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Calling someone but their phone is switched off, you’ll instantly know it right away. But what about text messages? – You’ll never know if it's been delivered or not.

Messaging apps are a medium for connecting with friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else. But sometimes, it's frustrating when the messages you send get stuck in the middle of nowhere.

From Network errors – Spam filters – Signal issues, and so on. These issues have been the bottleneck in delivering your messages. But what are the reasons your messages didn’t get delivered, and how can you defend these issues?

In this blog post, we will discuss what it actually means when your message is sent but not delivered, the reasons for the message not getting delivered, and provide some troubleshooting tips for common messaging issues.

Let’s get started right away!

What does it mean if my message was sent but not delivered?

Sometimes, your message is sent but not delivered to the recipient's device. In this case, even though your message has been successfully sent, the receiver hasn’t received it yet. This problem is usually caused by the receiver's carrier server being down, poor internet connection, or the phone being turned off.

This is a common issue with almost everyone. But now, with a rapid rise in the popularity of instant messaging apps such as Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp, you can check whether your messages are delivered to the recipient or not.

In popular messaging apps, when you send texts to someone, you usually see a “single tick mark” or “sent status” instead of delivered. That means you have successfully sent your messages to another person from your end, but the recipient still hasn’t got your message. But where did your messages go if the other person hasn’t received it? And why this happens?

These issues are not limited to instant messaging apps; instead, they are common with default SMS messaging apps like RCS and traditional SMS messages. There are many reasons for that. We’ve discussed them briefly in the coming section.

What are the reasons for not getting your message delivered?

There are several reasons why your messages may not be delivered. Here are some major reasons:

1. Technical Issues

Technical issues with carriers, such as server downtime, network outages, and maintenance activities, can be a reason why your text message didn’t get delivered. But that doesn’t mean technical issues are caused only by your carrier.

The fault can also be on your end, like poor signals, issues with your devices, poor internet connection, etc. Sometimes, the issue could also be from the recipient’s end, like their device being switched off or problems with their carrier.

Here are some reasons for technical issues:

  • Network difficulties: Both you and the recipient need a stable connection for message delivery. Weak signal strength or carrier outages on either end can disrupt the process.
  • Server glitches: Sometimes, the servers responsible for message routing experience downtime, causing temporary delays or failed deliveries.
  • App Misbehavior: Glitches within the messaging app you're using can prevent messages from sending correctly. Try restarting the app or updating it to the latest version.

2. User Errors

This is one of the standard errors for unsuccessful message delivery, the sender errors. Despite many advanced features and a user-friendly interface for text messaging, errors can still occur. From typing invalid recipients' numbers to running out of balance on carrier plans, these issues are typical for your text messages that weren’t delivered.

Moreover, some messaging platforms support a limited word count, and exceeding the word count is a valid reason for failed messages. Also, mistakenly sending text messages to a landline number—which obviously won’t be received—misplaced digits or the wrong email domain are common issues for these problems.

Here are some common user errors:

  • Forgotten Features: Features like Do Not Disturb (DND) or Airplane Mode can silence incoming messages. The recipient might simply be unaware of a missed message.
  • Unsupported Features: Trying to send a message format (like a large video) unsupported by the recipient's device or plan can lead to delivery failures.

3. Spam Filters

With a rapid rise in text messaging, carriers have started filtering out spam messages to protect users from phishing attacks and unwanted messages. This works similarly to email, where your carrier blocks unwanted and spam messages, and the recipient will not receive them.

To better understand why your messages get filtered and won’t reach recipients, here are some common reasons:

  • You’re probably sending suspicious links included in your messages.
  • You’re spamming messages with the same content.
  • You might be sending lengthy messages. Messages under 160 characters are considered spam, and exceeding that will increase the chances of it being found.
  • You’re using Capital letters in your messages. For instance, “HURRY UP, SIGN UP FOR FREE” looks suspicious.

4. Blocked Contacts

It doesn’t matter how often you try to send messages; if another person has blocked your number, your effort is wasted. If you didn’t see a deliver or read sign, then you can probably assume the receiver has blocked your number.

While blocking provides recipients with control and privacy, it often leads to confusion for the sender, who remains unseen to the block and continues attempting communication. This lack of awareness can lead to misunderstandings, with the sender assuming other reasons for the lack of response.

Some common reasons for your number getting blocked may include personal issues, scam calls, telemarketing calls, or unknown calls. Calling them directly is one way to check whether the recipient has blocked the number. If the call fails to connect several times, then you can assume your number has been blocked.

5. Service Outages

Sometimes, technology can't be trusted completely. Your network carrier might have issues, which can disrupt your communication. Messages you send may not go through until your carrier fixes the problem.

To stay updated about these service interruptions, it's a good idea to check your provider’s social media pages or websites. This can prevent you from repeatedly sending messages that get delayed. Being aware of these issues helps ensure smoother communication and saves you from frustration when messages don't go through as expected.

Here are some reasons for service outages:

  • Planned Maintenance: Occasionally, communication service providers schedule maintenance that can interrupt message delivery for a short period.
  • Unforeseen Outages: Natural disasters or technical problems can cause unexpected service outages, hindering message delivery in a specific area.

6. Firewall Restrictions

Firewalls are like digital security guards for networks. They control the flow of messages and information, deciding what can come in or go out. Sometimes, firewalls are set up to block messages from going to specific numbers or websites.

You often find firewall restrictions in workplaces. They're there to stop employees from sending messages that could cause problems. Before you send messages, it's a good idea to know about these rules. If you run into issues because of a firewall, it's best to contact your service provider for help. Understanding and following firewall policies can help keep your communication smooth and secure, while also respecting the rules set in place by your organization.

7. Incorrect Recipients Details

The accuracy of the sender's details plays an important role in the successful delivery of the message. Easy mistakes like missing a digit in numbers, old phone numbers, or sending wrong emails straightly impact the delivery.

Never forget to verify the recipient's details. In addition, immediately get in touch with the service provider if you messed up. If the situation continues, you can communicate with your recipient directly to check that they have the correct details.

Here are some reasons for incorrect recipient details:

  • Incomplete Information: Missing details like a country code for an international number can prevent message delivery.
  • Outdated Information: If you haven't updated your contact list in a while, the recipient's phone number or email address might have changed.

8. Attachment size limitations

The majority of the messaging and email platforms have restrictions on the size of attachments you submit. If you are sending big and heavy files, then you won’t be able to send or receive messages. The attachment size may differ depending on the platform you are using.

You must understand the limits of attachment size and the platform you are using. For sending big files, make sure to compress them or use cloud storage platforms to get rid of heavy files.

Troubleshooting Common Messaging Issues

Here are some key measures to troubleshoot common messaging issues:

1. Verify internet connection

When messages or emails fail to reach their destination, various factors can be attributed, one of which is a poor internet connection. A stable and efficient internet connection is essential for sending and receiving messages accurately, as slow internet can lead to frustration and confusion.

Here’s how you can verify your internet connection:

  • Check your Wi-Fi signal strength: Utilize internet speed test tools or software to assess the power of your internet connection.
  • Restart Router or Modem: Sometimes restarting your router can fix minor glitches or connectivity issues.
  • Switch between Wi-Fi and mobile data: If you encounter problems with Wi-Fi, try using mobile data as an alternative means of sending messages.

2. Check server status

Another potential reason for message delivery failures is server issues. Messaging apps heavily rely on servers to facilitate communication, so if your carrier's server is down or undergoing maintenance, messages may not be delivered.

Here’s how you can check server status:

  • Visit the Platform Status Page: Some of the messaging platforms provide you with a dedicated option to check server status where you can check the current status of their servers.
  • Visit social media handles: You can check your service provider's social media pages or website, where they update their users about servers or any other issues.
  • Contact support: If you're unable to find server status information independently, contacting support can provide you with the necessary information.

3. Review recipient details

A simple typo mistake can cause messages to fail to get delivered. To send messages successfully, ensure you have entered the correct details about the recipient. Here’s how you can review recipient details:

  • Check contact information: Ensure you have entered the receiver's correct phone number and name.
  • Verify contact details directly with the recipient: If you are unsure of the recipient's information, contact them through a different channel.

4. Resend message

You may not be able to send a message sometimes because of temporary app glitches or network fluctuations. Here's when you should resend:

  • Resend after a few minutes: Give the initial message attempt more time to process in case of momentary delays.
  • Send the message at a different time: The messaging service may experience temporary delays during high traffic.

5. Try alternative communication channels

If all these measures fail to send messages, then you can try other communication channels to connect with the other person. Here are some alternative communication channels that you can try:

  • Make phone calls: In urgent cases, you may prefer to call instead of relying on messages.
  • Use social media channels: If you are connected with the recipient on social media, consider messaging them on their social media handles.
  • Consider other messaging platforms: If your current platform is causing issues, then consider using another platform where both of you have accounts.


Effective and efficient communication relies on the seamless exchange of messages. It's frustrating when you're trying to communicate with someone, and the messages don't go through.

If your message fails to get across the table, there may be several issues on your side and the receiver. The most common problems are wrong phone numbers or slow internet. So, we need to detect and fix these problems first if we really want to send a successful message.

Finally, once you learn to apply these tips and track down any messaging problems, your messaging experience can be smooth and effective throughout. Besides, you should remain aware of the latest software updates and fixes in order to fully utilize the capabilities of the messaging app you use.

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