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Can't text once data runs out (iphone)

Great Neighbour / Super Voisin

Both my kids have the basic $15/month plans which comes with unlimited texting and 250MB of data.  If they run out of data before end of the month then they are not able to send/receive texts unless if they are connected to wi-fi.

I have tried playing around with various settings on their phones but haven't been able to address this issue, and to me it seems like they should still be able to send/receive texts without using data.

Does anyone have any suggestions?




@CountyDownIeUk- This would not be the time or place to get in to a philosophical discussion between the two major desktop systems (not counting non-embedded Linux). For here, it's imessage and their default need for the internet and only between other idevices. That you have to fiddle and adjust to make it properly open to the world bothers the heck out of me. That people that may not know any better have to learn this. Android doesn't force that learning. It just works.



I agree. Back in the days of the first Apple computer they sued left right and centre. Any cloning of any part or sales of clones, Bam you were sued. If I recall there was a mass produced Franklin computer that was a clone and another one from Acer.  All gone for ever. But IBM computers were cloned all over the world during the same time period. Now they are called windows computers. And based on my needs I switched to an iMac years ago due to forever updating and rebooting the Windows program. Windows was a giant PITA to me. Apple has a much less finicky operating system. But once again...each to there own. 


Edit. Just checked, the Apple II computer was cloned in numerous countries and computers were  built under hundreds of various names. 

@CountyDownIeUk- I respect and appreciate your contributions here for helping the customers with iphone issues. I even tag you for any added clarification as the Apple guy. Lots of people have iphones. Apple makes lovely products albeit expensive for what you get.

I'm old enough to remember Apple's ascendance in the computing/technical world. I have NEVER liked their closed proprietary methods. And their closed-hood attitude around customer access to anything of a technical nature in their products. That may be more for their computers but it has always given me a bad taste about Apple.


In your list above, I don't like your #4. That's impractical when SMS just works without having to do anything.


I can always throw in my opinions thank you.

apples iMessage is the most secure messaging software out there... yes it requires data, but it's end to end encrypted. 

Mayor / Maire




I am sure I can find some “whacky” and “crap” about androids. 


But lets remember we are answering the question to help the OP. So how does bashing Apple products help?


And I agree that the telcos love iMessage, Apples’ corporate hand in hand effort to boost data usage. BUT iMessage  has a handy option to allow both registered phone numbers and/or email addresses to all be in the same conversation, which is convenient.  


I have had android products and used to think that Apple users were kind of snooty and ta ta for now 😯 like. But there is a lot of real nice inter connectivity amongst multiple products on or off of a cloud account.  Another real handy option with Apple is AirDrop. And some iPhones with both data and wifi off can still receive and send texts with no changes to settings.  But no doubt android has similar or better. But each to their own. The bashing is of no help. 

Mayor / Maire

Welcome to the wacky closed circle world of Apple. They have their own old school instant messaging system that needs the internet. It can be set up to use the normal standard cellular methods though as listed by user Remember.

I say it's a nice symbiotic deal that makes the providers a pile of money by selling more data.


@Remember- That looks familiar 🙂

@CountyDownIeUk wrote:

4 options

1. Buy a plan with more data


NONSENSE. STOP using apple's crap app. Use NATIVE SMS app using regular mobile network.

Mayor / Maire

This might happen if you have a phone using proprietary SMS app.

Native SMS app does NOT use WiFi but just regular mobile network so your texting IS unlimited in and out.

Model Citizen / Citoyen Modèle

@J_Raczynski @abajgar 

turn on imessage. turn on send SMS. turn on send MMS. turn off imessage. and reboot phone.


Boo boo

or is it

booh booh

Mayor / Maire

4 options

1. Buy a plan with more data

2. Buy some very expensive add on data 

3. Turn off iMessage, and truly text only

4. Leave iMessage on and keep data off. Turn it on to check email and messages etc, then right back off.  

Also would suggest to set up iMessage to send from their phone number only. And also set up to receive on phone number only. 

Also control what apps can use data. Perhaps for them only turn on iMessage. 

Make sure refreshes are set up to run  on wifi only. 

Do what you want on FaceTime mix it all up with phone number and email addresses. 


Mayor / Maire

@J_Raczynski @abajgar , get them androids...just kidding!

In the settings of their iphones, turn on SMS and MMS. Only turn the data option on when sending / receiving MMS, and you will save data.

@J_Raczynski @abajgar ..and it works when you have WiFi?  you are using iMessage (or RCS), which needs data or WiFi.  Yiu can change it to traditional sms if you are out of data.  Enable use SMS from. the option there

Great Neighbour / Super Voisin

I am having the same issue