How to Fix a Grey iMessage Send Button

How to Fix a Grey iMessage Send Button 19

Updated 7/10/2012: I found that many people were not solving the grey iMessage send button by using the “subject field” fix below. I’ve updated the post to include a more common cause of this issue which I think will help many of you.

Are you trying to send a message from your iPad or iPhone using iMessage but can’t because the send button is grey? Well you are definitely not alone, I get emails all the time from readers asking how to fix this. The good news is that are several solutions to the ever annoying grey iMessage send button problem so read on.

The two most common causes of the grey iMessage send button are…..[cue the suspenseful game show lights]:

  1. The person you are trying to send an iMessage to can’t receive iMessages
  2. You only typed something in the “Subject Field” of an iMessage message and didn’t put anything in the body.

Let’s go into both of these in more detail now, starting with #1.

The Person You Are Trying To iMessage Can’t Receive iMessages

A very common misconception is that iMessages are the same as text messages, which is easy to understand since the same Messages app can send both. The fact is that iMessage is an entirely separate service from text messages. Remember the following:

  • Text messages can only be sent and received via cell phones (iPhones, Androids, Windows Phones (ugh), dumb phones, etc.).
  • iMessages can only be sent and received via Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Macs). For iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches, the device needs to have iOS 5.0 or later with iMessage turned on.

So the moral of the story here is that you cannot send an iMessage to a non-Apple device. The recipient must have an Apple device with iMessage installed and turned on.

For example, if your friend is using an Android phone , you will not be able to send them an iMessage. If you are using an iPhone, your phone will send the message as a normal text message instead. However, if you are using an iPad, the send button will appear grey and you will not be able to send.

If you are experiencing the grey iMessage send button, first check to make sure the person you are messaging has an iMessage capable device. If this doesn’t fix your issue, take a look at the “subject field” fix below.


The “Subject Field” Fix

I didn’t know iMessages had subject fields….

Surprise!!!!! It turns out that iMessages can indeed have subject fields, just like emails. Thankfully you do have the option to turn off iMessage subject fields, which brings me to the two solutions for the grey iMessage send button caused by the subject field issue:

1. Make sure you have something in the subject and the body field of the message. If subject fields are turned on, iMessage will not let you send until you’ve typed something in both the subject and body fields of the message.

Something must be typed in both the Subject and Body fields in order to send

2. My preference: Turn off subject fields in iMessage by going into Settings -> Messages and turn the “Show Subject Field” switch to OFF (on iPhones, you will have to scroll down a bit in theĀ  settings screen to see this option). With this turned off, you won’t have to worry about entering text in two fields before you are able to send your iMessage. Just type something in the only field there is (the body field) and you are good to go.

Turn off iMessage subject field

I recommend turning this bad boy off

Did this help? If not let me know and I’d be glad to help you figure out whatever unique issue you have. Happy iMessaging!

What other issues have you had with iMessage? Let me or our community here help you out…let everyone know in the comments section!

19 thoughts on “How to Fix a Grey iMessage Send Button

  1. Reply Hem Feb 2,2015 4:21 pm

    I get a blue message on the ipad saying it is not delivered (never grey even when sending to an android). I tried turning messages off and back on, but still no luck. I’m only sending a message to other iphone users now (who have IOS 8.1 and above). Any thoughts to what I am missing?

    • Reply Dan Feb 26,2015 8:45 am

      Hey Hem,

      It doesn’t sound like you are missing anything unforunately…you can only send iMessages to other Apple devices. And since you have an iPad, you can’t send SMS/text messages…only iMessages. So in summary, you aren’t able to send messages from the iPad to an Android device. Your backup options would be to use a different message service (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.) or email.

      Hope this helps a bit!


  2. Reply Caleb Jan 10,2015 9:57 pm

    So if my friend has adroid, I can not message them from my iPhone?

    • Reply Dan Jan 26,2015 9:13 am

      Hi Caleb,

      You can send your Android friend text messages (these count against your data plan), but you can’t send iMessages which are free to send. Your iPhone automatically will send the right type of message so nothing special required from your end.


  3. Reply Mom Jul 13,2014 11:01 am

    My daughter and I both have iPhones.
    She’s in Greece SMS off and on wifi for both of us.
    Her messages come through grey and not blue
    Why is this? Does this mean it’s not free?

    • Reply Dan Aug 25,2014 4:07 pm

      If her messages are grey and yours are blue, then they are free. It is actually the color of your messages which indicate if they are being sent via iMessage or SMS texts (which cost).

  4. Reply Fanibeth Mar 10,2013 8:55 am

    Why do I get a message not delivered comment?

  5. Reply Jennifer Aug 27,2012 12:21 pm

    ok, I have an iphone 4s that is unlocked and jail broke. When I turn on iMessage – it says “waiting for activation”, same with FaceTime! I get a jumbled up text and that’s it. Nothing works.

    • Reply Dan Aug 27,2012 10:25 pm

      Ugh sorry to hear about that Jennifer. Try this:

      Turn iMessage off under Settings/Messages and then go into Settings/General/Reset and hit Reset Network Settings. Then go back into Messages Settings and turn iMessage back on. You will have to enter in your account info again.

      Let me know if this works.


  6. Reply Jade Aug 7,2012 5:58 pm

    I did everything that I saw but the send thing won’t send it’s grey … Anything else I have to do …

    • Reply Dan Aug 10,2012 8:26 am

      Hey Jade,

      Can you confirm that if you go into Settings/Messages that iMessage is on? Also under the same settings go to “Receive At” and make sure you are signed in with your Apple ID.


  7. Reply Kate Mazetier Jul 30,2012 3:34 pm

    I have only 3 iMessage contacts right now and some of the time I can send a message, no problem. At other times, the send button is blue but kind of faded and it doesn’t work – nothing happens when I try to send my message. Any ideas as to what the problem might be?

    • Reply Dan Jul 30,2012 7:04 pm

      Hey Kate,

      As long as they are iMessage users (can’t be on Androids, Blackberries, etc.) and you are using the correct email address, you should be able to send them an iMessage.

      Are you saying that sometimes they work, sometimes they dont in the same conversation?


  8. Reply viki Jul 25,2012 7:52 am

    thank you that helped :)

  9. Reply Jan Jul 1,2012 6:04 pm

    How come the blue imessage send button does not always appear when I’m trying to imessage another iphone user? The green send button is there but I can’t get the blue one to appear when I want to imessage someone I know has an iPhone. It works from/to one of my sons, but not the other…

    • Reply Dan Jul 3,2012 9:06 am

      Good question Jan,

      There are a few possibilities here. One option is that the your son who can not receive iMessages (so messages show as green) does not have iOS 5.0, which is required in order to send iMessages (blue). Another is that iMessages is not turned on (Settings -> Messages…iMessage switch set to “ON”).

      The other thing that can happen is if someone has a poor data connection or no connection at all (such as when their phone is dead or turned off), eventually the message time out and be sent as a green SMS text. If your son has poor reception at his house/work/school that’s a possibility.

      Hope this helps,


    • Reply Blue Jul 31,2012 8:01 am

      Another cause for the issue is how iOS has designated your contact. Try removing all conversation history with the contact because if you refused to use an iOS only service with the contact (e.g. sending a message as SMS instead of an imessage) your phone shall “tag” the contact as a none iOS user regardless of whether you placed their number in the “iphone” section of the contacts details.

      Alternatively try initializing an iOS feature with the contact such as facetime, this should update the “tags” as well.

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