iPhone 6S not sending texts when connected to WiFi... SOMETIMES???

brothertruffle880
brothertruffle880 used Ask the Experts™
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When connected to WiFi, why is it that sometimes I get a "Message Send Failure" when I send a text. other times, I have no problem.  
I'm running iOS v11.4.1
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Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
I've had this happen on occasion and often found no resolution to it. I've also experienced the problem when not connected to WiFi at all. Never could find a definitive reason for it. For me, resending a few minutes later seemed to work.

Possible causes I found:

WiFi experiencing a temporary issue
Telephone carrier is experiencing a temporary issue

I was using an earlier version of IOS when I had that problem too.

I assume you are able to send the text message eventually when you try again?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
I have that phone here (SE = 6s). I can always send text on Wi-Fi.

Do this:   Go to Settings. put the phone in Airplane mode. Wait 30 seconds.  Turn Airplane mode OFF.

Now Power Down (all the way). Hold down the top power button until Power Off appears and swipe right.
Wait 2 minutes.

Now turn it on and test texting.

What does airplane mode have to do with this?  It is a way of resetting DNS.
Andrew is correct .. the failure to send is sporadic and can be affected by the WiFi or Phone Carrier signal.

John has give you the steps to resolve it however powering off the device is fairly extreme and is rarely a solution as the issue is usually temporary and toggling off/on Airplane mode will often be enough to 'wake-up' the connection.

To explain WHY it happens is a bit more complex.  The Messages system on iOS is a bit of a mongrel app as it combines standard SMS/MMS system and Internet-enabled messaging system.  If you have a functioning WiFi connection and a mobile data phone service both connected the app will 'choose' between them for sending the message depending on the content of the message, the recipient etc. and that is where the problem lies.

On an old phone you could send only via the phone carrier MMS/SMS service and it either sent or failed.  With iOS messages you can embed video and other images (which will not work on standard SMS/MMS) and the messages can be MUCH larger than typical SMS.

If the person you're sending to is on an Apple iOS device and online the app will use the WiFi and Internet to send the message as it is all controlled by Apple.  However if the recipient is on an Android or other phone it will then send it as a MMS and may use the carrier data connection.

As all phones tend to experience fluctuations in both WiFi and carrier data signal strength .. what can happen is that the message is created and by the time the phone is sending the message the chosen connection has dropped in quality and the sending fails.  Usually waiting a few minutes or forcing a resend (or toggling off/on Airplane mode can force the phone to re-establish and re-assess the phone data connection) will get the message to go through via one method or another.

Its not really a bug in your device or with Apple iOS versions as this has been an issue for many years since Apple came up with their hybrid Messages app on their phones.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thanks and I was very happy to help you out.

Author

Commented:
I turned my airplane mode on and off and I also powered down my phone. None of these worked.
However, when I turned on my cell carrier service I was able to send the message.
Strange. Very strange.
I'm pretty sure this also happens with my voice mail.  I'm NOT notified of any voice messages unless I turn on my cellular service.
Any other thoughts?  This is a nuisance.
Does this have something to do with my destination device(s)  being a non-iOS recipient?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
However, when I turned on my cell carrier service I was able to send the message.   ….  I'm pretty sure this also happens with my voice mail.

There may be a conflict with your carrier and you should ask them.
IT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
I turned my airplane mode on and off and I also powered down my phone. None of these worked.
However, when I turned on my cell carrier service I was able to send the message.
Strange. Very strange.
Actually, not so strange in my opinion. Relying on WiFi to be able to send your SMS's isn't a good idea and your Carrier service should always be on, regardless if you have WiFi connected or not - or you may be missing calls or messages sometimes and not even realize it. WiFi is notoriously unreliable and frequently drops out and back in without your even knowing it's happening.

Besides that, configured correctly (and this is default) your iPhone will always try WiFi first to send any type of data and if not available (and allowed in your settings) will then revert to your carrier. If you have your carrier turned off, the frequency of the fails you are experiencing will increase.

I would suggest leaving both WiFi and your Carrier on at all times. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this has happened to me numerous times and I didn't do a thing (like power off and back on or turn Airplane mode on and back off) to get it working again. I just tried to resend again a minute or two later and off the message went.

Does this have something to do with my destination device(s)  being a non-iOS recipient?

Not in my opinion. I think it all has to do with the way you've configured your iPhone. I've used Apple phones since I think v4 and "occasionally" experienced this phenomenon on all of them, but certainly not that often that it caused me any grief.

I hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew

Author

Commented:
Hi Andrew:  I try to keep my carrier signal turned off because I don't have --can't afford-- an unlimited plan.
thanks for your insights.

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