Text Messages Not Being Delivered – Causes and Working Fixes

With calls, you get an instant response- you know right away if the person you’re trying to reach is available or not. Sadly though, the same cannot be said about text messages. You wait anxiously till the person confirms receipt of the text. And, who of us has not at one point or the other experienced text messages not being delivered?

It is important, however, to know possible reasons why text messages go undelivered from time to time.

Reasons Why Text Messages Are Not Being Delivered

Receiver’s number wrongly entered: This is one of the main reasons for failed deliveries of text messages. You may be busy at the time and you typed one or more numbers incorrectly. If the message is sent to an incorrectly typed phone number, the message will not be delivered.

The recipient’s phone number is not available:  If you try sending a text message to a phone number that is switched off for a long time, you will get a text message not being delivered notification. If the recipient has switched off their phone temporarily, the message will be delivered immediately after the phone is switched on.

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After waiting in queue for a while and the recipient does not switch on their phone, it will come back as an undelivered message. This is applicable in cases where the recipient is abroad and their phone is roaming.

Network/ Carrier Filters: Some smartphones, like iPhones, have implemented filters to keep spam and other unwanted messages out. They separate A2P and P2P messages and determine which to have delivered. A2P is messages from texting applications while P2P are messages between individuals. If your carrier is set to filter any out, you will experience the text messages not being delivered issue.

If the SMS message is also sent to a network provider that does not allow delivery of SMS because there is no automatic rerouting service, your text messages may not get delivered.

Local restrictions: Each country has different restrictions regarding SMS content and senders. If the person you are sending a message to lives in a country where content from your country of residence is prohibited, expect the ‘text message not being delivered’ notification.

Running out of call credit: What will happen if you were to send a text message to a number when your phone is not recharged? The answer is simple: your text message will not be delivered.

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Possible Fixes for Text Messages not Being Delivered

Fix 1- Double Check You Typed Recipient’s Phone Number Correctly

  1. Open the message icon and tap it
  2. In the messaging bar, type up your message body
  3. Just above the message body, there is a space for entering the recipient’s phone number. Check the numbers well, type them up carefully, and confirm if you have them correctly
  4. It might be easier to select the recipient from numbers stored on your phone since you have been reaching the person on that before

This way you can prevent error notifications about text messages not being delivered.

Fix 2- Confirm Availability

  1. Select the number you want to send a message to
  2. Go to your contact list and dial the number
  3. If you can get though, that means messages sent to the number will be delivered almost immediately
  4. Go to your messaging icon and tap on it
  5. Type up your message body and enter the number you just dialed
  6. Press send and wait for a ‘message sent’ notification

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Fix 3- Clear your message Cache

This is to be followed if the first two options didn’t work for you

For Android Users

  1. Go to Settings on your home screen and click on it
  2. In the settings menu, find ‘storage’ and click on it
  3. Find the ‘internal storage’ tab and click on it
  4. The ‘internal storage’ menu contains cache data, which you should click
  5. A dialog box will ask if you want to proceed or not. Select yes and go back to sending your message

For iPhone Users

  1. Find and open the settings app
  2. Scroll down to the message and click on it
  3. Locate message history tab where old messages are kept
  4. You will be asked if you wish to delete messages that have been kept for 30 days, 1 year, or forever

Confirm to delete and go back to sending your message

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