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iMessages not sending in iOS 7? Here’s what to do

Have you sent any iMessages recently and not heard back from the recipient? Or have you replied to an iMessage only to be met with radio silence on the other end? The good news is you’re probably not being ignored. The bad news is, undelivered iMessages seem to be a fairly common issue in iOS 7.

Many users have been reporting undelivered iMessages since upgrading to iOS 7. Apple itself has acknowledged the problem and is working to address it in a future software update. But until then, here are some steps you can take to make sure your messages don’t get lost in the digital ether.

Was your message delivered?

iOS 7 displays iMessages in blue and regular text messages in green, but just because your iMessage has appeared on your screen in a blue conversation bubble doesn’t mean it’s actually been sent. So the first thing to do is check whether your message went through, which is easier said than done.

Open up the message in question. Apple clearly marks some of your iMessages as “Delivered” right below the message itself, and even time-stamps certain messages. But it doesn’t do this for all of them, which is frustrating. If you don’t see a delivery notification beneath your message, tap on the message and hold your finger down for a second or so until some options appear. If you see an option to “Send as Text Message,” it means your iMessage hasn’t gone through.

iMessage sending

Additionally, any paused dialogue at the top of your screen that says “Sending…” is a good sign that your message is stuck in some sort of digital limbo. So now that you’ve identified which messages haven’t sent, what can you do about it?

Tinker with your settings

Some users are reporting that simply turning iMessage on and off will fix the problem. The same is being said for resetting your network settings. Here’s how to do both in one shot:

Reset Network Settings ios 7

Open up Settings, tap on Messages, then switch the toggle for iMessage to off (it will go from green to white). Then go back to the main Settings menu, tap General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Keep in mind that this will reboot your phone and require you to re-enter any Wi-Fi passwords.

Once that’s done, open up the Settings menu again, tap on Messages, and toggle iMessage back on. Now check to see if any previously undelivered messages have gone through.

Send it as a text

If that fails to do the trick, you still have another course of action to consider. Remember that tip from above — holding down a message to see if it was sent? As mentioned before, if your iMessage hasn’t gone through, you will be given the option to send your message as a regular text message. This will completely bypass the iMessage system and send the message through your mobile carrier. Just keep in mind this will count towards your carrier’s texting plan.

And if you don’t want to deal with iMessage at all until Apple issues a fix, texting is your best bet. You can turn iMessage off in the Settings menu and all of your messages will be sent as texts.

iMessage settings
Turn off iMessage to deliver your messages as texts.

41 Responses to “iMessages not sending in iOS 7? Here’s what to do”

  1. Dave Saunders

    As of today, all of my instances of iMessage (two Macs, iPhone and an iPad) will tell me my messages are Not Delivered, even though they are. I tried rebooting and resetting the network settings and it continues to happen.

  2. I had the same problem but followed the directions above and it fixed it !! I did however have to reset my online rounter information after re setting all things to factory.. I know get all texts by just following the directions above but I have the Iphone5c gold it has some glitches but have both ipad and iphone working with home computer just takes some resets on your settings :) good luck

  3. The communication bubble comes through from one contact when she is texting but then her text never comes though. Any thoughts on that? I have 5s and am getting all other iMessage but not hers!

  4. Well, this has been posted one month ago and I still having trouble with both iMessage and text messages NOT arriving, even though iMessage says “delivered”. I am on iOS7 with T-Mobile. It’s about time this gets fixed! I am sure T-Mobile is charging me for all those undelivered messages.

  5. I have an iphone 4 and have problems receiving text messages that are sent when my phone is switched off, i.e. when I put it on the messages don’t come through. I spoke to EE and they suggested holding down the power and home buttons together, but this hasn’t worked. Any other ideas as to what could be causing this?

  6. Hi ALL, IOS 7 = If it says ‘delivered’ under the blue iMessage, does it ALWAYS mean it has actually been delivered? Or could it have failed to be sent but still says ‘delivered?’Or could it be that the recipient accidentally (or intentionally?!) deleted it without reading it?

  7. The following suggestion from Ed worked for me: “If you are only an iPhone user switch to receive and send from your phone number and it works again. I suspect the multiple send and receive causes issues for some users” This has been a long day of ANSWERING MY OWN TEXTS Apple!

  8. mymoonmyman

    You might want to tell people that hitting Reset Network Settings deleted almost all my effen text messages. Many of which I needed and was saving for a reason!!!!

  9. Not working for me, I followed your directions, have no cell service at home and now the imessage says waiting for acitivation and nothing works, so lost all my settings for nought!

  10. I’m having the same issue, but have encountered a pretty serious problem, though, with “Send As Text”:

    1. Phone #1 — send message as TEXT
    2. Phone #2 — receives messages and replies to Phone #1 but has iMessage turned on
    3. Phone #1 — will never receive that message

    I’ve verified this scenario with about half a dozen buddies, all on iOS7, so it seems pretty

    Seems to me that the iPhone should be able to reply as iMessage OR TEXT, depending on how the incoming text originated (TEXT or iMessage). However, I’m totally open, too, to whatever I’m missing here…

  11. iMessage doesn’t work on new 5s with IOS7 and fixes don’t work. Several others in my office have exact same problem. Verizon blames Apple. Apple says they’re working on it. Apple, this is not cool.

  12. I have a few friends (and me, too) who’ve had another issue when using the “Send as Text” option to get an imessage to go through – it didn’t just send that one imessage as a text; rather, our phones all got “stuck” on sending all subsequent messages to each other as texts. We all had to restart our phones to reboot the system and get the imessages to work…

    • they use it because there is no character limit to the message. you can include emoticons and pics. and it does not count towards your text limit. it is more like instant iphone email.

  13. If you are only an iPhone user switch to receive and send from your phone number and it works again. I suspect the multiple send and receive causes issues for some users.

  14. Any word on not receiving messages? I’ve had several instances where someone has sent me a message but I never received it. One instance was a group message where others in the group received the message, but I did not.

    • Ramona & Dave

      I have been attempting to send messages via iMessage, when it doesn’t work I’ve tried to go back into Settings> Messages> and I’ve even tried turning my iMessage off and send as “Normal” text in green?? And then I get – Cannot send message- iMessage must be turned on????
      Any other way to respond to the text ?? Seems nothing is working?

    • Margaret Walton DiPatri

      I had a problem like this. The person I was sending to did not have their imessage enabled on their phone. Settings–>messages–>Send & Receive–>you can be reached at… (Make sure number is checked). Also make sure “send as SMS” is on. It will send as SMS When imessage is unavailable

    • omg… yes…. annoying as hell…. Granted in my situation, I have 3G turned off when I’m out an about just so I don’t inadvertently use data. If I remember correctly, before iOS7 if iMessages failed then I would receive it as a SMS and get a duplicate later on; if I were the sender I had the option to send the iMessage as a SMS immediately, regardless of if the iMessage was sent or not.

      It’s not just group messages either, sometimes a single contact will send me an iMessage and I won’t get it until I get back to somewhere with wifi… sometimes I won’t get it at all.