Why Does My Text Say Not Delivered? (12 Causes, Fixes)

Text messaging is one of the top ways to communicate with your loved ones or coworkers.

You can do it by sending a standard text or using an app such as WhatsApp, iMessage, and much more.

However, remember that your recipient may not always receive the text.

Sometimes, the message may not be delivered to the other person for multiple reasons.

The good news is you can also fix the issue by understanding the causes.

Here are the top causes that may prevent your text from being delivered and fixes for them.

1. The Recipient’s Number Is Switched Off

Messages are not delivered to a person if their number is switched off.

This is because the individual’s sim does not have networks.

You will have to wait for the person to turn on their device.

The messages will be promptly delivered once the recipient has a good connection.

You may also encounter a “Failed” tag if the message is not delivered for an extended period.

This happens when the number has been switched off for more than six hours.

The tag may also appear if the issue is with your sim and not the recipient’s number.

For example, your broadband network may not be strong, or your bill may be pending.

Fix: Wait For Automatic Delivery Or Resend

All SMS providers have an automatic message delivery system for standard texts.

If the message does not deliver on the first try, it will automatically be resent at specific intervals in six hours.

The recipient will receive the text if their networks are up.

If six hours pass and the number is still off, the “Failed” tag will appear beside the text.

The automatic delivery will not occur after this statement comes up.

You will have to resend the message to the recipient, and the entire delivery process will restart.

2. Your Message Has Been Flagged As Spam

All mobile carriers have specific regulations for convenience and ease of use.

The companies are taking many measures to prevent their customers from becoming a target of spam.

They send some messages to the spam folder instead of the individual’s primary inbox.

The worst part is that the recipient will not have access to the spam messages as they are not delivered due to the carrier’s interference.

If your text has been marked spam, the recipient will not get it.

You can test this by resending the message and seeing if it gets delivered or not.

Fix: Avoid Violating The Guidelines

The various carriers have different rules to handle spam messages, but many follow some universal guidelines.

If you don’t violate the regulations, your message will not be marked spam.

This means it will deliver to the recipient as soon as you send it.

You avoid being flagged as spam by ensuring that your text does not have suspicious links such as bit.ly.

The issue may also happen if you send the same content repeatedly.

Lengthy messages such as an essay will also cause you to be marked as spam.

Lastly, you should also avoid using all caps in your text.

These methods will ensure you’re not breaking the rules.

3. False Negative

It is not always that your messages are not delivered because of your phone issue or the recipient’s signals.

Sending standard texts requires receiving Delivery Reports (DLR) from your operator.

If the carrier fails to generate the receipt, it will mark the message as “Failed to Send” instead of notifying you about the delivery.

There have been many cases of operators failing to generate DLR or send the reports correctly.

The worst part is that you cannot know whether this is the issue or not.

You may end up wasting time doing actions that may help with the message delivery in vain.

Fix: Wait For A Reply

There is no instant fix for this issue as the problem is not on your end.

The carrier will also not let you know that you’re experiencing a false negative.

You can contact the operator yourself to learn about this issue, but you should not expect to get an adequate explanation.

The top thing that will help you is waiting for a reply from the recipient.

You can also contact them in another way to know if they have received the message.

4. You Require A Different Number

Sending SMS messages may seem an easy task, but it can be complex depending on the type.

There are two messages you can use: A2P and P2P.

These types require you to use different phone numbers to deliver the message.

You may face an issue if your recipient comes under the incorrect type.

A2P messaging is mainly for businesses that send reminders, billing texts, and other transactional messages.

Besides that, P2P is designed for personal texts.

You want to engage in this type if you’re sending the message to a friend or a loved one.

If you mess up the numbers, the texts will not deliver.

Fix: Use Correct Numbers

If you’re doing A2P messaging, you must ensure that you send the texts using toll-free numbers with short codes and local numbers approved for high-volume texting.

If you use a regular number for this messaging type, the carrier will block your messages.

Avoid using such a number.

For P2P messaging, you don’t have to worry if you’re using a local number for sending texts.

The only thing you must ensure is that you don’t send hundreds of messages in a short period.

5. The Number Is Abroad (Roaming)

You may have a loved one who has recently traveled abroad and is there for holidays.

In that case, their number is considered roaming, and delivery to such contacts is not guaranteed.

You may have issues if you’re sending a message to a person who is not in their native country.

It is worth noting that carriers allow you to deliver messages to roaming numbers.

This depends on your network plan and the operator, as some providers may restrict you.

The primary thing to do is know whether the recipient is roaming or not before you try to fix the issue.

Fix: Get International SMS Messaging Approved

The top reason your message may not deliver to a roaming number is that your network plan is not approved for international messaging.

You can resolve this issue by calling your carrier service and letting them know.

They will change your data plan to fulfill your needs.

However, it’s important to remember that this may be costly.

If international messaging is approved, you may be entering an incorrect code.

This can happen if the person has reached another destination on their trip.

The text will easily deliver if you enter the correct country code before the recipient’s number.

6. You Are Sending Many Messages

SMS messaging requires your carrier to send the information through multiple networks.

This is why you may face issues if you send a high number of texts at once.

The operator may mark your number as spam if you do this.

Besides that, the operator may have restricted the number of messages you can send at once.

If you violate the guidelines, your text will not be delivered to the recipient.

Sometimes, the network provider may also categorize the text as “Failed,” so you must resend it.

Fix: Avoid Sending Multiple Messages

All carrier services have a different messaging limit to ensure a smooth experience.

Most numbers that can receive P2P traffic are allowed to send only one message every second.

The texts will not deliver if you send a hundred SMS messages at once.

You can also avoid this issue by using a number approved for high-volume traffic.

Most businesses use this type because they send messages to hundreds and thousands of customers every day.

When your data plan changes, you will not face delivery issues for sending a high number of texts.

7. Sending Text Messages Is Not Enabled

This cause only applies to Apple devices because it is specific to the iMessage app.

The program allows you to send texts over Wi-Fi and a sim connection.

If you are a recent user, you may not know that text messaging is not enabled on the phone by default.

Your texts will not deliver unless the person has a Wi-Fi connection.

You can also send standard texts if the message is not delivering despite the person having Wi-Fi.

Carrier charges will apply in such a case, and you must turn on the option from the settings.

Fix: Enable Text Message Or Send Manually

The easiest way to fix this issue is by opening the Messages app in the iPhone settings tab.

You will have to scroll down to find the “Send as SMS” option.

This enables your text to automatically deliver as a standard text message if the recipient does not have Wi-Fi.

You can also manually send the messages one by one if you don’t want to turn on the automatic feature.

All you have to do is send the message and hold it for a few seconds.

Some options will appear from which you must choose “Send as Text Message,” and the blue text box will turn green.

8. Local Restrictions

If you use A2P messaging, you must understand this cause entirely to face fewer issues.

In some countries, companies can send marketing SMS during specific hours only.

Most places enable businesses to deliver texts from 8 AM to 8:30 PM on weekdays.

Things can also become complex if you send text messages to customers worldwide.

This is because the local restrictions in different countries vary according to the laws.

You will have to meet the requirements to ensure your message delivers to your customers.

Fix: Understand The Rules Or Use A Worthy Service Provider

As a business owner, you may be handling sending messages to your customers without anyone’s help.

This means you will have to remember the time restrictions to deliver messages correctly.

To avoid the hassle, you must use a worthwhile A2P messaging service provider.

Specific carriers are well-versed in A2P services and offer automated features.

All you have to do is provide the message to your carrier, and the company will schedule to send the texts at specific times.

This will help you keep all your customers updated with your service.

9. The Recipient Is Not Receiving Messages Purposely

Standard texts are not the only way to message someone with essential information.

You may be talking to a person on another platform such as WhatsApp and OpenPhone.

The top feature of the latter is that it allows the person to opt out of receiving messages.

If you receive a “STOP” message from someone on OpenPhone, the person has decided not to receive texts from you.

Your messages will no longer deliver to the individual.

A person will also not receive texts from you on WhatsApp if they have blocked you.

Fix: Wait To Be Unblocked

The worst part about the opt-out of messages feature is that you don’t have control over it.

It all depends on the recipient to decide whether or not to receive texts from you.

If the person unblocks you on the platform, you can send more messages to them.

Unfortunately, this will not cause your old undelivered messages to deliver.

You will have to resend the texts if you want to relay the same information.

This applies to messages on WhatsApp and OpenPhone.

You must also ensure an excellent Wi-Fi connection, or else the messages will not deliver.

10. The Device’s “Receive SMS Text” Setting May Be Off

There are multiple ways of communicating with your friends, family, loved ones, and other people in this digital era.

The recipient may be using an internet-based app such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and more for texting.

This is why the person may not know that their standard SMS receiving is off.

Many phone devices come with built-in settings that allow you to get messages.

If the feature is off, the phone will not receive texts from other people.

So your messages will not deliver if the recipient’s setting is disabled.

Fix: Tell The Recipient To Turn On The Setting

Most people don’t realize when the SMS receiving is off due to other communication methods.

If you know the recipient, you can call and help them turn on the handset’s setting.

This will also allow you to learn if the person has disabled standard text messaging purposely.

When the person turns on the feature, they will receive future messages instantly.

If you cannot tell the person to turn on the setting, your texts will not deliver, and you can’t do much about it.

11. The Message Had Illegal Content

You must remember that providers have strict guidelines about the content of texts.

Some restrictions also apply because of the state laws and local regulations.

If your message has illegal content, it will not deliver to the recipient for safety reasons.

Your number may also be blocked.

A prime example of illegal content is sending adult content to someone or referencing drugs.

The carrier will also block the message if it displays criminal activity and may report you to the authorities.

CITA is the organization that enforces rules for safe SMS messaging.

Fix: Don’t Send Illegal Content

The only fix to this cause is to avoid sending illegal content to people.

You should always be alert about the messages you are sending.

Avoid attaching links to text messages as not all sites are deemed legal, no matter how safe it seems.

Besides that, the carrier may block you if you do this action even once in your life.

In this case, your messages will not deliver to anyone, and you will have to get your number taken off the block list.

You may also have to change your carrier if the company does not unblock you.

12. You Are Texting To A Landline

Remember that people still use telephones in this era.

You will see the device in many homes as it offers an easy way of communication.

It is also preferable in families with senior members who don’t handle technology.

If you send a text to a landline number, it will not deliver no matter how many times you retry.

A cross is likely to show under the message indicating that it has failed to send.

Of course, the sign will not present itself with some service providers.

Fix: Use A Different Number

Landlines are not designed to receive text messages, so there is no way to send a text to this device.

The only solution you have is to get the smartphone number of the person.

You can also send the message to the recipient on an internet-based platform.

The good news is that you can easily identify when you’re sending a message to a landline.

You can use a phone number validator for getting the relevant information.

A failed message will also let you know that the contact is on a landline.


These are the twelve causes and fixes of why your messages are not delivered to recipients.

You should follow the relevant instructions to ensure a person receives your messages.

If all the above fixes don’t work, you must call your service provider.

Your outgoing may be off and impacting the messaging service.

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