Are messages suddenly sending green to another iPhone, when they normally send blue?

Green messages mean that the text is being sent via SMS, rather than iMessage. Typically, this happens when you are texting an Android phone, or any other non-Apple device.

So, why would messages send green to another iPhone? In this article, I’ll be covering 6 reasons why – as well as what can be done to fix it.

Let’s get started!

1. They Have iMessage Turned Off – Or You Do

Turn iMessage Off Or On, iPhone

If either one of you accidentally disabled iMessage, this would cause all messages that you send to them to turn green.

This is because iMessage operates through Apple’s servers – and they require both participants to have the feature turned on in order for it to work. If either user has iMessage turned off, texts will be sent via SMS instead.

Keep in mind, if you are the one with iMessage turned off, then your messages will be sending with green bubbles to all other iPhones – not just one specific contact.

Still, you can verify that you have iMessage turned on by following these instructions:

  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app.
  2. Tap on ‘Messages.’
  3. Make sure that ‘iMessage’ is toggled on (as pictured above.)

Unfortunately, there is no way to know if the other person has iMessage turned off or not, unless you ask them.

It’s rare that someone turns iMessage off on purpose, so it’s also very likely that your messages are sending green due to another cause.

2. Their Phone Does Not Currently Have Service

iMessage requires an active connection to the internet in order to work – either via Wi-Fi, or via cellular data.

If the person you’re sending a text message to doesn’t have service however, it won’t able to be delivered. So, your iPhone will try resending it as a regular SMS text message instead.

When this happens, the bubble will turn from blue to green.

Unlike iMessages (which again, go through Apple’s servers), SMS messages are handled by your cellular carrier.

When a message is unable to be delivered due to the other phone not having service, the carrier will ‘hold onto it’, and reattempt delivery later.

That way, they are able to receive the message once they have service again.

To learn more about what happens to text messages when they can’t be delivered straight away, click here!

3. Their Phone Is Turned Off

Similarly to not having service, your messages will send as green bubbles if the other person’s phone is turned off.

This again, comes down to deliverability.

If the iMessage cannot be delivered – an Apple verifies they cannot deliver it right now, they will attempt to send it again via SMS. That way, they can ensure the message will be delivered as quickly as possible after the phone is turned off.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know whether or not someone is out of cellular range, or their phone is powered off.

However, this article can help you determine whether someone’s phone is turned off or not. So, click here to read it if you’re interested!

4. Their Phone Is Currently In Airplane Mode

You might be noticing a pattern by now. This is yet another reason why someone would be unable to receive any messages at all, and why Apple would choose to send the message via SMS instead.

Airplane mode disconnects your iPhone from both the cellular network, as well as Wi-Fi – effectively removing your connection from the internet. And since iMessages travel over the internet, this prevents them from working.

Keep in mind however that the other person can turn Wi-Fi back on manually, even if airplane mode is turned on. This is useful if they’re traveling on an airplane that offers free in-flight Wi-Fi for example.

Anyhow, if you know what the other person is doing, this can help you identify whether they might have airplane mode turned on.

For example, if you know that they are currently flying or they’re in an important meeting, this would make sense.

Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that they’ll turn airplane mode back off again once their task is done.

5. They Recently Were Unable To Receive An iMessage, And Your First Message Will Still Be Sent As SMS

It’s possible that the person does indeed have iMessage turned on – and they have an active cellular connection, but your message will still send as green.

Typically, this only happens when you previously had trouble sending them an iMessage, and it instead ended up being sent via SMS.

iMessage Send Button Example

Because Apple can’t verify that the problem has been fixed, the first message you send after they’ve regained service will still send with a green bubble. You can actually verify whether Apple will try to send via iMessage or SMS, by looking at the color of the arrow before you send the message.

In the example above, the arrow is blue, indicating that my iPhone will attempt to send the message via iMessage first.

Typically, you may not start seeing blue messages again until the other person sends you a message back.

After that, future messages you send will go back to sending via iMessage!

6. They Are Otherwise Unable To Receive iMessages Right Now

We’ve talked about the most common reasons someone wouldn’t be able to receive iMessages – for example, their phone being off, or them not having any service.

However, there are other niche situations that would result in this as well! For example:

  • Their phone service temporarily being shut off.
  • Their number was temporarily disconnected.
  • Their phone number is currently being ported over to another carrier.

…and more!

The easiest way to verify this is to try actually calling them.

Typically, when one of these niche situations occur, you will get an intercept message stating that this person is not accepting calls at this time.

In this situation, it would be best to contact them via another method (such as social media) to verify what’s going on – as these issues can last for days or even weeks at a time.

7. You’ve Been Blocked

Blocked, Blocking Someone Concept

Finally, it’s also possible that the messages are sending green because you’ve been blocked.

If you’re absolutely sure they have service and messages were sending blue previously, this may be the reason why.

Of course, just because messages are sending green does not mean for certain that you’ve been blocked, as it could be due to any of the reasons listed in this article.

Blocking someone on an iPhone will result in you being blocked from calls, texts, and FaceTime. So, you will need to contact them from another number – or via another method (like social media) to let them know they may have blocked you by accident.

Of course, if you believe they blocked you on purpose, it would be best to respect this decision, and leave them alone.


Typically, messages will send green to another iPhones due to the other person not being able to receive the iMessage at this time. This may be because their phone is turned off, they’ve enabled airplane mode, or they do not have service.

However, it’s also possible that they’ve simply turned iMessage off, or blocked you from messaging them.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and you have a better understanding of what causes iMessages to send as green bubbles, rather than blue bubbles.

If you have any other questions, ask them below and I’ll be happy to help.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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