How to Make iPhone Messages Text Instead of iMessage

by Avery Martin

The iMessage app provides a way to send encrypted messages to other iMessage users. Text messaging may incur additional per-text fees and doesn't use encryption, whereas iMessage uses cellular data to send messages. Sending messages solely over text requires you to completely disable your Wi-Fi and cellular data connection, or change a few settings within the Settings app. Although iMessage provides a simple, cost-effective way to send messages, sometimes it doesn't work as quickly or cleanly as a standard text message. You can either set the default setting to always use text-based messages or use a quick workaround to send a failed iMessage text using SMS.

Disable iMessage to Send as SMS

1

Tap the Settings app.

2

Select the "Messages" option.

3

Set the "iMessage" toggle switch to the "Off" position.

4

Set the "MMS Messaging" toggle switch to the "Off" position if you want to disable longer text messages, audio, photo and video capabilities as well.

5

Tap the Messages app and send your text message to a supported mobile phone.

Disable Wi-Fi and Cellular Data to Send as SMS

1

Tap the Settings app and select the "Wi-Fi" option.

2

Set the "Wi-Fi" toggle switch to the "Off" position.

3

Tap the "Settings" button at the top of the screen to return to the Settings page.

4

Choose the "General" option.

5

Select "Cellular" from the list of options.

6

Set the Cellular data toggle switch to the "Off" position.

7

Send your text message as normal. Provided you text to a phone that supports text messaging, the message gets sent as a SMS text.

Sending a Failed iMessage Text

1

Tap the Messages app.

2

Locate the text with the red alert button that indicates the iMessage didn't send correctly.

3

Double-tap the failed message's bubble.

4

Select the "Send as Text Message" option.

Warning

  • close Information in this article applies to iOS 6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for Education.com, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images