Do iMessages Still Deliver When Phone Is Dead? [Answered]

Key Take Aways [iMessages Still Deliver When Phone is Dead]

  • iMessage, an Apple service, sends messages using the internet rather than the cellular network like SMS.
  • If an iPhone is dead or off, iMessages are held on Apple’s servers and delivered when the device reconnects to the Internet.
  • Blue and green bubbles in Apple Messages represent iMessages and standard SMS/MMS respectively.
  • “Do Not Disturb” mode does not stop the delivery of imessages.
  • If the iPhone is dead, iMessages can be sent using other Apple devices logged into the same Apple ID.
  • In case of issues with iMessage delivery, alternatives like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Signal can be used.

In today’s digital world, being connected is more important than ever. But what happens when our lifelines—our phones—run out of juice or suddenly become unavailable? Specifically, what happens to our conversations and our iMessages?

In this article, we’ll answer the question many iPhone users have wondered at some point: “Do iMessages still deliver when the phone is dead?” We’ll delve into the inner workings of iMessage, explore the different scenarios affecting delivery, and provide answers to some of the most common questions about this vital communication tool. Prepare to demystify the blue bubbles on your screen!

What is iMessage?

iMessage is an instant messaging service developed by Apple Inc. for devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac. It was launched in 2011 as part of iOS 5. iMessage allows users to send texts, documents, photos, videos, contact information, and group messages over Wi-Fi, mobile data, or other forms of internet access to other iOS or macOS users, thus providing an alternative to standard SMS/MMS messaging.

iMessage is distinguished from regular SMS text messaging in that it uses data to send messages, not the text message plan from your cellular service provider. It supports rich content such as stickers, animated effects like message bubbles, full-screen animations, and other visual effects. 

Difference Between iMessage and SMS


The Main difference between iMessage and SMS is to serve the same basic function—sending text messages—but the technology behind them is quite different. SMS (Short Message Service) is a text messaging standard established in the cellular network industry that sends messages of up to 160 characters between devices. MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is an extension of SMS that supports sending pictures, videos, and other multimedia content. These are universally compatible with any mobile phone.

On the other hand, iMessage uses a device’s Internet connection to send messages, bypassing the cellular network. It’s available only to users within the Apple ecosystem, meaning it works only between Apple devices. Additionally, iMessage supports a wider range of features, such as read receipts, typing indicators, and end-to-end encryption for enhanced security. 

Blocked vs Dead Phone iMessage

The delivery of an iMessage can be affected by a few different factors, including whether a phone is dead or has blocked you. When a phone is blocked, the user has chosen to prevent messages and calls from a particular sender. In such cases, the iMessage will show as delivered on your device because it’s sent to their server, but the recipient won’t receive it.

Conversely, when an iPhone is dead or turned off, iMessage cannot deliver the message since the device is not connected to the Internet. The message will be held on Apple’s servers and will be delivered once the iPhone is turned back on and connected to the Internet. However, it will not show as “Delivered” on the sender’s device until it is actually delivered.

What is iMessage Delivery?

iMessage delivery refers to the process of an iMessage being successfully sent from the sender’s device, received by Apple’s servers, and then delivered to the recipient’s device. This system is designed to allow Apple devices to communicate seamlessly over Wi-Fi or mobile data. Delivery status can be tracked on the sender’s device, with statuses such as “Delivered” indicating that the message has reached the recipient’s device, and “Read” indicating that the recipient has opened the message. 

Do iMessages Deliver When Phone Is Dead?

If the recipient’s iPhone is turned off or dead, the iMessage will not be delivered until the device is turned back on. This is because iMessage relies on the device’s Internet connection to receive messages. However, the message isn’t lost. It’s stored on Apple’s servers and once the device is back online, the message will be delivered and the sender will see the “Delivered” status. In this scenario, the iMessage behaves much like an email, waiting to be retrieved when the device reconnects to the Internet. 

Requirements For iMessage Delivery

For an iMessage to be delivered, there are a few requirements that must be met. The sender and receiver must both be using an Apple device that supports iMessage, and they must have an active Internet connection, either through Wi-Fi or cellular data. The iMessage service must also be enabled in the settings of both devices. Both devices must be logged in to iMessage using their Apple ID. If any of these conditions aren’t met, the message will be sent as an SMS or MMS message instead, or it may fail to send entirely. 

Identifying Message Bubble Colors

The color of the message bubbles in the Apple Messages app can provide some insight into the type of message being sent. Blue bubbles represent iMessages, which are sent over an Internet connection. Green bubbles, on the other hand, represent standard SMS or MMS messages, which are sent through the cellular network. If you see a green bubble, this typically means that the message has been sent as a regular text message because the other party is not using an Apple device, has their iMessage turned off, or is not connected to the internet.

Does iMessage show Delivered if the Phone is Turned Off?

If the recipient’s iPhone is turned off or in a state where it cannot receive messages, the iMessage will not show as “Delivered” on the sender’s device. The message is stored on Apple’s servers and will be delivered once the recipient’s iPhone is turned back on and has an active Internet connection. The “Delivered” status will only show once the message has been successfully delivered to the recipient’s device. It’s important to note that the lack of a “Delivered” status doesn’t necessarily mean the message wasn’t sent—it may simply mean it hasn’t yet been delivered. 

Do iMessages Deliver When Phone Is on Do Not Disturb?

When an iPhone is set to Do Not Disturb, it silences calls, alerts, and notifications. However, this does not stop iMessages from being delivered. The recipient will still receive the iMessage, but they won’t be notified of its arrival. On the sender’s end, the message will still show as “Delivered,” indicating that the message has been successfully sent to the recipient’s device. So, while Do Not Disturb doesn’t block the delivery of iMessages, it does make them less noticeable to the recipient until they check their messages. 

How To Send An iMessage When iPhone Is Dead?

If your iPhone is dead and you need to send an iMessage, you can do so using another Apple device. As long as you’re logged into the same Apple ID, you can send iMessages from an iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac. On a Mac, you can use the Messages app, which mirrors the functionality of iMessage on an iPhone. On an iPad or iPod Touch, you use the iMessage app just as you would on an iPhone. The process is the same: just enter the recipient’s contact information, type your message, and press send. 

What Are Alternatives To iMessage Delivery?

If you’re having trouble with iMessage delivery or if you’re communicating with someone who doesn’t use an Apple device, there are plenty of alternatives. SMS and MMS are universal standards that work on any mobile phone, but they lack some of the features of iMessage. There are also many other messaging apps that offer similar functionality, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Signal. These apps offer end-to-end encryption, group messaging, and other features. They require an internet connection and are platform-agnostic, meaning they can be used across iOS, Android, and desktop platforms. 

iMessage TypeDelivery RequirementDelivery Status
Regular iMessageInternet connection, iMessage enabled, Apple deviceDelivered, Read
Group iMessageInternet connection, iMessage enabled, group chat enabledDelivered, Read
iMessage with mediaInternet connection, iMessage enabled, Apple deviceDelivered, Read
iMessage to non-Apple deviceInternet connection, Sends as SMS/MMS if iMessage not availableSent as SMS/MMS
Blocked iMessageInternet connection, Sends as SMS/MMS if iMessage is not availableNot delivered


iMessage is an essential communication tool that provides a versatile messaging platform for Apple users. However, the delivery of iMessages depends on various factors, including the receiver’s device being powered on and connected to the internet. When an iPhone is dead, iMessages will not be delivered but stored on Apple’s servers until the device comes back online.

It’s crucial to understand these aspects of iMessage delivery to better manage expectations and troubleshoot any potential issues. However, if iMessage isn’t an option, there are several other cross-platform alternatives, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Signal, that can serve similar purposes.


No, if the recipient doesn’t have service—meaning they’re not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data—the iMessage will not be delivered until service is restored. The message will remain on Apple’s servers until delivery is possible. 

No, iMessages don’t turn green when the phone is off. They remain blue but won’t show “Delivered”. They turn green when sent as SMS, usually when iMessage is unavailable or the recipient doesn’t use an Apple device. 

Generally, if iMessage says “Delivered”, it means it has been sent to the recipient’s device. However, if their device is off or not connected to the internet, the delivered status might not accurately represent that the message has been read. 

If you send an iMessage and it doesn’t show a “Delivered” notification, the recipient’s iPhone might be off. You can also try calling—the call will go straight to voicemail if the iPhone is off. 

Yes, as long as you have an internet connection via Wi-Fi and access to an Apple device like a Mac, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can still use iMessage even if your phone is disconnected. 

If you’re blocked on iMessage, your messages won’t show “Delivered”. The recipient will also not receive your messages or calls, but there’s no outright notification that you’ve been blocked. 

No, you can’t track someone’s iPhone if it’s off. Location services like Find My iPhone require the device to be on and connected to the internet to provide accurate location information. 

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