• my goal is to use auto complete over my thousands of contacts to reliably send an SMS message.
  • In order to be reliable, I need to know that the SMS is being sent to a number that is listed as a mobile number, when I send the SMS.


  • Thus counting on auto sorting defaults is not reliable, since I must go to the contact to see if the top one is indeed the right one.
  • Counting on favorites being at the top would also not be reliable unless I added a favorite for every mobile contact number, then deleted numbers from contacts w/o mobile a number, and then ensured that as I added contacts, I had a robust way to ensure that I also added a favorite. (Plus I have to manually favorite 2,000+ contacts)

  • thanks for the help so far, but I am hoping there is a solution for this! (I would use a 3rd party app too, if Apple just blew this one completely)

======== Original Request.

It is the dumbest thing. iMessage will show all numbers for a contact (and not indicate which number is which).

If you select the wrong one by accident, your message will just be silently lost, since you just sent an SMS to a landline.

Usually apple thinks about the common use case before implementing a feature... in this case, someone was asleep at the wheel!

I will even be happy with a hacky work around: my goal (using some OSX application) is to be able to auto complete on a contact name, then quickly send an SMS.

  • Whenever I accidentally send a text to a landline, I get a message send failure. Aug 23, 2015 at 19:21
  • 1
    @RedEagle2000 Some phone companies (like Comcast) allow text messages to be sent to their users' landlines, in which case the text would go through. Assuming the recipient wasn't actively checking the messages on their landline, it could appear to have "silently failed."
    – aaplmath
    Aug 23, 2015 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Mark the number you want to message as a favorite and it will get precedence over other numbers.

Also, look for the blue text to indicate iMessage when you see the various options for a specific contact (email or mobile) and you'll be sure to get their messaging account as opposed to sending it to the land line.

Also, as you send more and more messages, the ones you use float to the top. If you've "trained" your device to send to the wrong number inadvertently, you might need to slow down and send a bunch of messages / use the favorite trick to get the preferred number to be the one that floats to the top.

Alas, I don't know a way to categorically prevent a contact's number from being a message target short of deleting the land line and placing it in the "notes" section, which might be viable if you want to retrain the message app and then return the "land line" number to it's proper place in contacts.

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