Receiving iMessages on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus but not regular SMS? Here's the fix!

Your iPhone can receive not only iMessages, which are indicated by blue bubbles, but regular old SMS messages as well, which are represented by green bubbles. If you’re using an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and find yourself only able to send and receive blue bubble iMessages, you don’t seem to be alone. This is the question from you guys, or readers, that we’re going to tackle this week.

I have an iPhone 6 and can not send or receive regular SMS messages, I am only receiving and sending iMessages. Why isn’t my regular SMS working?

This how-to is part of our iOS Help feature, where every week I try and help you fix the problems you’re having with your iPhones and iPads. If you have a question or need help with something iOS related that you just can’t figure out, I encourage you to drop a question in our iMore forums, no registration required, or send me an email at [email protected]

This issue seems to only affect iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners. I recently experienced it myself after switching devices, so I understand how frustrating it can be. Let’s take a look at what steps you can perform to try and restore text message functionality again.

1. Reboot your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus

The first thing you should always try when having issues is a hard reboot. You can do this by holding down the Home button and Power button on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Don’t let go of either of them until you see the Apple logo again.

If a reboot doesn’t restore your text message functionality, continue on to step 2.

2. Disable SMS forwarding on all the things

SMS forwarding, or SMS relay, is part of Apple’s Continuity feature which was introduced in iOS 8. It allows you to send and receive green bubble SMS messages on your Mac and iPad. If a connection issue is occurring between certain devices, it could cause issues.

Follow these steps on your iPhone in order to disable forwarding to other devices:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.
  2. Tap on Messages.
  3. Tap on Text Message Forwarding.
  4. Turn Off forwarding to all devices listed.
  5. Reboot your iPhone.

If you still can’t send regular green bubble texts, continue on…

3. Reset network settings

Resetting network settings is a fail safe for funky network issues that might occur. This is no exception. So if neither of the steps above have worked, it’s time to reset them. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to re-enter some stuff, such as Wi-Fi passwords. If you aren’t sure how, just follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Reset, it’s all the way at the bottom.
  4. Tap on Reset Network Settings.
  5. Confirm in the popup.
  6. Your iPhone will reboot

4. Turn off LTE or use it for data only

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus feature VoLTE and if you live in an area where your carrier is actively expanding or rolling it out, funny things have been known to happen. To remedy them, you can try and use LTE only for data, or not at all. It may not be ideal but should only be temporary.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Cellular.
  3. Tap on LTE.
  4. Tap on either Data Only or Off.
  5. Reboot your iPhone.

Once your iPhone finishes rebooting, try and send a regular text message. If you still can’t send or receive them, continue on.

5. Restore your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus

If all else fails, a restore should fix the issue. Our forums have shown that some of the above steps worked for some of our readers. And hopefully you didn’t have to make it this far. Unfortunately, none of them worked for me. I ended up restoring my iPhone in iTunes and then bringing my backup down again from iCloud. My text messages worked find again after that.

You can follow our guides on how to restore your iPhone. I highly recommend restoring in iTunes instead of wiping remotely on the device, if you can.

After you wipe all your data and restore, you can restore from an iCloud or iTunes backup just as you normally would.

What worked for you?

If you were able to fix your SMS issue on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, what worked for you? Be sure to let me know in the comments.

And if you have another question you’d like to ask me, we encourage you to leave them in our ask a question forum, no registration required!

Source: iMore

About Bhavesh Rabari

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