Sending an iMessage between two Apple products is a fast, reliable way to communicate via text. This system relies on a WiFi connection and gives the sender handy delivery and read notifications. Sometimes though, an iMessage fails to say delivered, prompting concern.
If an iMessage doesn’t say delivered, there is likely an issue with the recipient’s phone. Limited WiFi connectivity, a blocked phone number, or an Android phone could be why the iMessage doesn’t say delivered. Troubleshooting your phone by changing settings or restarting the iPhone can help.
While a failed delivery notification is usually an issue with the recipient, there is the off chance that your phone may be to blame. Consider restarting your phone or changing your iMessage delivery method to SMS messaging to get a text to go through successfully.
In some cases, a factory reset is needed to get iMessaging working correctly again. Always be sure to fully back up your data, settings, and preferences before performing a factory reset on your iPhone.
What Does it Mean if an iMessage Isn’t Delivered?
Typically, when a message doesn’t display as “delivered,” the issue is on the recipient end. If your phone has the problem, you’ll likely get a “message failed to send” text instead.
The failure to deliver typically means that your recipient’s phone has a setting or connectivity issue preventing your message from getting through. Still, there are some rare cases where your phone is to blame.
What Is the Difference Between Delivered and Read?
Before troubleshooting your iPhone, it’s essential to understand the difference between a delivered receipt and a read receipt. A delivered notification simply means your message was successfully delivered to the recipient’s iPhone.
Comparatively, a read notification indicates that the recipient has tapped on the message. Understand that this notification doesn’t guarantee the recipient has actually read the message; they just simply opened it. Or even worse, sometimes it will show delivered but it won’t actually reach the user.
Of course, read receipts aren’t always delivered, especially if the recipient has this messaging option turned off. In Settings > Messages >Send Read Receipts, users can quickly disable this notification from select or all senders.
Could My Number Be Blocked?
While being blocked certainly isn’t a definite reason for an undelivered message, it could be a possible cause. If your recipient has your phone number blocked, any message you send will not be delivered to their phone. You will not receive a delivery receipt without a successful delivery of your message to their phone.
Your recipient could have inadvertently blocked your messages, so it’s essential to double-check other messaging apps. If you can message the recipient through a third-party app but not on their iPhone, chances are you were blocked by mistake.
However, if you can’t contact the recipient through multiple channels, it’s a good indication your number was intentionally blocked.
Is Their Internet Access Working?
Unlike traditional SMS messaging, iMessage utilizes WiFi to send and receive messages. Sometimes, a recipient may not have access to a WiFi connection. They could be in an area without cell service or a rural area without a reliable internet connection.
Further, the recipient could be traveling abroad where they cannot connect to reliable WiFi service. If this is the case, your message will not get through to their phone, and you will not get a delivery receipt. Rest assured, though, that once the recipient can connect to internet access, your iMessages should go through again usually, even the messages that were delayed initially.
However, if you see an error message on your end when you are trying to send an iMessage, there’s a good chance your internet connection is faulty. The message “Not Delivered” is associated with the failed outgoing text.
To double check your WiFi is functional, go to Settings, then WiFi. Make sure you are connected to the correct network, and your WiFi is turned on. Also, double-check to ensure you are not still in Airplane Mode.
How Can I Get My Message to Go Through?
Apple’s default mode is to use iMessage when sending a text between two Apple products. Unfortunately, if you are in an area with a limited internet connection, there’s a chance your message will not go through, resulting in a failed delivery. If you are in an underground location, traveling abroad, or in an area with a poor internet connection, you can change your default messaging method to SMS text.
To change your default messaging method:
- Settings – In Settings, you’ll select Messages from the menu options
- SMS – In Messages, you’ll want to ensure that Send as SMS is enabled with the green toggle.
If you have already attempted to send a message using the WiFi and received an error, you can change the delivery method to SMS text. Simply tap the exclamation point next to the undelivered text, and select “Send as SMS” to use cellular data instead of WiFi.
Keep in mind, though, that if you are out of data, your messages may still not go out to the recipient.
Did the Recipient Switch Phones?
As described above, iMessage’s delivery system with delivery notifications only works when you send a message to other people who also have an Apple iPhone. Sending a text message to a person with an Android phone relies on SMS messaging, not iMessaging.
If you don’t receive a delivered notification but used to receive one when you text a specific person, there could be a good chance that the recipient has simply switched phones. You’ll no longer see delivery notifications if they are now using an Android device instead of Apple. If your recipient has switched to Android, you’ll also notice the text bubbles appear as green instead of the typical blue bubble between two Apple users.
Restart Your Phone
While a failure to receive a delivery notification is usually on the recipient’s end of things, there is a chance an error has occurred with your phone.
If you are not receiving delivery notifications from multiple contacts, there’s a chance your phone needs a restart. Periodically restarting your phone can help give your phone a boost and repair damaged connectivity, process errors, and glitches.
To restart your newer iPhone X or later:
- Volume Up – Press and release the Volume Up button
- Volume Down – Press and release the Volume Down button
- Side – Now, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears
- Logo – Once you see the Apple logo, release the side button. Your restart is underway.
To restart your older iPhone:
- Side Button – Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button or the side button.
- Slide – A slide bar will appear on the main screen after a few seconds. Release the side button. Slide the button to the right to power off the device.
- Power On – After a few seconds, power the device back on by using the side button again. Your iPhone is now restarted.
After you have successfully restarted your phone, try to resend the message to the same recipient to check if your message has been delivered.
Update Your Operating System
Another way to troubleshoot failed iMessages is to update your iOS. Sometimes, older operating systems can glitch, especially when trying to iMessage someone. To update your iOS, simply go to Settings > General > Software Update.
In this menu option, you’ll see the most recent software updates if one is available. Simply click the Download and Install option to update your operating system. After the iOS is successfully updated, try again to send an iMessage.
Try to Factory Reset
When all else fails, you can try to perform a factory reset of your iPhone. Be aware that this option will reset your phone to factory settings, eliminating your own settings, preferences, and files. Ensure your phone is completely backed up in iCloud before performing a factory reset.
To reset your iPhone, you’ll need to:
- Settings – Open the Setting menu and select General.
- Reset – Next, tap the Reset option
- Passcode – You’ll be prompted to enter your passcode to confirm you would like to reset your phone. Once you enter the passcode, confirm you want to go on with the factory reset.
Your iPhone will process your request and will work to set your iPhone back to default settings over the next few seconds. When ready, your phone will start with the “hello” screen. Continue the prompts to set your phone up and download your preferences, contacts, and settings back to your phone from iCloud. Test your iMessage functionality once your phone has performed a factory reset.