Apple iPhone SE 3 cannot Send Text (SMS) Messages [Quick Fixes]

This post highlights potential solutions to text-messaging (SMS) issues on the new 3rd generation special edition iPhone. Read on to learn what to do if your new iPhone SE 3 cannot send text (SMS) messages.

iOS 15 SMS Problems

A common reason as to why you won’t be able to send SMS on your smartphone is due to an ongoing network issue. This is usually what happens when your phone loses signal to the cellular network. Sadly, network-related problems are inevitable especially if the root cause is from the network base, resulting in a localized service outage.

Aside from network connectivity issues, software-related factors such as random system glitches, software bugs, settings conflicts, and faulty updates are also deemed among other possible causes.

In some cases, account-related issues are the underlying cause. This is often the case with those who are post-paid subscriptions, especially when they missed paying prior bills. 

Hardware-related issues such as a corrupted SIM card in use or damaged network components are likewise among the possible culprits. 

Highlighted below are a few potential solutions that you can try on when dealing with SMS problems, particularly on the new iPhone SE 3 that’s unable to send text messages. Feel free to try these methods before opting for repair.

Troubleshooting iPhone SE 3 Cannot Send Text (SMS) Messages

Before you begin, verify and ensure the recipient’s number you’ve entered is valid or correct. This is imperative especially if the recipient is not in your contacts list. Also ensure that your phone has strong and stable cellular network reception. At least two signal bars will do.

If the signal strength isn’t that good or stable, try to move to another area where the signal strength is better. 

If all is good with the recipient’s number and network reception, then you may go ahead and start ruling out software-related factors with these subsequent methods.

Don’t forget to create a sample text/SMS message to test your iPhone’s sending and receiving functions after doing every given solution.

Solution #1: Quit then restart Messages.

Random in-app glitches can also halt the normal SMS sending operation and result in sending failure. Oftentimes, random glitches are rectified by restarting the app. 

  • To do this, swipe up from the bottom-left edge of the Home screen to launch the apps switcher or multitasking view. Previews of recently open and running apps will load up next. Swipe up on the Messages app preview to force close or terminate the app. 

Ending all other background apps is also recommended to ensure none of the causes conflicts or interfere with the Messages app the next time you run it.

Solution #2: Perform the Airplane mode tweak.

Another simple trick that has been proven to work wonders when dealing with random problems affecting wireless services in iOS devices is the so-called Airplane mode tweak.

Should you wish to give it a shot, just follow these steps:
  • Go to your iPhone Settings-> Airplane mode menu and then turn on the Airplane mode switch.
  • While Airplane mode is enabled, restart your iPhone as you normally do.
  • After rebooting the iPhone, go back to Settings-> Airplane mode menu then turn the Airplane mode switch OFF again.

Wait for your iPhone to re-establish wireless features. Once the cellular network signal becomes stable, retry sending a text message to your other device or your own number and see if it works.

Solution #3: Turn off iMessage.

Some iPhone users have managed to deal with this problem by temporarily disabling iMessage on the iOS settings.

  • To disable iMessage on the iPhone SE 3, go to Settings-> Messages menu then tap to turn the iMessage switch OFF.

Wait for a few seconds for iMessage to disable and after that try to send a sample text message to see if it works.

You can always turn iMessage back on if necessary. Just repeat the same steps to return to the Messages app settings where the iMessage switch is located.

Solution #4: View and manage SMS settings.

Your iPhone may not be able to send text messages simply because Sending SMS is not enabled in the first place.

To clear this out, go ahead and check your Messages app settings and make sure that the Send as SMS switch is turned on. If it isn’t, then your iPhone is only able to send iMessages.

To access and manage this option on the iPhone SE 3 Messages app settings, just follow these steps:
  • Tap Settings from the Home screen to open the iOS settings app. 
  • From the Settings app menu, scroll to find and then tap Messages.
  • On the Messages screen, scroll down and then tap to turn the Send as SMS switch ON.

After making necessary changes to the Messages app’s SMS settings, retry sending a sample text message to your other device or phone number and see if it’s already working.

Solution #5: Reset your network settings.

Network settings conflicts are also among other things that you should consider ruling out when dealing with network-related issues including SMS sending failure on an iPhone.

Triggering the reset network settings command will erase all recent changes made to the iOS network settings including saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, custom cellular data settings, VPNs, APN changes and the like.

But unlike a factory reset, resetting the network settings does not affect any user data from the internal storage and therefore deemed a safe process.

  • To reset network settings on the iPhone SE 3, just head over to Settings-> General-> Transfer or Reset iPhone-> Reset menu and then select Reset network settings from the given options. 
  • If prompted, enter your device passcode to authorize the reset request. Read the warning prompt and then tap Reset settings to confirm.

After the reset, your phone reboots on its own and then loads up all the network defaults. This means the need for you to reconfigure your Wi-Fi network to reconnect and get back online. You will need to add your Bluetooth devices one by one so you can pair them with your iPhone.

After restoring your iPhone’s network defaults, test its SMS functions and see if it’s already able to send text messages.

Still unable to send SMS on your iPhone?

Installing new carrier updates may likewise be able to fix the problem if network bugs are to blame. These updates are usually rolled out to bring new essential patches to get rid of existing network bugs that are causing problems to cellular network services.

Aside from carrier updates, installing the latest iOS version available for your iPhone is usually recommended as these updates may likewise contain bug fixes.

  • To check for new updates and update carrier settings, just go to your iPhone Settings-> General-> About menu. If a new update is available, you will be prompted with an option to update. Just follow the onscreen instructions to install the new carrier update on your device.
  • To check for a new iOS update, head over to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu and wait for your iPhone to scan for updates. If a new iOS version is up for grabs, tap Download and Install to update your iPhone software.

For these updates to be successfully installed, your phone must be connected to a stable Wi-Fi network and have sufficient storage and battery life.

Restoring factory defaults through a factory reset or iPhone restore in iTunes can also be regarded among the last options if none of the above solutions work. This should help fix the problem if stubborn system bugs are at fault.

Just be sure to back up all your important data beforehand because a factory reset and iOS restore will delete all saved information including downloaded apps from the system.

Seek More Help

If nothing else works, you may escalate the problem to your cellular service provider or contact Apple support for further assistance and recommendations.

Please keep posted for more comprehensive iOS tutorials and troubleshooting guides on this site. Or you can check out this YouTube channel to view more comprehensive tutorial and troubleshooting videos including recent iOS devices.

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