Are you trying to text someone and the message is failing to be delivered, but the phone still rings when you call them?

This can be a strange thing to experience, and it may lead you to wonder what the problem is.

Normally, when texting doesn’t work, calling doesn’t either (often because their phone is off or in airplane mode.) However, why would calling work, when texting doesn’t?

In this article, we shed some light as to why the phone rings, but messages may not deliver. We’ll also share some tips to try out to help fix the problem.

Let’s get to it!

1. Technical Error

Most of the time, the failure to receive a ‘delivered’ message is due to a technical error on their part, and is not anything to be concerned about.

These issues tend to sort themselves out in time, and there isn’t really anything you have to do about it.

The person may have still received your message, but it’s simply not being reported correctly back to your device.

When you send an iMessage (or any message with delivered receipts), their phone sends a ‘delivered’ message back to you whenever the message actually reaches their phone.

This is why messages say ‘sent’ at first. It’s not until the message is actually downloaded onto their device does their phone send a notification back to yours, updating your phone to say the message has been delivered.

It seems a bit confusing, but there are a bunch of extra steps both of your phones take in the background to make this possible. Unfortunately, this means that there are also plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong.

Unless your phone specifically tells you that the message couldn’t be delivered, you should assume it has – or will be as soon as the other person’s phone is able to receive it.

2. iMessage Is Disabled

iMessage Enabled iPhone Settings

It’s also possible that iMessage has been disabled on the other person’s iPhone.

Many people don’t know this, but iMessage is optional – you don’t have to use it. And if you’re playing around in your phone’s settings, it’s possible to end up turning it off by accident.

If you try to send a message to somebody with iMessage turned off, the text message should still go through.

However, the text bubble will be green, rather than blue – similarly to if you’ve sent a text message to somebody using an Android phone.

Because read receipts on iPhone are only provided with contacts using iMessage, the text will not show as delivered, even if it has in fact been fully received by the other person.

So, if you’re using an iPhone and the text bubble is green instead of blue, you have nothing to worry about. This is perfectly normal, and the text message has likely been received.

In the event that the text could not be delivered, your phone will notify you, and prompt you to resend it.

3. Do Not Disturb Mode Is On

Finally, it’s also possible that Do Not Disturb mode has been enabled on their device.

Do Not Disturb can operate differently for phone calls and text messages, and can even be tailored towards specific contacts.

It should be noted however that even if Do Not Disturb is on, your message should still be reported as delivered.

However, the person you sent a message to may not have received the notification, and likely hasn’t seen it even if it has been delivered.

When Do Not Disturb mode is on, calls can still come through, though they may be silenced. Unfortunately, this can make it seem like the person is ignoring you – they aren’t answering texts, or even phone calls that come in.

However, this is normal if Do Not Disturb mode is on, and could be a complete accident!

Tip: Try Sending Your Message As A Text

One thing that you may consider doing is sending your message as a text, rather than using iMessage.

This can be done by holding down on the message, then selecting the option to ‘send as text message.’ You’ll notice that instead of the bubble being blue, it will turn to green instead.

Note that text messages are sent differently than iMessages. iMessages are sent directly through Apple over the internet, and it’s possible to send them through Wi-Fi even without a data connection.

Text messages on the other hand operate through your cell phone tower, and are delivered to the recipient’s phone differently.

The cellular provider will keep attempting to send the message over and over again until it’s finally delivered. While you won’t get any sort of read receipt that says the message has been sent or delivered (like you do on iMessage), you will get a notification saying that the message was undeliverable if it fails to go through.

However, this is rarely the case.

Unless the person’s phone isn’t working or they’ve blocked you, the message should go through.

For more information, see this article. It uses airplane mode as an example, but goes into more detail about what happens when texts are waiting to be delivered: What Happens When Someone Texts You On Airplane Mode? (Full Details)

If The Text Doesn’t Deliver But The Phone Rings, Does This Mean You’ve Been Blocked?

No. Just because a text or iMessage has failed to deliver, does not necessarily mean that the person has blocked you.

In fact, if you’re calling an iPhone and the phone rings, this is a sign that you haven’t been blocked at all.

This is because the messages app and the phone functionality share the same block list. It is impossible for someone to be blocked on one, but not the other.

Therefore, you can be certain if the phone is ringing that there’s another issue causing the texts not to go through.

Will The Phone Ring If You’re Blocked?

No. If you’ve been blocked by another person, the phone will not ring when you attempt to call them.

Instead, the phone will act the same way as it would if they had clicked the decline button on the incoming call. You will be sent immediately to voicemail, or simply be told that the call could not be completed.

In either case, you certainly won’t hear the phone ring like you would when placing a normal call.

Therefore, if you call someone and the phone rings, you can be sure that you’re not blocked – at least not on the phone’s built-in phone and messaging system.

Exception: Other Messaging Apps

The only exception to this however, is if you’re trying to message them using a third-party messenger app.

A few examples include Facebook Messenger, Kik, WhatsApp, or Telegram.

Unlike the messages app built-in to your phone, these apps do not share the same block list as the phone functionality built-in to the app.

This means that it’s possible to block you on one of these apps, without necessarily blocking you from calling.

It should be noted however that it’s usually easier to tell when you’ve been blocked on a third-party app, because most don’t allow you to continue to send messages after you’ve been blocked.


It can be confusing when the phone still rings, when your messages aren’t going through.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ve been blocked, and is usually due to some technical error on the other person’s device.

These errors tend to sort themselves out in time, so you don’t have much to worry about.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about texting or iMessage, please ask them using the comment form below.

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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