A friend had an iPhone and when I added her contact I set it her number as "iPhone". She's recently got an Android device but my iPhone keeps trying to iMessage her, needless to say she's not getting my messages. I can obviously press and hold each message and "send as SMS" but I'd like a more permanent solution.

How can I make my phone always send messages to her by SMS?


4 Answers 4


To disable iMessage on your phone (the one who has changed from iPhone to something else): http://support.apple.com/kb/ts5185

Since it’s not your phone that needs changing, your friend is the one that needs to take action to Approve the request to de-register their iCloud/AppleID from their phone number here.

As long as their SMS number is associated with iMessage via their Apple ID, iMessage delivery will be preferred by iOS when sending. If you must send an SMS without them fixing their account, you can turn off iMessage entirely on your iPhone and then send a SMS via your cellular carrier to that contact before turning on iMessage again if you wish to have that for other conversations.

  • This is the only way +1
    – Rob
    May 8, 2014 at 6:40
  • 1
    Sadly, we followed all the steps listed in both of the above links, and nothing has worked. My family hasn't been able to use group texts for two months since one of us switched to an Android phone. If we go to the 'deregister' link, we get an error message saying 'Your phone number is not registered with iMessage.' Yet if we attempt to send a message to that same number, it goes out as an iMessage. This has become par for the course with Apple -- introduce a defect, deny that it exists, and let it linger for years.
    – kiprainey
    Jun 7, 2022 at 14:32

It seems like there are one or two convoluted methods to manually reset a given contact's phone number to stop sending iMessages to them, involving switching the iMessages setting on and off and rebooting and resetting the phones while also deleting the contact and manually adding it again on one of the iPhones. That way seems pretty crazy, and I hope Apple figures out a better way to resolve this issue.

Meanwhile, if you send a message to a non-iMessages user, and the message shows a red exclamation point (showing it didn't send), you can tap on the exclamation point and choose "Send as Text Message". Do this two more times to the same contact, and it seems the Messages app finally catches on that you only want to send text messages to this particular contact.

  • It may temporarily recognise that, but the next time you send them a message it tries to go thru iMessage again.
    – Madivad
    Mar 25, 2014 at 7:17
  • @Madivad - True, but at least for short conversations, it seems to work okay. In the end, Apple is really responsible for this mess—they should make it right :( Mar 25, 2014 at 12:22
  • I've tried the 'send as SMS' trick more times than I care to think. It seemed to work in iOS 6 - but 7 & 8 are just getting progressively more insistent that the number I'm sending to is an iPhone number. Its owner claims it never has been.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 9, 2014 at 16:47
  • i found force press on newer phones is a great way to access that quick menu (but only works before the message finishes sending). also the "Messages app finally catches on that you only want to send text messages to this particular contact." seems to reset itself if you receive an iMessage from that contact Sep 11, 2020 at 20:24

Double click the text if you have already sent it. Then you will have an option as sending it as a text messages and hopefully it will go through.

  • Not in iOS 8, that's for sure :(
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 9, 2014 at 16:44
  • A long click on the sent message will propose "Send by SMS or MMS" just after you press the "up arrow" button to send it. Just tap this choice
    – lauhub
    Jul 16, 2018 at 20:20

You might want to try heading over to your iMessage setting (located in Settings > Messages) and toggle the switch to turn iMessage off then back on again. That may possibly reset the affiliated contacts.

  • 1
    That in no way would fix the problem. The only way that would help Is if the user (sender) left it turned off
    – Madivad
    May 3, 2014 at 1:21
  • @Madivad I'm providing a possible solution, not a definite answer.
    – user17805
    May 4, 2014 at 1:45

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