How to fix an iPhone 11 that cannot receive SMS messages after iOS 13.2.3 update

If your iPhone is not receiving SMS messages, it could be because there aren’t just any text messages sent to your device/number at the moment or something in your iPhone is blocking incoming SMS messages. If it is the former, then there’s nothing to troubleshoot, otherwise, you’ll need to figure out the barrier and eliminate it. This post will attempt to address the latter. Read on to find out what to do if your iPhone 11 cannot receive SMS messages after updating to iOS 13.2.3. 

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Troubleshooting an iPhone 11 that cannot receive SMS messages after the latest iOS update

There are many possible reasons as to why you won’t be able to receive SMS messages on your device. In this post, it’s specified that the problem has started from the recent update installation and so it’s very likely that an iOS bug is the underlying cause. Nonetheless, it is still imperative to eliminate other common factors that can prevent an iPhone from getting SMS messages as it should. Feel free to refer to these simple solutions.

First solution: Restart your iPhone.

Your iPhone may be just enduring some minor post update glitch and it so happened that the incoming services, particularly SMS are adversely affected. To clear out random issues like this, performing a soft reset will likely be enough. Thus, it should be deemed among the first potential solution you should try. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold both the Side button and Volume Up button for a few seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power off bar appears.
  3. Swipe or drag the bar to turn your device off.
  4. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button and then release when the Apple logo appears.

Wait for your iPhone to finish rebooting and then re-establishes cellular network signal. Once the signal is stable, retry sending a sample SMS from your other device and see if you can already receive that message on your iphone 11.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 that cannot send SMS messages after updating to iOS 13.2.3

Second solution: Refresh cellular network connections on your iPhone.

An apparent reason as to why SMS services aren’t working on your device is that cellular network problems are transpiring. This is very possible, especially if the network system tends to become a bit shaky from the recent update. To fix the problem, refreshing your iPhone’s cellular feature can help. You can do this by turning Cellular option on your phone off and on or carry out the Airplane Mode trick instead. Here’s how it works:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature ON. Doing so disables your iPhone’s wireless radios and associated features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. 
  4. While Airplane Mode is turned on, reboot or soft reset your iPhone to clear out network cache.
  5. After it reboots, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it OFF again.

Performing this trick can help rectify random errors affecting the iPhone’s wireless functions including cellular services. That said, there’s a good chance that it will be able to fix random post-update cellular errors that caused problems to your phone’s SMS functions.

Third solution: Delete old and unwanted SMS messages and conversations.

Memory-related issues can also be the underlying cause. This means that the problem can also be due to insufficient storage. If that’s the case, then deleting old and unused messages should help. Just follow these steps to delete old messages and conversations from your iPhone 11:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Scroll to Message History.
  4. Choose the time period you want to have the messages deleted. 
  5. Confirm that you want to delete those messages along with any attachments.

Also consider checking the current memory status of your iPhone to ensure that it still got ample of storage left to allocate incoming messages, particularly those with file attachments.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 that cannot receive phone calls but can make calls after updating iOS to version 13.2.3

Fourth solution: Install carrier settings updates to fix your iPhone 11 that cannot receive SMS messages.

Carriers typically address widespread network problems by rolling out carrier updates containing the required fix patch. These updates are different from the updates released by Apple periodically. To check if there are any new updates released by your carrier for your device, you can use these subsequent methods:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer and then open iTunes. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes app to avoid bumping into some system conflicts.
  2. Wait for your device to sync and back up with iTunes.
  3. Click to select your iPhone 11 when it appears in iTunes.
  4. Navigate to the Summary section and then hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and click Check for Update. Doing so will prompt iTunes to install an iOS image (*.ipsw).
  5. Change the file type to iPhone/iPad Carrier Configuration File (*.ipcc).
  6. Select the desired file and then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

If your iPhone doesn’t have any trouble connecting to the internet, then you can use this simpler method to check for any available carrier settings updates for your device:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.

An option to update your carrier settings will show up if an update is available. You can view the version of carrier settings on your iPhone by going to Settings-> General-> About menu then scroll down to the Carrier section. 

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone 11.

Some system updates would end up ruining system configurations or customization on your device. As a result, adverse symptoms will arise depending on which system component has been directly affected. To clear this out, try to reset all settings on your device. This doesn’t affect any saved data on your iPhone storage so you won’t lose any personal  information afterwards. Just follow these steps whenever you’re all set for the reset:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap to select Reset all settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Tap on Reset all settings again to confirm action.

Wait for your iPhone to finish resetting all settings and then restarts when done. After the restart, you can start re-enabling individual features that you want to use on your device, particularly those that are disabled by default.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 that cannot make phone calls but can receive after updating to iOS 13.2.3

Last resort: Remove then reinsert the SIM card on your iPhone.

Some SMS problems are attributed to SIM card issues from a corrupted SIM card system or worse, damaged SIM card in use. To rule out SIM card system corruption, reinstalling the SIM card on your iPhone can help. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn off your iPhone completely.
  2. While your phone is turned off, insert the SIM ejector tool into the small hole on the SIM tray located on the side of your device. If you don’t have the SIM ejector tool, you can use a bent small paper clip instead.
  3. Gently push the SIM ejector or paper clip into the hold until the tray pops out.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the tray.
  5. Check the SIM card and tray for any indications of damage like scratches or liquid traces. 
  6. If everything looks fine, place the SIM card back into the tray in the same orientation before removing it. 
  7. Secure the SIM card in place and then push the tray back into the phone.

When the SIM tray is secured in place, you can turn the phone back on and see if the problem is gone. 

Inserting the SIM card to another phone (that uses the same SIM card type) can also help you determine whether or not the problem is due to a faulty SIM card. If your other device is able to receive SMS using the same SIM card, then the SIM card is working and the problem is more likely from within your iPhone system. Otherwise, you may need to consider asking your carrier for a new SIM card replacement.

What to do if your iPhone still cannot receive SMS messages?

An alternative temporary solution you can try is to set up and use text message forwarding on your iPhone. Doing so allows you to view all SMS and MMS messages that were sent to your iPhone on your other Apple devices like an iPad, iPod touch, and Mac computers. You can also continue the conversation from any of your preferred device. Just follow these steps to set up text message forwarding on your iPhone 11: 

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Tap Send & Receive.
  4. Then verify and ensure that you are signed into iMessage using the correct same Apple ID used on all your devices.
  5. After verifying your Apple ID, go back to Settings-> Messages menu and then tap the Text Message Forwarding option.
  6. Select which devices you’d want to send and receive text messages from your iPhone 11. 
  7. If prompted with a verification code on each of your other devices, enter that code on your iPhone 11.

By then, you can start sending and receiving SMS and MMS messages on your devices for as long as your iPhone 11 is turned on and connected to Wi-Fi or cellular network.

For further assistance and recommendations, you can escalate the problem to your network service provider or contact Apple Support instead.

ALSO READ: Common calling and texting problems on iPhone 11 after iOS 13.2.3 update