How to Send Text Messages Instead of iMessages on iPhone: A Guide

Sending text messages instead of iMessages on an iPhone is simple. Go to Settings, then Messages, and turn off iMessage. Your messages will now send as SMS texts instead.

After completing this action, any messages sent from your iPhone will not use Apple’s iMessage service but will be sent as standard text messages, which may incur charges depending on your carrier’s texting plan.


In the world of smartphones, communication is key. iPhone users are well acquainted with iMessage, Apple’s messaging service that allows for seamless conversation across devices. But what if you need to send a regular text message instead? Maybe you’re texting someone who doesn’t have an iPhone or iMessage is down.

Or perhaps, you’re traveling internationally and want to avoid data charges. Whatever the reason, knowing how to switch from iMessage to traditional text messages is a handy skill for any iPhone user. This article will guide you through the steps to send text messages instead of iMessages on an iPhone, why this might be necessary, and what you can expect after making the change.

Step by Step Tutorial: Sending Text Messages Instead of iMessages on an iPhone

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re achieving here. We’ll be altering your iPhone’s settings to prioritize sending SMS (Short Message Service) texts over iMessages.

Step 1: Open Settings

Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone.

This is where all the magic happens. You’ll find various settings that control how your iPhone operates, including the Messages settings.

Step 2: Scroll to Messages

Scroll down and tap on the Messages option.

This will open up all the settings related to messaging on your iPhone, including the iMessage toggle.

Step 3: Turn off iMessage

Toggle off the iMessage switch.

By doing this, you’re telling your iPhone to send messages as SMS texts, which do not require an internet connection and are not exclusive to Apple devices.


CompatibilitySending SMS texts ensures that your message will be received even if the recipient does not have an iPhone or iMessage.
No Internet NeededSMS doesn’t require an internet connection, so you can send texts even when you’re off the grid.
Avoid ChargesIf iMessage isn’t working properly or you’re traveling abroad, sending SMS can help avoid data charges.


No Delivery ReceiptsUnlike iMessage, SMS does not provide read receipts or delivery confirmations.
Limited FeaturesSMS texts lack many of the features that iMessage offers, like effects and higher quality media sharing.
Potential CostsDepending on your phone plan, sending SMS messages may incur additional charges.

Additional Information

When you send text messages instead of iMessages on an iPhone, you’re reverting to a more traditional form of communication. It’s worth noting that standard text messages are limited to 160 characters. If you go over, the message will be split into multiple texts. Also, keep in mind that picture messages (MMS) might still incur data charges.

It’s essential to check with your carrier about your texting plan to avoid unexpected costs. Additionally, when iMessage is turned off, you won’t be able to send messages to non-iPhone users when you have no cell service, as iMessage allows you to do so over Wi-Fi. So, always consider your circumstances and needs when deciding between SMS and iMessage.


  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll to Messages
  3. Turn off iMessage

Frequently Asked Questions

Will turning off iMessage affect my old messages?

No, your previous conversations will remain intact. You’re just changing how future messages are sent.

Can I still receive iMessages if I turn off the iMessage feature?

You will only receive SMS texts, not iMessages, until you turn iMessage back on.

What happens to iMessages sent to me when my iMessage is off?

The sender’s device will attempt to send an iMessage, but it will eventually send as an SMS if iMessage is not available on your end.

Will turning off iMessage save battery life?

Potentially, as iMessages rely on an internet connection which can use more battery.

Can I turn iMessage on and off quickly?

Yes, you can toggle iMessage on and off in the Settings whenever you need to switch.


Knowing how to send text messages instead of iMessages is a valuable skill for any iPhone user. Whether it’s due to technical issues with iMessage, contacting non-iPhone users, or avoiding potential data charges while traveling, SMS texts provide a reliable alternative. However, weigh the pros and cons carefully, as there are trade-offs in terms of functionality and potential costs.

Keep this guide handy for the next time you need to switch back and forth, ensuring you’re always connected, no matter the circumstances. Remember, communication is about getting your message across, regardless of the medium.

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