In this article we are taking a look at why sometimes iPhone sends iMessages as paid SMS Message and the steps to make sure iPhone sends iMessage and not SMS Message.
Why iPhone Sends iMessage as SMS Message
By default, iMessages are routed through Apple servers and are designed to make use of any available network (WiFi or Cellular), in order to quickly send your Messages.
This setup works well most of the times, allowing iPhone users to send Free and unlimited iMessages to other Apple device users.
However, in the following cases the Messages App on iPhone is unable to send free iMessages and ends up delivering your Messages as paid SMS/MMS Messages.
- Recipient is not using an Apple Device
- Recipient has turned OFF iMessage
- Recipient’s Phone is not connected to Internet
- Apple Servers are having a problem
How to Know Whether iPhone is Sending iMessage or SMS Message
Even before the message is sent from your iPhone, you can know whether your message is going as a free iMessage or paid SMS Message.
1. Start the Messages App on your iPhone
2. Tap on the Compose icon located at the top right corner of your screen to start a new Message.
3. On the new Message window, type the Name of the Contact that you want to send the Message to and observe the colour of your Contact’s name and the colour of the send button.
As you can see in the image above, If the name appears in Green you are sending a paid SMS/MMS Message and if the Name appears in Blue, you are sending a free iMessage.
Make Sure iPhone Sends iMessage and Not SMS
In case your iPhone is sending iMessages as paid SMS Messages, you can follow the steps below to fix the problem of iPhone sending SMS Messages, instead of sending them as free iMessages.
1. Disable Send As SMS Option
Your iPhone actually provides an option to prevent the possibility of iMessages being sent as paid SMS/MMS Messages.
1. Tap on Settings > Messages.
2. On the Messages screen, disable the option for Send as SMS by moving the toggle to OFF position.
Turning OFF the option to “Send as SMS” prevents your iPhone from sending iMessages as paid SMS Messages. The good thing about this setting is that you will still be able to send/receive SMS messages from Contacts who are not using Apple devices.
Disabling “Send as SMS” option, does not prevent you from sending Paid SMS/MMS Messages using your Carriers SMS messaging plan.
2. Check Apple ID Email Address
In order to send iMessages, your Apple ID email address needs to be listed as the Email Address where you can be reached at on your iPhone.
1. Tap on Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
2. On the next screen, make sure that your Apple ID email address is listed under “You Can be Reached By iMessage At” section.
3. Send Message to Email Address and Not Phone Number
In case you are still facing difficulty in sending iMessage, make sure that you are sending the Message to the recipient’s Email Address and not to a Phone Number. This is a good way of ensuring that your Message will only be sent as an iMessage.
If you are still having problems sending an iMessage, confirm that your recipient is still using an iPhone and has iMessage enabled on his/her iPhone.
4. Check iMessage Service Status
Like any other service iMessages might be experiencing outages, you can take a look at this support page by Apple to see the current system Status of Apple services.