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

When your iPhone is unable to send SMS messages but can receive, account-related issues may be present. This is usually the case if you’ve got some unsettled bills or other relevant issues to settle with your carrier. Aside from account problems, software errors and hardware damage can also be the underlying cause of the problem. Tackled in this post is a pertinent issue on the iPhone 11 that cannot send SMS messages after installing the recent iOS 13.2.3 update. Read on to find out what to do if you would end up facing the same issue after updating your iPhone software to the latest version.

Troubleshooting an iPhone 11 that cannot send SMS messages after iOS 13.2.3 update

Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that the date and time settings on your iPhone are correct. The date and time information on your phone can also affect SMS functions and eventually results in some errors. Aside from date and time, also check the cellular network signal indicator on the status bar located on the top-left of your iPhone screen. If you see an error like no service or network unavailable instead of a cellular network signal bars/indicator, it means that an ongoing network problem is the problem and that your phone isn’t receiving network signal. In this case however, incoming and outgoing SMS and calls aren’t working on  your device. If the signal strength is good but for some reason your iPhone can’t send SMS messages, try the following methods to rule out software-related factors.


First solution: Quit then restart Messages app.

System apps like Messages can also give into some random errors following a firmware update installation. When this happens, sending or receiving functions can become unstable. To deal with these minor application flaws, quitting and restarting Messages app can help. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen and then pause slightly in the middle of the screen. Doing so will show up all recently used apps.
  2. Swipe right or left to locate the Messages app card or preview.
  3. Then swipe up on the Messages app’s preview to close the app.

Repeat the same steps to end all other background apps so none of them would interfere with Messages, the next time you use the app.

Also make sure that SMS sending option is enabled on your device. Here’s how to access and manage this option:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Toggle the Send as SMS switch to turn on. 

Doing so will prompt your device to send the message as SMS when iMessage is not available. But also note that enabling this feature may also result in extra charges.

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

Second solution: Restart your iPhone (soft reset).

A soft reset or reboot can do a lot of wonders when dealing with  minor post-update errors, including those affecting SMS sending functions. It also clears out junk files from the internal memory, including temporary iOS data that have been corrupted from the recent firmware update. It doesn’t affect any saved information on your iPhone, so you can do this even without backing up files from your device. Just follow these steps:

  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 obtains cellular network signal. Once the signal becomes stable, create a sample SMS to send to your own number and see if it will be successful delivered.


Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Performing the Airplane Mode trick is also considered among the simple yet effective solutions to various types of problems affecting wireless features and services. It works by simultaneously refreshing your iPhone’s wireless radios and thereby eliminates any associated symptoms. Here’s how it’s done:

  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.

It would take a few moments for your iPhone to re-establish wireless network signal, so just wait until it reconnects. By then you can retry sending a sample SMS and see if your iPhone will get it already.

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

Fourth solution: Reset network settings to fix your iPhone 11 that cannot send SMS messages.

Network settings errors from the recent update can also affect your phone’s SMS functions and are likely the main reason why SMS messages could not be delivered. To clear these out, performing a network reset can help. Doing so will erase all your current network settings and then restores the default network values and options. Any associated errors affecting SMS functions will likewise be wiped out, if not rectified. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap to select Reset network settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Tap on Reset network settings again to confirm that you’d want to reset network settings on your iPhone.

Your iPhone will restart automatically when the reset is finished. As soon as it reboots, you can start enabling network features that you want to use on your iPhone.


Fifth solution: Update carrier settings on your iPhone 11.

Aside from iOS updates, installing carrier settings updates is also recommended. These updates are developed and rolled out by your network carriers to uphold network service stability and optimum network system performance. If your iPhone has a stable internet access, you can promptly check and update carrier settings with these steps:

  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. 

You can also use iTunes to check and update carrier settings on your iPhone. This option is ideal if your iPhone is enduring some internet problems such as slow internet browsing, Wi-Fi drops, and no internet connection at all. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 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).

Select the desired file and then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

ALSO READ: How to fix iMessage that’s not working at all after updating iOS to version 13.2.3

Last resort: Remove and reinsert your SIM card.

SIM card issues can also cause SMS problems on your iPhone. Although the problem started after installing an iOS update, it doesn’t always mean that the update is at fault. In fact, several cases of SMS problems on an iPhone were attributed to a corrupted or damaged SIM card in use. To clear this out, try to remove then reinstall the SIM card on your iPhone 11 with these steps:

  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.

You can also try inserting the SIM card into your other phone to see if the other phone can send SMS messages using the same SIM card. If SMS are sent on the other phone but not on your iPhone, the problem is more likely from within the iPhone’s system. Something from the recent update might have caused the SMS system to become corrupted and SMS sending feature is somehow disintegrated.

What to do if your iPhone 11 still cannot send SMS messages?

Contact your carrier to verify your account status. It’s possible that your outgoing SMS services are currently not available or temporarily disabled due to some account-related issues like unpaid bills to settle.

For further assistance in dealing with complex post-update issues like this, contact Apple Support or your network service provider. If you suspect that the SIM card is the problem, you can ask your carrier for a new SIM card replacement instead.


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