How do I turn off iMessage and receive texts?

Sometimes we may not neccesarily want to receive iMessages but instead preferred the default sms text message.

Even though it is quite weird not wanting to receive iMessage but rather the sms text message.

There is a reason for that.

Right in this article we’ll be looking at the question of the day and which is how do I turn off iMessage and receive texts.

Here, texts simply means the default sms text message which is green in color as the iMessage is blues in color.

To receive sms text message, you simply have to turn off or disable iMessage on your iPhone.

Before going further into this article of how do I turn off iMessage and receive texts, first let me explain what sms text message mean and the difference with the iMessage.


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Understanding the sms text message

The sms text message is the green text message on iphone which is the default messaging that requires and uses the cellular network service in sending a text message.

As long as sms text message is concerned, there are two major requirements and that is the sim card and the cellular network service.

As long as you want to send an sms text message on your iPhone or mobile phone, you must have an active sim card and a cellular network service.

Below are the necessary requirements to send an sms text message;

  • A mobile phone
  • A sim card
  • Cellular network service
  • Texting plan or airtime

These are the necessary requirements you need to have when sending an sms text message on your iPhone and whicg is quite different when sending an iMessage.

Once you sent an sms text message on your iPhone, it will be green in color just like on the picture below.

How do I turn off iMessage and receive texts?

So if you send an sms text message on your iPhone, it will be like this very picture, that is green in color.

Main advantage of sms text message

The main advantage of the sms text message is that it works on all phones and devices, and not restricted to a particular device or phone.

For example, you can send sms text message from your iPhone to someone using an android phone or a feature phone.

However, this is not possible on iMessage.

iMessage only works on Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, Mac or the Apple. Once you have a texting plan or airtime on your iPhone or probably sim card, you can send sms text message to any phone number.

Main disadvantage

The main disadvantage of the sms text message is that it can’t send files or documents except when you use mms messaging.

iMessage offers you the opportunity to send pictures, videos, files and other documents just like it is on whatsapp.

It is quite difficult to send sms text messages to someone living in another country, but this is not an issue with iMessage as it will seamlessly handle the request.

So if you are thinking of sending sms text message to someone living abroad or in another country, you better do that with the likes of iMessage, whatsapp, Skype, Facebook messenger, telegram, viber, Google voice, etc.

Once there’s no cellular network service in your phone, you can’t send sms text messages as it requires a cellular network service.

However, with a Wi-Fi connection you can send iMessages without any issue.

Understanding the iMessage

The iMessage

The iMessage is a P2P instant messaging service which uses the internet to send and receive texts messages.

Here, text messages can be sms text message or the iMessage text messages.

Usually, we do call the default sms text message as text message while in the real sense both the iMessage and the sms text message are all text messages.

The difference is that one is sms which means Short Message Service and the other is a P2P instant messaging.

To send iMessage on your Apple device, you only need to enable iMessage, activate it and then with an active internet connection you can send and receive iMessages.

Through iMessage you can send photos, videos, gifs, files and documents to anyone using iMessage even outside the country just like it is done on whatsapp.


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Now let’s head back to the question being asked on how do I turn off iMessage and receive texts.

You simply have to follow this procedure.

How do I turn off iMessage and receive texts?

To Turn off iMessage and receive texts on your iPhone, you simply have to disable iMessage on your iPhone and enable send as sms text message.

Below is a step by step guide on how to turn off iMessage and receive texts on your Apple iPhone or Apple device.

First you need to open the settings app and scroll down to Messages and open it.

How do I turn off iMessage and receive texts?

Once you open messages, look closely and you will see where it states iMessage and by default it will be enabled.

If iMessage is enabled on your iPhone the button will be green in color and showing the number of addresses connected to your iMessage.

Below is a typical example of what I’m talking about.

imessage activation

Now what you have to do is to toggle or slide back the button to turn off or disable iMessage on your iPhone. Once you have done that, iMessage will no longer be active or activated on your iPhone and as such you won’t be able to receive iMessages.

Mind you the process is not yet complete. 

Still on that same message settings page, scroll down and you will see Send as SMS. Below it is written, send as sms when iMessage is unavailable. Network provider messaging rates may apple.

Short Message Service

Kindly make sure that Send as sms is enabled on your iPhone and then you’re good to go sending sms text messages on your iPhone instead of sending iMessages.

Remember, to send sms text messages on your iPhone you need to have a sim card right inside your iPhone, a cellular network service and a texting plan or an airtime.

Difference between sms text message and iMessage

The main difference between sms text message and iMessage is that sms text message uses the cellular network service in sending a text while iMessage sends text by using the internet.

Sms text message  iMessage
Requires a sim card, cellular network service, texting plan or an airtime Requires internet connection like the Wi-Fi or cellular data
Not restricted to a particular phone or software OS Restricted to Apple devices only
Can’t send pictures, videos, gifs, files and documents Can send pictures, videos, gifs, emojis, files and documents
Difficult to send international text messages So easy to send text messages to someone living abroad or outside the country
No read receipt and delivery report on iPhone There’s a read receipt and delivery report

So far these are some major differences between the sms text message and the IMessage on iPhone.

Can I turn off iMessage and still get texts?

You can still turn off iMessage and get texts but be rest assured that you will receive only sms text messages.

You can’t receive iMessages if the feature is disabled on your iPhone, iMessage must be active on your iPhone in order to receive iMessages.

Once you disable iMessage on your iPhone it will deactivate and your account will be inactive. So in this case you will only receive sms text messages but only if you have a sim card in your iPhone and not disconnected by your network service provider.

Why does my phone use iMessage instead of text?

By default, iPhone will send iMessages to another iphone user as long as the recipient phone number or Apple ID is activated with iMessage.

For example, you’re sending a text message to someone using an iPhone. If the person’s phone number is activated with iMessage, the text will automatically turn blue in color indicating iMessage.

Now if the person’s phone number is not activated with iMessage or linked to it, the text will be green in color signifying the sme text message.

Also if you happen to send a text message to a person’s apple id it will be blue in color unless the recipient or the person disabled iMessage on it’s iPhone.

So by default, iMessage will be sent to phone numbers and Apple ID activated with iMessage.

How do I change from iMessage to text for one contact?

So far it is not possible to change iMessage to sms text message for a particular contact on your iPhone.

Instead you can disable iMessage on your iPhone and send sms text message to the contact, then afterwards you can reactivate iMessage once again on your iPhone.

So far there’s no option to turn off iMessage for contacts on iPhones, maybe later in the future Apple will add the feature.

How do I send a normal message instead of iMessage?

To send normal text message instead of iMessage on your iPhone, simply disable iMessage and send the text message.

Now remember not to send an sms text message to an apple id but rather send it to the recipient phone number.

For example, you have been sending a couple of iMessages to Charles and which what you have in your iPhone is Charles Apple ID and not his phone number.

There’s no way you can send sms text message to the Apple ID instead you have to request for Charles phone number and you then send sms text message to the phone number.

On iMessage, you can send text messages to someone through the person’s phone number activated with iMessage or through the person’s apple ID activated with iMessage.

So to send a normal sms text message on your iPhone, simply disable iMessage because as long as iMessage is active on your iPhone and you’re sending text to a fellow iPhone user, it will automatically turn blue which means iMessage.

Is it better to use iMessage or text?

It is better to use iMessage if you’re sending a text text to a fellow iMessage user. With iMessage, you can send pictures, videos, gifs, emojis, files and documents which is impossible on sms text message.

Also on iMessage you can know when a sent text message is delivered and read, which is not possible on the normal sms text message.

I still don’t understand why Apple default sms text message doesn’t have a delivery report like the iMesssage or like android sms text message that has a delivery report.

Turned off iMessage and not getting texts

This occurs if send as sms is not enabled on iPhone.

For you turn off iMessage on your iPhone, this simply means that you don’t want to receive iMessages on your iPhone but instead wants to receive sms text message.

All you have to do is to enable send as sms on your iPhone and make sure you have a sim card and cellular network service on your phone.

Without these requirements you can’t send or receive sms text message on your iPhone.

Lastly before I go, how do I turn off iMessage and receive texts? To Turn off iMessage and receive texts on your iPhone, you simply have to disable iMessage on your iPhone and enable send as sms text message. 

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