I have an iPhone SE with iOS 13.2

Recently I noticed that no SMS messages arrive to one of my contacts (using an Android phone).

The contact has multiple phone numbers and I suspect the SMS is sent to a wrong one (not currently in use).

I think this started happening with the update to iOS 13.

No matter what I do, the messages don't arrive.

I had a similar problem before, because the Messages app does not show the used phone number, but only the contact name, so I was sending messages in thread A (the right contact, but wrong number) instead of thread B (right contact, right number).

But with iOS 13 it seems all threads of a contact are merged and I'm stuck with it.

If I try to start a new thread, select the contact and the correct number, I get transferred to the existing thread. Then if I type and send a message, it does not arrive.

Interesting detail: when I do the above (new message), when selecting the contact, by default the wrong phone number is selected. Apparently this number is used, no matter what I do.

One more detail: if I try to see which number of a contact was used, using his "simple" procedure: open thread, tap contact name on the top, tap "info", tap the ">" sign at the far right, then the "RECENT" mark is on the phone number that I last selected for sending SMS. But this seems just to be a GUI thing, as the message never arrives.

I don't have problems sending SMS message to other contacts (most of them have a single phone number).

I also have no problems receiving messages from this contact. They appear in the mentioned existing thread. I just can not answer.

  • When you text the person with the Android phone, are you messages green or blue?
    – drivec
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 21:44
  • @drivec they are green Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 16:52
  • Can you export the contact card, delete it, then manually re-add the contact with the contact number that you can to text to and text this?
    – drivec
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 17:23
  • @drivec I was thinking about that myself, but am leaving it as a last resort solution, if nothing else works. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 11:08

2 Answers 2


Apparently this was fixed with one of the recent iOS updates.

Currently I have iOS 13.3 and this problem is gone.

Edit: "fixed" is an overstatement. I can now send a message that arrives by manually selecting the correct phone number. If I write another message in the same thread, it is again sent to the wrong number. The RECENT label, if inspected, is again on the same wrong number, as before the "fix".


The contact has multiple phone numbers and I suspect the SMS is sent to a wrong one (not currently in use).

Change the phone number label to anything but “mobile.”

You stated that the phone number is not currently used. If this is the case, delete it. If not, change the label to something else like “company main” or “home” or whatever. Messages won’t send an SMS message to a non mobile number.

enter image description here

  • 1.) this is wrong. I've been sending SMS to numbers not labeled "mobile" all the time. 2.) It seem seems one of the recent iOS updates fixed this. Currently I have v13.3 Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 11:33
  • So, if an update fixed it (unlikely since it only affected one contact, but hey) why not put it in as an answer instead of letting the question languish? Also, when I choose a contact to SMS to, it never brings up home (or other) phone numbers
    – Allan
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 11:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .