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The “Message Blocking is active” on iPhone is a common issue that generally occurs with T-Mobile and sometimes other wireless networks.

As confusing as it is when you see this message, consider the tips below to help you get rid of the “Message Blocking is active” on your iPhone. This article explains what causes the message and what to do to fix it. Let’s get to it.

What does it mean when you get a message blocking is active?

Message Blocking is active means that you have all text messaging blocked by your carrier and can’t send or receive any text messages.

Now there are many reasons why this may happen, we’ve compiled all the possible causes why you’re getting this message below.

Why does it say Message Blocking is active?

You’re getting the “Free Msg: Unable to send message – Message Blocking is active” message because of one of these situations.

Service Outage

If your mobile operator is experiencing a service outage, you will face “Message Blocking is active” while sending an SMS/MMS.

Due to maintenance, this could be something wrong (temporarily or permanently) with your service provider, so you can wait and try again later. If the issue persists, contact them as soon as possible.

Shortcode Error

Many T-Mobile users have reported that the inactive or non-functional shortcodes caused this issue.

If you’re sure the shortcode error is not on your end, you need to get confirmation from your service provider or seek professional help.

SIM Card Not Working

If there’s something wrong with your SIM card due to being blocked or deleted, you may face the message, and you will not be able to send messages to anyone. 


If the recipient has blocked you or vice versa, you may face “message blocking is active” while sending a message on your iPhone.

If you’re sure you’ve been blocked, there you go! Otherwise,  you can check with the other user to see if you’ve been added to their blocklist by mistake. 

1. Check the Number or Email Address

Sometimes, you may use the wrong number or email address, which may cause trouble sending messages and get the “Message Blocking is active” error.

Before trying other solutions, check the validity of the email address or number. If everything looks good, move on to the next tip.

2. Check Network Coverage

If your service provider is out of coverage in your area, you can’t send or receive messages, and the error message may appear on your iPhone screen.

You are receiving mobile coverage if you see the graph bar on the top-right corner of your screen.

If you’re sure of being in a coverage range, restart your iPhone or enable the Airplane Mode for a few seconds, turn it off, and check if the problem solves. 

3. Check if Your SIM Card or Number is Active

Sometimes, you may face “Message Blocking is active” when your number or SIM card is inactive or has been shut down for some reason.

The best way to ensure your SIM card is active is to call on the phone. If you can’t make calls or the dial tone tells you your number is unavailable or deactivated, contact your service provider and ask for help.

4. Send Plain Text

Sometimes, emojis, attachments, files, or photos may cause the delivery failure of your messages or face the “message blocking is active” error on your iPhone.

This has been proven many times for many users who claim using attachments makes message blocking active.

Remove all extra attachments and send plain text to check if the problem solves or not. 

5. Call the Number in Question

You may be unable to send messages due to some SIM card glitches. It can be the wrong country code, a wrong or mistyped number on your iPhone.

This issue can be solved by calling your number with another phone to check whether it’s working or not.

You may also check the correct number of the recipient to whom you are trying to send messages.

6. Check Messaging Services on Your Account

You’ll also want to check your data plan before sending messages. If your data plan doesn’t include incoming and outcoming SMS/MMS services, your messages won’t go through. This explains why you’re getting the “Message Blocking is active” error on your iPhone. 

7. Check Email-to-Text Address

Message blocking may be related to your emails on your iPhone. If sending and receiving emails encounter issues, you may face errors and can’t send messages to those you want.

Log out and log back into your Gmail or any other mail platforms you wish to use. Update your Apple ID account email if it has become inactive, and update your phone number if you lost your last SIM card or changed your number. 

8. Turn On Send As SMS 

Sometimes, you may turn off SMS services by mistake, and you don’t become aware of it. As a result, you may get an error when you try to send messages.

To fix this, you have to turn on the SMS settings. 

1. Go to Settings.

Open settings app
Head over to the Settings menu Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. Open Messages.

Messages in Settings
Tap on Messages Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

3. Enable Send as SMS.

Send SMS in Messages
Enable Send as SMS Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

9. Enable and Disable Airplane Mode

The cellular network connection won’t work correctly due to some network glitches and causes drops in voice/video calls or failure to send messages.

Enabling and disabling the Airplane Mode may solve and refresh the cellular network connection.

1. Go to Settings

Open settings app
Go to the Settings menu Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. Tap on Airplane Mode to enable it. Wait at least 15 seconds, then tap it again to disable it. 

deactivating airplane mode
Enable and Disable Airplane Mode Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

10. Set Date and Time Automatically

The iPhone’s date and time are often changed for no known reason. When your iPhone has the wrong information, it may cause malfunctions and issues, such as the “Message Blocking is active” error.

To solve this, you have to set automatically the Date and Time on your iPhone. The steps below will show you how.

  1. Go to Settings
Open settings app
Go to Settings Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Tap on General.
General Menu in Settings
Choose General app Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Choose Date & Time
Date and Time in General
Select Date & Time Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Enable Set Automatically
Date Time Set Automatically
Turn on Set Automatically Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

11. Check for iOS Update

Apple releases iOS updates regularly to fix bugs and increase iPhone efficiency and functionality. Outdated software may cause many issues. To check updates:

  1. Go to Settings
Open settings app
Head over to the Settings menu Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Open General.
General Menu in Settings
Choose General Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Tap on Software Update
Software update in General menu
Tap on Software Update Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Your phone will check for any available updates. Tap Download and Install to download the update, enter your passcode, then tap Install Now. Make sure your iPhone has enough space for the update. Run out of space? See our tips to free up space on iPhone.

12. Reset Network Settings

Resetting Network Settings will erase your Wi-Fi passwords, cellular settings, APN, and VPN settings.

Therefore, this step is totally up to you. But this process will solve message blocking issues as if any network cookies cause the problem will be cleared after reset. 

  1. Go to Settings.
Open settings app
Select Settings app Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Open General.
General Menu in Settings
Go to General Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
Transfer and Reset iPhone in General menu
Choose Transfer or Reset iPhone Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Tap on Reset.
Reset in Transfer or Reset iPhone
Tap on the Reset option. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Choose Reset Network Settings.
Reset Network Settings in iphone
Head over to the Settings menu. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Enter your passcode and let the process finish.

13. Force Restart iPhone

Force restart your iPhone to refresh its functions and connections so the problem of message blocking will be solved. 

For step-by-step instructions, check out this article on how to Restart an iPhone (All Models).

Having trouble restarting your iPhone? Please see our article on how to force restart an iPhone.

Final Thoughts on the “Message Blocking is active” message

The “Message Blocking is active” error on iPhone is a common problem for various reasons, such as mistaken blocks by the recipient or a wrong number or email used to send messages.

Sometimes, SIM card services stop working due to cellular network glitches or deactivation. We hope these DIY solutions have helped you get rid of this annoying message.

Did you manage to solve the problem? Did you find other ways to troubleshoot this issue? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Photo of author
Over the last decade, Farhad has gained hands-on experience with smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, etc. If he's not writing, you can bet he's trying to keep up with the latest technology. He oversees coverage of iPhone, iOS, and Apple Watch for Gotechtor.

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