iOS: Troubleshooting Messages
iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Learn how to troubleshoot issues with the Messages application on iOS devices.
If you can't send or receive messages
- Restart your device.
- Update to the latest iOS Software.
- If you are trying to send a message to multiple recipients and you type in each contact manually instead of using the contacts list, make sure you tap return instead of space to separate each one.
The following table shows the requirements and capabilities of Messages on iOS.
|Device Required||iOS Required||Connectivity Required||Recipient Types Allowed||Content Types Allowed|
|SMS||iPhone||1.0 and later||Cellular||Phone number||Text only|
|MMS||iPhone 3G and later||3.1 and later||Cellular data||Phone number||Text, audio1, photos, and video|
|iMessage||iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch||5.0 and later||Cellular data or Wi-Fi||Phone number or email address||Text, audio1, photos, and video|
If you still can't send or receive SMS or MMS messages
- See the iPhone Troubleshooting Assistant.
- Verify that every phone number in your contacts list includes an area code.
- When sending to existing contacts, ensure that your contacts include the full phone number, and not just the information needed to dial locally.
- If you have recently ported your number from another carrier, please contact your current carrier to verify that the porting process has completed successfully.
If you still can't send or receive MMS messages
- To send and receive MMS messages on your iPhone, verify that your wireless carrier supports MMS2.
- Ensure that MMS Messaging is turned on in Settings > Messages.
- Verify that your phone is able to access cellular data.
- Some carriers allow you to edit your APN (Access Point Name), which may prevent MMS from working.
- If you are roaming outside your calling area, make sure you have Data Roaming turned on in Settings > General > Cellular to send or receive MMS content.
- While on a phone call, you will be unable to send or receive MMS messages when using an EDGE, GPRS, or any CDMA cellular data network. After the phone call ends, you will receive any incoming messages. If you tried to send an MMS message, you may need to send it again.
- If the issue persists and your wireless carrier has confirmed that your wireless account is provisioned2 for MMS, restore the iPhone.
If you still can't send or receive iMessages
- Ensure that iMessage is turned on in Settings > Messages.
- To send and receive iMessages, your device must have a valid cellular or Wi-Fi data connection.
- iMessage registration validates your Apple ID for use with iMessage. If you are unable to activate iMessage, follow this article.
- If iMessage is unavailable either on the sending or receiving device, SMS will be used. You can turn this on or off in Settings > Messages > Send As SMS. Carrier messaging rates may apply.
- Verify that the Apple ID or phone number is listed in Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
Note: To receive iMessages sent to your phone number on your iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, you must meet the following requirements:
- iPad or iPod touch using iOS 6 or a Mac using OS X 10.8.2.
- Verify that you are signed in to your Apple ID account on Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
- Note: When using a China Telecom or au (KDDI) iPhone, you can activate iMessage only while on your home network. While traveling internationally, you will be unable to activate iMessage.
- Learn how to troubleshoot iMessage activation.
- Find information about linking your phone number to an Apple ID for use with FaceTime and iMessage.
- If SMS or MMS messages you send are not displayed correctly on other devices, see this article.
- If you receive a message that your mailbox is almost full in the Messages application, ensure that you are using the latest version of iOS. If you continue to receive the prompt, delete some messages. You can delete a conversation by swiping left or right over a conversation and tapping Delete. For other ways to delete a conversation, see the User's Guide.
- If you plan on transferring your SIM card or phone number from an iPhone to a device that does not support iMessage, turn off iMessage in Settings > Messages first. If you do not, other iOS devices may continue to try to send a message using iMessage first, instead only using SMS or MMS.
- Audio content, while viewable in the Messages application, cannot be saved outside the application.
- If your iPhone meets the system requirements, your wireless account may still need to be provisioned to send and receive MMS messages. Many carriers will automatically provision your wireless account for MMS when you first send an MMS message. Other carriers will provision customers' wireless accounts for MMS automatically in large groups at different times. If necessary, check with your carrier to confirm that you are provisioned to send or receive MMS messages.