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Do iMessages deliver if the phone is dead?

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  • 2 min read

iMessage is a great messaging tool for iPhone owners, with its only drawback being that the app is exclusive to iPhone and other Apple devices. Read receipts, delivery notifications, support for media files, emojis and Apple’s memojis are included in iMessage’s feature list. It can, however, sometimes be a bit too much.

In this article, we’re looking at whether or not iOS will give you the ‘delivered’ prompt if the recipient’s phone is switched off.

Also read: iPhone volume buttons not working: 6 Fixes

iMessage delivery explained

No, if the recipient’s phone is switched off or dead, iMessage won’t give you the delivered prompt.

There are three requirements for an iMessage message to be marked as delivered. 

  • The recipient’s phone should be switched on.
  • iMessage needs to be enabled on the recipient’s phone. 
  • The recieving phone needs to have an active internet connection. 

As you can see, the recipient’s phone being dead will violate all three of those conditions, and hence you won’t get any delivery prompts whatsoever. The message won’t go through as long as the phone is turned off. However, if the recipient’s phone is off but they’ve signed in with their Apple ID on multiple devices, and either of them is on, you’ll see a delivery prompt as soon as those devices receive the message. 

If you have the ‘send as SMS’ option enabled, your message will be delivered as an SMS instead. You will, however, see the delivery prompt once the recipient device is switched on and connected to the internet. 

If the receiving phone doesn’t come online in a short while, messages are stored on iMessage servers for up to 30 days for redelivery, so that’s your window if you’re looking for delivery notifications. 

Also read: iPhone won’t send pictures to Android: 5 Fixes


Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: