Apple iPhone SE Texting Issues: Cannot Send/Receive Text Messages, Other SMS Messaging Errors

Texting issues can occur on any type of mobile devices even the latest and highest-tiered variants like the #Apple iPhone SE (#iPhoneSE). In fact, problems like these can happen no matter how powerful your phone is. If you come across this page while searching for potentials solutions to pertinent problems on the same device, then this article might be able to help you.


Highlighted in this content are helpful workarounds used and shared by other iPhone owners when dealing with texting issues and errors on their iPhone SE handset. You may consider this piece as your troubleshooting reference, if necessary.

Texting is among the key functions of a smartphone. And it’s probably one of the main reasons as to why you secure a phone for yourself. Thus, your overall smartphone experience would likewise be affected if something goes wrong and suddenly you will be having trouble sending or receiving text messages on your phone. Keep reading to learn what to do should you encounter any of the following symptoms while using your iPhone’s texting messaging function.

Other Relevant Symptoms

  • Unable to send or receive messages
  • Unable to send any message
  • Unable to send a message to a specific recipient
  • Cannot receive any message
  • Cannot receive messages from specific contacts

Possible Causes

If you won’t be able to send a text message, then most likely you will have the same problem with iMessage. An indication that your message is not delivered while using iMessage is the little red exclamation point located next to the message you are trying to send.

A number of factors can affect your iPhone’s text messaging function. Among the most common are cellular network issues, misconfigured settings, corrupt messaging application, and other software glitches. In most cases, the problem is tied to a cellular network issue or system errors.

You won’t be able to send text messages if your iPhone has no cellular signal, no service, as well as when the cellular reception is bad. The same thing can happen if the number you are reaching is disconnected or incorrect, or when Airplane mode is active. So be sure to verify that Airplane mode is disabled on your device.

Taking note of any error codes or messages while attempting to use your iPhone’s texting services will help you diagnose the problem and determine the underlying cause.

Recommended Workarounds and Potential Solutions

Before you begin performing any of the recommended troubleshooting procedures below, be sure to check if your iPhone is connected to your carrier’s network. Once you have verified that your device is connected and yet you are still having trouble sending or receiving text messages, you may then go ahead and give any of the following workarounds a try.

Be sure to test your iPhone after completing each step to see if the issue is fixed. If not, proceed to the next workaround available.

Step 1.  Perform a soft reset or restart your iPhone.

A simple reboot on your iPhone often helps fix any software glitches or errors that might have caused you trouble with text messaging. This process is also referred to as a soft reset, a sufficient remedy to problems like this.

A soft reset restarts your iPhone without erasing any of your contents or data stored on your device. To do this, just press and hold down the Power and the Home keys until the Apple logo appears.

Restarting of the messaging app can also help. To do so, just quit the application and then open it again after a few seconds. There are also times when all you need is to force quit the Messages app to resolve its inability to send text messages.

If that will fix the problem, then that’s good. Otherwise, try the next method.

Step 2. If you are using the Messages app, make sure SMS support is enabled.

If SMS sending option is disabled or turned off, only iMessages will be sent. This means that you won’t be able to contact Android or Windows phone users and you wouldn’t be able to reach anyone through text without iMessage enabled.

Note: Enabling this option can possibly help when iMessage is unavailable. Additional fees may apply though.

To check on these settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Messages.
  3. Locate the option to Send as SMS. Make sure it is turned on. You can also toggle this switch off and then back on.
  4. Go back to Messages and then try sending a text message again.

Step 3. Turn off LTE or use Data Only.

For some reasons, problems like this can happen on iPhones with VoLTE support. As temporary solution, you can try to disable LTE then select Data Only instead. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Tap LTE or Enable LTE.
  4. Select the option for Data Only or Off.
  5. After making changes to the LTE settings, reboot your iPhone again and then try to send a text message. If that doesn’t fix the problem, continue to the next workaround.

Note: This may not be an ideal solution because using LTE loads data faster but it wouldn’t hurt if you give this a try and see if the problem is gone making changes to these settings.

Step 4. Reset Network Settings on your iPhone SE.

The next possible solution you can try on is resetting network settings on your iPhone. This method often helps those who encountered the same problem on sending/receiving text messages after getting the latest iOS update. The explanation behind this is that some updates automatically override current settings on your device including network settings. This is when a reset is required.

You have to note though that this process will erase all your current network settings and restore them to factory defaults. In line with that, be sure to take note of them before you start with the following steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset Network Settings from the given options.
  5. If prompted, tap to confirm action.

Wait for your iPhone to complete the reboot and then test your device to see if the problem is fixed. If not, then continue to the next method.

Step 5. Restore your iPhone.

This should be your last resort. If none of the aforesaid procedures is able to rectify the issue, then most likely it is triggered by some major glitches on the iPhone system. And one of the most effective solutions in fixing major system errors and glitches is a system restore. You may opt to restore from an old backup or set your iPhone as new. While this is certainly a painful option as it completely erases your device, it might be your only solution.

Other Helpful Workarounds

  • Try to make a phone call. If the phone call fails, then try to update the profile and then test your iPhone to see if the issue has been fixed by updating the PRL.
  • If you suspect that the problem is not on your end, then try to check if Apple servers including iMessage and iCloud servers are currently down. Also make sure the recipient’s number is valid or correct.
  • Also ensure your iPhone is running the latest iOS version so as to optimize its performance and functions.

If the problem remains after performing all the aforementioned workarounds, please contact your carrier or Apple support to escalate the issue on your iPhone SE text messaging, for further troubleshooting and recommendations.