What To Do If iPhone 13 / 13 Pro Won’t Send Text Messages

5 Min Read

Is your iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro not Sending text messages? Worry not, the problem seems fixable.

When your iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro can’t send text messages, you may feel cut off from friends and family. There are many reasons why your iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro may fail to send text messages, including problems with the cellular network insufficient airtime, wrong settings, or simple software oversights.

See also: iOS 15: Cellular Data Not Working On iPhone? Fix!

If your iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro can’t send text messages, follow these simple tips to fix the issue.

  • If your iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro is not sending text messages, first make sure your phone has service, as the issue may be with the cellular network, not your device itself.
  • Check in your iPhone’s Settings app that various messaging options are turned on so that your phone can dispatch texts if iMessage fails.
  • Turning your iPhone 13 off and back on again can usually refresh the software and restore better signal connections, enabling your text messages to send once again.

‘why is my iPhone 13 not sending text messages?’

There are a number of reasons why your iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro is not sending text messages. Let’s review those possible reasons and then cover some troubleshooting steps.

Cell Service Issues Can Prevent iPhone 13 from Sending Text Messages

Before proceeding with troubleshooting, let’s cover the most obvious service related reasons why an iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro won’t send a text message:

  • The iPhone has no cellular signal – no SMS text messages can be sent without a traditional cell signal
  • The iPhone has no service – if the iPhone does not have a cellular service plan active, it will not be able to send text messages
  • The cellular reception is so bad that iPhone 13 can’t send a text message – if service is awful (think 1 bar or 1 dot or cycling between “Searching…” and dots), the phone likely won’t be able to send or receive text messages
  • The cell number you are reaching is disconnected – this is often the problem if the recipient has recently changed a phone number or you have multiple contact numbers for the same person, so be sure you are addressing the proper phone number
  • AirPlane mode is enabled, thereby disabling the ability to send messages and text messages – toggling AirPlane mode off will fix this specific issue quickly

It’s pretty obvious when a text message doesn’t send (or iMessage too), you’ll see a little red (!) bang exclamation sign next to the message, usually with a ‘not delivered’ message.

If any of those service related issues are the problem, you’ll need to either regain a stronger cellular signal with the iPhone, or reactivate a cellular service plan if applicable, or insure the proper contact is being messaged. If the cellular connection or service is not the issue, continue on with troubleshooting techniques to fix SMS transmission from iPhones.

If you are not able to send texts on iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro, these troubleshooting steps can help you fix the issue. Before getting started, it’s always a good idea to test your ability to send texts to a few different people, if possible. That could yield some clues as to what the problem might be.

Quit and restart the Messages app

Sometimes apps need to be quit and restarted to solve problems related to memory management. Force-quit the messaging app, then try again.

Check the phone number

Confirm that you are texting the right number. If you entered the number wrong or the intended recipient now has a new number, you may be prevented from sending the text.

Enable send as SMS

Most iPhone users have iMessage enabled, but some may have accidentally (or intentionally) turned off SMS support. So, make sure that your iPhone can send a message as a regular text message when iMessage isn’t available. You can do this by going to Settings app and tap on Messages. Scroll down and then turn on the toggle for Send as SMS.

Check the reception

Mobile networks are sometimes unpredictable. If you see a few or no bars, step outside or find a higher place indoors. If you’re in your home, you can use a signal booster to improve reception throughout the home.

Turn Off and On Airplane Mode

Open the Settings app and tap on the icon for Airplane Mode to enable it. After 30 seconds, tap on the same toggle to disable it. Now, Check if Your iPhone 13 is sending texts. It should work.

Restart Your iPhone

Even after following the above fix, if you have trouble sending texts on your iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro, try restarting your device. Often times rebooting an iPhone is sufficient to remedy problems like this. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Shut Down. After a minute, turn on your iPhone and see if you can send messages. The issue will most likely be fixed.

Remove & Reinsert iPhone’s SIM Card

For this, you can use the ejector tool or a pin to remove the SIM card carefully. Next, slowly and with caution, rub it on a soft dry cloth and insert it back.

See also: iPhone 13 / 13 Pro Not Detecting SIM Card? Fix

Update iOS

Install any outstanding operating system updates, even if an update doesn’t seem relevant to the problem you experience. Some bug fixes and other repairs may address operations or features the texting app uses. Wait for any updates to finish before texting.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap on General.
  2. Next, tap on Software Update. If you see a pending update available, tap on Download and Install.

Once the process completes, there is a strong possibility that the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro not sending texts issue will be successfully addressed.

Update Carrier settings

Your iPhone 13 has hidden carrier settings that help your phone communicate with the cellular network to place calls, transmit data, and send texts. Wireless carriers periodically update these settings. Make sure you have the latest version by updating your carrier settings. You can do this by going to Settings > General > About.

If there is an update available, the option to update will appear here.

Check your cellular provider’s website

If nothing else works, look for any alerts or updates concerning network issues. Network problems may not be immediately obvious to end users, or may only affect certain functions.

Make Sure your iPhone’s Date and Time is correct

Not just text messages, but several applications and services won’t work properly if your iPhone is set to the wrong time zone. To check if your iPhone has the correct time and date, go to Settings app > General > Date & Time > turn on the toggle for Set Automatically.

Reset Network Settings on iPhone

If you think that network is the culprit behind the problem of iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro not sending texts messages, you can Reset Network Settings. Resetting network settings can be a pain because you lose wi-fi passwords and custom DNS, but it can also be a cure-all solution for many common networking issues with iPhone, including the inability to send messages. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Transfer or reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Enter your iPhone passcode and confirm.

Reset All Settings

If the above less severe reset did not work, You can do this by going to Settings > General > Transfer or reset iPhone > Erase all content and settings. The consequences of this are more significant.

It will erase or return to default, all settings you have ever changed on your iPhone. This includes keyboard settings, Home Screen layout, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VPN, Location Settings, and more. But, it won’t delete any personal data like photos, videos, apps, music, etc.

Contact Your Carrier

Finally, if nothing helps, contact your mobile carrier. You can reach them via email, Twitter, or use their mobile app. Make sure there is no pending bill or unpaid charges that have resulted in the suspension of the service.

That’s all!

These are some of the ways to fix iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro not sending texts Messages issue. I hope one of the solutions helped you out of this problem. Know of any other tricks to resolve an inability to send text messages on iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro? Drop a comment and let us know!

GeeksModo Staff is a team of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch experts led by Moses Johnson. We're passionate about all things Apple!