I recently bought an iPhone and can't get the delivery confirmation when i send an sms. I went from reading this thread at Apple forums and have some clarifications.

  • Old phones seems to can, last week my super old nokia sends me delivery confirmation when i send sms so isn't a network lack or issue. I have the exact same SIM, just swap the old phone for a new one.
  • With my older phone i didn't prepend any command to send an sms. That seems another argument depending of the carrier. I have the exact same numbers and i'm doing the exact same thing for sending its.

I wish to get back that feature to know when an sms is delivered or not. Any help appreciated.

5 Answers 5


The short answer is you can't; Unless the standards have changed since I retired as a mobile planner 12 years ago.

Some networks do provide confirmation (Vodafone in Australia did). Once a SMS leaves the originating network there is no way of checking on it.

  • 1
    Well, like i say in the post, my last (last week) phone receive delivery confirmation and even right now my super old dad phone receive those too and it works very accurately. Nov 14, 2014 at 3:13
  • 1
    You are wrong. Most carriers offer delivery confirmation, at least in Europe. The problem is the iPhone, it does not support this function. There are some non-generic workarounds but the problem is iOS, not the carrier.
    – d-b
    Jun 22, 2015 at 13:28
  • @user23122 NOTE I did not say it doesn't happen, merely that it is not supported by standard GSM/3GPP standards. Vodafone in Australia, for instance, was incapable of providing confirmation of delivery to other networks because these networks did not use the non-standard signalling employed by Vodafone. Indeed Australia had GSM <=> CDMA SMS which certainly didn't support it. In fact most internetwork SMS is transmitted by IP or X25 networks not CCS.
    – Milliways
    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:48

In canada, with a Rogers carrier, using iPhone, i start messages with " !", an exclamation point, and I get confirmation that a message was sent.

ie: " ! Tom are you home"

a message then follows confirming I sent message to XXX-XXX-XXXX

  • Are you tried that with another carrier ? Apr 16, 2015 at 20:43
  • I sure wish this was possible across carriers. To request a read receipt using a ! - bang or other shorthand.
    – bmike
    Oct 8, 2015 at 19:24
  • The question was about delivery confirmation, not sending confirmation.
    – greatvovan
    Mar 7 at 21:25

To add to what dave said, send a message with airplane mode on (or when you're far enough underground that there wont be enough signal to send it), and youll see an exclamation point appear to the side of it (eventually if not immediately). There is no way, as far as i know, to get an explicit "your message is sent (so whoever said it didnt is lying)" message. Now that i think about it, maybe thats so apple doesn't seem like the bad guy in situations like that. Sort of a best of both worlds thing: we would've told you if it didn't send, but were not gonna take sides here.

In actuality they probably didn't give it much thought and putting a 'indicator' every time a message doesn't send makes a lot more sense than putting a an 'indicator' every time one does, (as the majority of the time peoples messages are sent). Also in case i have to explicitly say it, the implication is that if it does not have an exclamation point, then as far as the people at apple are concerned, it has sent. (As opposed to 'whats app' for example, which gives you those check marks to tell you something went through. Apples equivalent is nothing at all. You will only see something if it does not work.)

Not sent:

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Using any phone, start your messages with "*0#" then you are going to get your delivery confirmation.

  • The prefix is different for different service providers. Anyone know a comprehensive list? Dec 15, 2017 at 13:37

Tap “Settings” on the Home screen and go to “Messages.”

Tap the “Off” button within the iMessage section of the Messages screen so that the button reads “On.”

Tap the “Off” button in the Send Read Receipts section so that it reads “On.”

Tap “Settings” to save your preferences and return to the Settings screen.

  • 2
    The question is about SMS. I think your answer is only about iMessage. Besides, the OP asks how to get a receipt, not send one.
    – KPM
    Nov 13, 2014 at 21:40

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