messaging, both iMessages and text messages serve as primary means of communication for iPhone users. Occasionally, you might encounter instances where a message “Sent as Text Message” under your iMessage, often leading to confusion.

imessage sent as a text message

This guide provides an overview of iMessages and text messages, discusses common scenarios leading to iMessage sent as text messages, and offers quick fixes for this issue.

Overviews of iMessage and text message

Firstly, let’s have an overview of iMessage and text message, as well as instructions on how to change text message to iMessage and vice versa.

Difference between iMessage and text message
iMessage is an Apple service for iPhone users to send texts, photos, and more to other Apple devices using Wi-Fi or cellular data. It offers encryption, read receipts, and multimedia messaging at no extra cost.

Text message (SMS) is a standard text service on mobile phones, limited to 160 characters and sent through cellular carriers. It lacks the advanced features of iMessage but serves as a reliable communication method.

message color

How to switch between iMessage and text message
iPhone offers you a manual way to switch between iMessage and text message, so you can change text message to iMessage and vice versa. Here is how you can make it.

On your iPhone Settings app > Scroll down and select Messages > From here, you can choose to toggle on or off the switch next to iMessage to change text message to iMessage or vice versa.

enable imessage

Common scenarios when iMessage says sent as a text message

What does “Sent As a Text Message” mean on iMessage? Literally speaking, your iPhone was delivered as a regular SMS text. When iPhone text green to another one, this could be due to a lack of Wi-Fi connection, messaging a non-iOS device, or in some cases, being blocked. Let’s detail every common scenario when iMessage sent as a text message.

Scenario 1. You messaged a non-iOS device.
iMessage works exclusively between iOS devices. When you message a non-iOS device, like an Android, the blue text bubble changes to green, indicating a regular text. If the recipient switches from an iOS to a non-iOS device, iMessage won't function between your devices.

iphone to android

Scenario 2. The recipient doesn’t have Wi-Fi
iMessages are sent via Wi-Fi. If the recipient isn't connected to the internet, the iMessage might be delivered as an SMS text instead. You can attempt to resend it later to check if it goes through as an iMessage.

If your iPhone isn’t connected to the Internet, you may receive the iMessage Not Delivered notification underneath the message.

check the wifi

Scenario 3. The recipient’s iPhone was powered off.
If the recipient's device is turned off, you might notice "Sent As Text Message." Perhaps the recipient simply needs to recharge their device before they can receive iMessages again. Wait and try sending your message later when they've had a chance to power their device back on.

Scenario 4. You may be blocked.
iMessage sent as a text message consistently might indicate that you've been blocked. Although there's no foolproof way to confirm if someone blocked you on iMessage, consistently seeing your messages as green with a known iOS user could be a hint.

Quick fixes to iMessage sent as a text message

If you find that iMessage sent as a text message all the time, it seems that there is something wrong that prevents you from sending iMessage on your iPhone. To troubleshoot the issue, try the following solutions listed below.

1# Check network connection

iMessage relies on an active internet connection for proper functionality. When your iPhone encounters network issues, the Messages app may send SMS/MMS in a Green bubble rather than a Blue one.

Once you've established a functional internet connection, attempt to send a text message as an iMessage. If issues persist, consider resetting the network settings on your iPhone.

To reset network settings, go to Settings > Tap General >Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone Reset > Choose Reset Network Settings. When it is finished, enter the Wi-Fi passcode to rejoin the Wi-Fi to see if it resolves the issue.

reset network settings

2# Disable Send iMessage as text

If the Messages app can't send an iMessage, it automatically sends it as a standard SMS or MMS. If you have a limited SMS plan, you should disable this option in your Settings.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone > Scroll down to select Messages > Toggle off the switch next to Send as SMS.

turn off send as sms

3# Ask the recipient to enable the Internet connection

When the recipient's phone has no internet connection, your iPhone will send an iMessage as a text message. You should prompt the person to enable their internet connection to resume using iMessage.

4# Re-authenticate Apple account

Have you recently updated your Apple account password? Sometimes, due to an account authentication error, iOS might disable services like iMessage on your iPhone. To resolve this, sign out of your Apple account and then sign back in using the updated details.

Head to the iPhone Settings app > Tap [your name] > Scroll down and click Sign Out.  Wait for seconds, and sign in to your Apple ID again to check whether your issue gets fixed.

sign out apple id


iMessages and text messages are essential modes of communication for iPhone users. However, experiencing iMessages sent as a text message can be frustrating. Understanding common scenarios that prompt this switch and applying quick fixes can often resolve the issue.

Ensuring a stable internet connection, verifying settings, and employing troubleshooting steps can help you successfully send and receive messages using iMessage. Remember, if persistent issues arise, seeking assistance from Apple Support can provide further guidance in resolving iMessage-related problems.

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