How to Get SMS Messages on an iPhone

By Aaron Thornton

SMS, or Short Message Service, is a form of messaging that is entirely text based. SMS messages are essentially short emails that are received by a person's mobile phone. These messages tend to be very convenient because they can be sent and responded to, without being contingent on immediate interaction from either party. Apple's iPhone is capable of both sending and receiving SMS text messages from iPhones and other cellular devices.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone
  • Computer with iTunes
  • AT&T plan with text messaging

Step 1

Open the "Messages" App on the iPhone. This is the application that your SMS text messages are sent to. When you initially activate your iPhone, this App is displayed as a green box with a white speech bubble, and can be found in the top left corner of the screen. Text messages will appear as a chat, making it easy to go back and see who said what, and when.

Step 2

Scroll down until you see the message you want to read, and tap on the name of the person who sent you the message. This brings up the expanded view of your message, which you can then read and respond to and view previous messages.

Step 3

Respond to the message by tapping on the white bar at the bottom of the screen. The iPhone will open up the keyboard, and you can type your response to the SMS messages you received. Once you have finished typing your message, tap send, and your message will immediately be sent to the person who initially messaged you.

Step 4

Tap the "Messages" button in the top right corner to go back to the initial screen. From here you can view messages from other senders, and respond to them as well. Simply repeat steps two and three for each message.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure that the person sending you a message has your correct phone number and is using the area code. Text messages cannot be received without the area code included in the phone number.
  • If you wish to use a bigger keyboard, then you can turn the iPhone sideways, and it will switch to landscape mode. In this mode the keyboard is bigger, and easier to use.
  • If for some reason you are not receiving your messages, then you might have to perform a system restore on your iPhone. Plug it into your computer with iTunes, and click the restore button in the iPhone device options. Allow the iPhone to restore, and attempt to open the messages again.
  • If you are unable to receive SMS text messages after performing a system restore, and you know your plan with AT&T allows for them, then you will have to take your phone into be looked at by an iPhone specialist, likely at your local Mac Store.