Skip to Content

What does text message sent but not delivered mean?

Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Kennedy

Normally when sending a text message on your mobile phone what you will see is message sent and what follows next will be delivered.

However, there are some occasions when a text message will only say sent but you won’t say delivered or in the case of text message sent but not delivered.

This is something we wouldn’t want to see when sending a text message cause basically this signifies the message may not have been received by the recipient.

But you can never tell as there are more to know on why a text message will say sent but wont show or say delivered afterwards.

What does text message sent but not delivered mean?

Text message sent but not delivered means that the text message is yet to be delivered to the recipient or the recipient is yet to receive the text message even though it has been sent. This may be caused by a poor network reception on the recipient side or some other factors which I will discuss in this article. 

text message sent but not delivered

At first when you see text message sent but not delivered on your cell phone what comes to your mind that you may have been blocked by the recipient, but I’m telling you that it may not necessarily be the reason why such is happening.


Related Posts


Now let me explain the difference between sent and delivered in a text as it is very important in this article.

Difference between sent and delivered text message

The main difference between sent and delivered text message is that when a text message says sent, it is yet to be received by the recipient but when a text message says delivered, then it has been received by the recipient.

Basically, this is the main difference between sent and delivered text message.

When a text message says sent, within a few seconds it will say delivered if the recipient phone number is active and available but if not it won’t say delivered.

Kindly note that when a text message says sent, the message went through even though it is yet to be received by the recipient. This implies that the recipient phone number is still active and not disconnected or you the sender being blocked by the recipient.

When a text message says delivered, it means that the recipient has successfully received the sent text message on it’s mobile phone. This marks end of the journey of sending a text message.

When we see text message sent but not delivered after sending a text message on our phone, it will get us very confused as to why it happened.

Why will my text message only says sent but didn’t say delivered afterwards, no way something is wrong somewhere. This is exactly what will come into our mind and next will be has Charles or Tracy blocked my number?

Please don’t even think this way or think too much as below are the major reasons why a text message says sent but not delivered.

What causes text message sent but not delivered on cell phone

If you send a text message and it says sent but not delivered, I want you to know that the problem is not from you or your network but rather from the recipient side.

If the problem is from your side, the text message won’t say sent but rather it will say text message failed.

The major reasons why a text message only say sent but not delivered are listed below.

1. The recipient phone number is not active

As text message involves the sim card and the phone number, without these two being active or available a text message won’t be delivered. It will only says sent but wont say delivered because the recipient phone number or sim card is not active at the very moment of sending the text message.

This is why you shouldn’t panic or begin to wonder why your sent text message to charlse isn’t delivering, maybe charlse phone number or sim card isn’t active.

2. Poor network reception

One of the most annoying reasons why a text message won’t say delivered is due to poor network reception o coverage. This can be so annoying especially if it occurs for more than two hours and which means no calls or text messages.

Poor network reception on the recipient side because if it is from your side (the sender), the text message will fail.

In this scenario the recipient may have been having issues of poor network reception or coverage when you sent the text message. But the fact is once there’s a good network reception in the recipient phone, the sent message will be delivered.

3. The phone is switched off or offline

When the phone is switched off or offline, all cellular activity will be shut down and this affects both the text message and calls.

When you see text message sent but not delivered after sending a text message on your cell phone, it may be that the recipient phone is switched off or offline.

When i say offline I mean the phone is on airplane mode.

A text message can’t be delivered when a phone is switched off or offline, but immediately the phone is on and active with a cellular network service, the text message will be delivered and you will see the delivery notification.

4. The recipient phone or phone number is disconnected

This is quite a rare case to see as it involves the network service provider disconnecting the recipient phone number or phone.

In the case of the recipient phone being disconnected occurs over non payment of phone bill. Once the recipient fails to renew it’s monthly phone bill, the network service provider will disconnect the phone.

Depending on the network service provider, the recipient will be prohibited from receiving text messages until he or she renews the phone bill.

In the case if disconnected phone number usually occurs when a person haven’t used it’s sim card or the number in a long time, the network service provider will disconnect the after a long period of dormancy.

Sending text messages to the phone number will be sent but wont be delivered because it has been disconnected.

5. I’m sorry you have been blocked

This is quite annoying sending couple of messages that won’t say delivered, it is a strong indication that the recipient has blocked your number on its message app.

This especially when your text messages isn’t delivering for a particular contact or phone number on your cell phone.

But you can never tell until you verify it.

So this involves you to get a phone number or sim card not known to the recipient and send a text message. Once it says delivered, I’m sorry you have been blocked by the recipient.

Once a recipient blocked your phone on it’s message app, your text message will show sent but will never say delivered. Also if the recipient happens to unblock your phone number, the sent text message will never be delivered until you resend them once again.

Remember that you must enable delivery report on your phone in order to receive delivery reports for any text message sent on your mobile phone. 

Solution to text message says sent but not delivered

text message sent but not delivered

For the fact that this is caused by the recipient and not you shouldn’t bother you so much and also it doesn’t mean you have been blocked by the recipient but rather due to cellular network issues, below is option to contact the recipient.

By using instant messaging apps and services

By using instant messaging apps and services includes iMessage, whatsapp, Skype, Facebook messenger, telegram, viber, etc.

All these require internet and not just cellular network service.

If the recipient happens to be disconnected by the network service provider, having a poor cellular network service, the phone is offline, etc but it’s Wi-Fi is enabled and active the message will definitely get delivered.

For example, the recipient happens to be an iPhone user. All you need to do is to use send an iMessage and see whether it will be delivered or not. Whatsapp is very good and used by many, so you try to send a whatsapp message and see whether it will get delivered.

If they get delivered then it simply means the recipient phone number is offline but the phone and it internet is active with an available Wi-Fi.

But if after sending an iMessage, whatsapp message, message home or her through Skype, Facebook messenger, telegram, etc and they didn’t get delivered, then it means the recipient phone is switched off.

All you have to do is to try again after few hours has passed.

If after a day or two still same problem, use a number unknown to the recipient to call or send a text message. If still it get delivered please kindly try to locate the person and see if things are okay.

When a phone text is marked sent but delivered does not appear, does the message get through?

Yes of course, the text message went through even though it is yet to be delivered to the recipient. But if it says message failed then it never went through at all. 

Once a text message says sent, it has already went through but if it doesn’t say delivered afterwards, then the problem is from the recipient side which is due to the fact that the recipient phone number is not available or because of poor network reception.

If a sent text message says failed, it simply means that the text message never went through not to talk of getting delivered.

Text message sent but not delivered I’m blocked?

Text message sent but not delivered doesn’t necessarily mean blocked as there are many factors that causes such problem other than being blocked by the recipient.

In order to very and confirm if truly you have been blocked by the recipient recipient, kindly use a phone number unknown to the recipient and send another text message. If it gets delivered then you have been blocked by that very recipient.

If you can’t seem to find a phone number unknown to the recipient, I recommend getting a Google voice account and an assigned phone.

Learn more on using Google voice for calls and text messages.

If i resend a sent but not delivered text message will they get it twice?

They will receive it twice if the reason for the message not being delivered was due to the fact that their phone was switched off, offline a poor network service.

However, if it is because the recipient blocked your number on it’s cell phone, the recipient won’t receive the blocked messages even after unblocking your number.

After unblocking your number you can then resend the text message amr the recipient will receive it this time.

So once you send a text message to someone and it says text message sent but not delivered, please don’t go on sending multiple text messages. You have to wait for a while like six hours or more and see if it will get delivered.

If it didn’t get delivered, then you can resend for the message once again or probably give the person a call.

If send a video via text message and it says sent but not delivered can it be deleted?

The message can’t be deleted for the sender but won’t be deleted for the recipient cause sent simply means the went through though yet to be delivered.

Once sent it has already been sent and the recipient will receive it unless he or she blocked your number.

But if the message says failed, then go ahead and delete it because the message never went through and won’t be received by the recipient.

If you have a Verizon network, T-Mobile, AT&T, EE, Three network and others and after sending a text message it shows text message sent but not delivered, it means that the recipient phone number is not available or you have been blocked by the recipient.