How to Send Text Messages on iPhone or iPad

By Corbin HartwickUpdated on November 23, 2017

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New to text messaging, or new to using an iOS device? Want to learn how to send a text message on iPhone or iPad? If so, you’re in luck. In today’s tutorial, we’ll be walking you through the steps of how to text on iPhone.

To send a text message on iPhone:

1. Tap the Messages icon on your home screen.

This will open the main Messages app interface.

iPhone Messages icon

2. Tap the Message icon to start a new conversation.

Tapping the Message icon will open a new window where you’ll be able to begin a text chat with one of your contacts.

Compose new message button

3. Type in the phone number or name of the contact you’d like to send a message to.

At the top of your screen, tap the text box and type in the contact information of the person you want to send a text message to. If the person isn’t saved in your contact list, type in their phone number; if they are in your contact list, you can just type in their name. If you want to, you can type in more than one person’s contact information and send the same message to multiple people at once.

Enter contact information

If the person you’re messaging has an Apple device as well, your message may automatically be sent as an iMessage rather than a normal text message. Check out our iMessage course to learn more.

4. Tap the text box above your keyboard and type your message.

Now it’s time to write whatever you’d like to say. Tap the text box above your keyboard and type in your message.

Type a text message

5. Tap the Arrow button to send it.

When you’re done typing and ready to send your message, tap the Arrow button to send it to the intended recipient(s).

Send message button

Those are all the steps to sending a text message on an iPhone or iPad. All that’s left is to wait for a response! However, there are a few more things you may want to keep in mind when texting on an iOS device, so let’s go over those things now.

Notes about texting on iPhone and iPad

1. Your messages may automatically send as iMessages.

If the person you’re sending a message to also has an Apple device with iMessage enabled, your message will automatically be sent as an iMessage rather than a regular (SMS or MMS) text message. Keep in mind that iMessages will use your device’s Internet data connection, while regular text messages will not.

2. If you only have an iPad, you won’t be able to send regular SMS or MMS messages from the built-in messaging app.

If you have an iPhone and iPad, you can set your devices up such that you can forward your SMS and MMS text messages to your iPad automatically, and be able to respond to them from your iPad as well. This can also be done between an iPhone and a Mac computer. However, if you only have an iPad and not an iPhone as well, you’ll be able to send iMessages, but not SMS or MMS text messages. You can learn how to set up text message forwarding with this helpful page on the Apple website here.

3. You’ll need to turn on notifications if you want to know instantly when someone has replied.

To make sure you’re notified when someone replies to one of your messages, or starts a new conversation with you, be sure to turn on your device notifications. To do so, go into your device settings, tap Notifications, and then tap Messages. You’ll see this screen where you can customize your message notification preferences to ensure you’ll know when someone texts you.

Message notification settings

That’s everything you need to know about how to send text messages on iPhone or iPad. We have other tutorials as well, so if you’re interested in learning more, you may want to check out our articles on how to create a group text or how to block unwanted messages.