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'Why am I not receiving text messages on my iPhone?': How to fix common iPhone messaging problems

Woman surprised using iPhone

  • If you’re not receiving text messages on your iPhone, there are several common problems you can easily fix.  
  • Your first steps should be to restart your iPhone and make sure you have wireless service. 
  • If those simple fixes don’t get you up and running, you can also check to ensure your Messages app is properly configured in Settings. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Your iPhone is probably a phone in name only – odds are good that you spend a lot more time texting than talking.

But if your Messages app is not working or you are having trouble getting text messages, don’t panic. 

There are several possible problems, and you can troubleshoot your iPhone’s messaging problem easily. 

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What to do when your iPhone isn’t receiving messages

  • Your first step should be to restart your iPhone. Often, just turning it off and back on again can solve myriad problems with apps, network connections, and other technical glitches.  
  • Check your network connection to make sure that you have connectivity. If you are trying to send a traditional SMS message, you need to have a cellular signal, so make sure you see several bars of strength in the status at the top of the screen. 
  • If you want to send an iMessage to another iPhone, you need either a cellular signal or Wi-Fi, so again, make sure you have a solid connection with one of those. 

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  • If you want to send an MMS message (a text message that contains photos, video, or audio), make sure MMS messaging is turned on. Start Settings and tap “Messages,” then make sure “MMS Messaging” is turned on by swiping the button to the right. You might also want to ensure your cellular plan includes MMS, though virtually all do.

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Check to see if you can receive messages after each of these steps. If not, move on to the next section. 

Make sure that your iPhone is configured to receive text messages

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap “Messages,” then tap “Send & Receive.” 

3. In the “You can receive iMessages” section, your phone number should have a check mark beside it. If it’s not checked, do that now and check to see if you can receive messages. 

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If your phone number isn’t displayed there at all, you need to link your phone number to your Apple ID.

1. At the top of the screen, tap “Use your Apple ID for iMessage.”

2. Sign into your Apple ID account using your email and password.

3. Your phone number should now be listed in the “You can receive iMessages to and reply from” section. Make sure it’s checked and test again to make sure you can receive messages.  

If this doesn’t resolve the problem, it’s probably a more complicated issue, and likely related to your cellular service.  You should contact customer support at your cellular service provider to get additional assistance troubleshooting your issue.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • ‘Why won’t my iPhone turn on?’: 3 ways to troubleshoot an iPhone that won’t restart

  • How to stop iCloud storage alerts on your iPhone in 5 easy ways

  • ‘Why won’t my iPhone charge?’: How to diagnose and fix common iPhone charging problems

  • ‘Why won’t my iPhone ring?’: 7 ways to fix an iPhone when its sound isn’t working properly

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

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