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Archived - iPhone: Using Text Messages (SMS)

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

You can send and receive text messages anytime you’re in range of the cell network. If you can make a call, you can send a text message. All iPhone plans include a certain number of free text messages. Depending on your phone plan, you may be charged for additional message you send or receive.

You can send text messages to anyone with an SMS-capable phone. The recipient is notified of the message and can read it and reply at any time.You can also send text messages to multiple people at the same time.

Send a new text message

Tap , then enter a phone number or name, or tap and choose a contact from your contacts list. Type a message and tap Send.

The Text button on the Home screen shows the total number of unread text messages you have.

As you text back and forth with a person over time, your conversation is saved in the Text Messages list. Conversations that contain unread messages have a blue dot next to them. Tap a name in the list to see or add to that conversation.

Send a text message to multiple people

    Tap , then add people one at a time. If you enter a phone number manually (instead of selecting it from Contacts), you must tap Return before entering another entry.

    Note: Replies from any of the recipients are sent only to you; the other people you texted won’t see anyone else’s reply.

Reply to a text message or send one to someone you’ve texted before

    Tap a name or phone number in the Text Messages list, then type a message and tap Send.

Delete a conversation from the Text Messages list

    Tap Edit, then tap next to a conversation and tap Delete.

    You can also delete a conversation by swiping left or right over a conversation and tapping Delete.

Send a text message to someone in your favorites list or to a recent caller

    From the Home screen tap Phone, then tap Favorites or Recents. Tap next to a name or number and tap Text Message.

Call or email someone you’ve texted

    Tap a message in the Text Messages list. Scroll to the top of the conversation and tap Call to call the person. Tap Contact Info, then tap an email address to send an email. The person’s email address must already be in your contacts list.

Follow a link in a message

    Tap the link. Tap a web address to open a webpage in Safari, a phone number to make a call, an email address to open a preaddressed email in Mail, or a street address to see a map in Maps. To return to your text messages, press the Home button and tap Text.

Add information in a link to a contact, or see the contact information of the person associated with the link

    Tap next to the message.

Add someone you’ve texted to your contacts list

    Tap a name or phone number in the Text Messages list, then tap “Add to Contacts.”

Set whether iPhone makes an alert sound when you get a text message

    From the Home screen choose Settings > Sounds, then turn New Text Message on or off.

    If the Ring/Silent switch is off, iPhone won’t make alert sounds even if they’re turned on in Settings.

Last Modified: Feb 18, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Feb 18, 2012
  • Article: TA38622
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