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How to Send an iMessage as a Text Message



iMessage is a handy way to send free text and picture messages to other iPhone and iPad users, but occasionally the iPhone can’t send an iMessage.

When the iMessage fails to send or gets stuck due to poor coverage it is possible to force the iMessage to Send as Text Message.

This works great for areas of low signal strength, sporting arenas with a lot of signal congestion or other areas where iMessages just won’t send.

Here’s how to force iMessage to send a single message as a text message and how to set up the iPhone to automatically send a message as a text if the iMessage fails.

How to send iMessage as a Text

If there is a message that is refusing to send tap and hold on the message.

Send as Txt

Once the options appear above tap Send as Text Message.

How to Enable Send as a Text Automatically

If iMessages not sending on the iPhone is a common problem it can be enabled that they automatically send as a txt when they refuse to send.

Tap Settings.


Scroll down and Select Messages.

MessagesTurn Send as SMS to ON.

Send as SMS

This way all of the iMessages that are unable to send will automatically send as a text.

Keeping this feature enabled is great for whenever iMessage goes down so that the messages will go through no matter what.

Our Editor Josh Smith used this feature to communicate with friends and family during a recent storm that brought the cell phone networks in Ohio to a crawl.





  1. Barbara Domotor

    09/30/2012 at 9:03 pm

    I don’t have the button on my iPad that says s(send as SMS) how do I get this on my iPad????

    • Elie

      11/23/2012 at 2:19 pm

      Because you can’t send SMS on iPad this is only for iPhone

  2. Yelin chen

    11/16/2012 at 5:23 pm

    Yes, I have same problem.

  3. Johnny

    12/24/2012 at 9:28 am

    i have an iphone without a simcard. (to do with registering foreign phones) I have no trouble sending imessages to my friends with Itouches but with my friend who has an iphone, i cant send imessages, only text messages (which fail because i have no sim). I set him in contacts w/ only his email, no phone number, so why wont it work? weve tryed enableing and dissabling everything in the messages section of settings. Also mine is 4th gen his is 3GS if that could cause trouble. also he was maybe using 3g that might effect it…. basicaly could you tell me how to set a contact that will receive imessages and if not help me in thinking of other possible solutions. Thanks!

  4. Elizabeth

    04/09/2013 at 4:30 pm

    I’m still having a problem, but only to one contact. I changed my sim and removed contact from my contact list, turnedon iMessage. I also rebooted my phone and updated my software to 6.1.3.. Please help!!

  5. [email protected]

    09/17/2014 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks so much for this info…been trying to work this issue all night and finally came across your post!

  6. Conan

    12/29/2015 at 6:07 pm

    still says undeliverable

  7. [email protected]

    05/22/2016 at 5:51 am

    This does not work.

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