Will iMessage Say Delivered If Phone Is On Do Not Disturb?


Do Not Disturb, DND, is a feature on smartphones that allows users to take some time off communication on their phones.

Users usually turn on the feature when they are in meetings, classes, having family or private time, or sleeping.

Do Not Disturb is different from Silence and Airplane Mode because although it does not block calls and messages from coming in, it ensures that there is no indication whatsoever that there has been a call or message.

With this in mind, you may have sent messages to recipients a good number of times without knowing that their phones were on Do Not Disturb.

Sometimes that explains why you did not get prompt response from the recipient, not that they have ignored you or just decided to take their time before responding.

When you send an iMessage to someone whose phone is onDo Not Disturb there will be no indication on your phone that the recipient’s phone is on DND.

If they have their internet connection on, your message will show Delivered. If their internet is not on, it will only show Sent.

If there is an issue with the server, then it may return a Not Delivered error message. But this has nothing to do with the fact that the recipient’s phone is on Do Not Disturb

Do iMessages Deliver When Recipients Phone Is On Do Not Disturb?

Yes, iMessages deliver when the recipient’s phone is on Do Not Disturb. As explained earlier, DND does not block calls or messages (whether iMessage or SMS).

All it does is to ensure that there is no indication to the recipient that they have received an iMessage.

On your phone, the iMessage may show Sent or Delivered when the recipient’s phone is on Do Not Disturb. It will only show Read when they open the message.

What Happens When Someone Texts You on Do Not Disturb?

There may be times when you want to get some rest, do something productive without interruption, take some time off social media and other interruptions, or sleep at night without disturbance from your phone.

On any such occasion, you have a good number of options, depending on what works best for your situation. You may:

1. Turn off your iPhone completely: when you turn off your iPhone, every feature on the phone is turned off. No calls, messages, app notifications or other functionalities will work.

If you want a total shutdown, then this is a good option. However, please note the following:

Your alarms will not work when your iPhone is turned off. So, if you have set an alarm to wake up at a certain time, turning off your iPhone is not a good option
You would not know the people that may have tried to reach you. When you turn off your phone, all communication is blocked.
While iMessages and SMS may get delivered when you turn your phone back on, you will not about the calls that were attempted to your phone.
And if there was an emergency, this may be a problem. Also, in some cases, if your iPhone is off for a while, Apple servers may have issues delivering iMessages to you even after your turn your phone back on.

2. Put your phone on Airplane mode: When you put your phone on Airplane mode, your mobile networks and WIFI are turned off.

You can still use your phone to perform other functions if you want to but you will not receive any calls, iMessages or any other app messages.

However, you could turn on your WIFI while the phone is on Airplane mode if you only want to restrict phone calls but still receive iMessages and use other internet apps.

3. Put your phone on Mute: On silent/mute, all notifications and sounds from applications are muted.

However, your phone will light up when a call or iMessage comes in. And, if you have Vibrate activated, the phone will vibrate, too.

4. Put your phone On Do Not Disturb: Do Not Disturb is similar to Mute in that notification sounds are muted.

However, on DND, not only are all notifications and sounds from calls, iMessage and SMS, and other apps muted, they are totally smothered so that there is no indication whatsoever that they have occurred…even if your phone is on vibrate.

That is, there will neither be sound, vibration or lighting up on the phone. Only your alarm will go off on DND.

With this explanation, you can see that when someone texts you on Do Not Disturb, the iMessage will get into your phone; you would only be unaware of it until you consciously check for it. This is of course, provided that:

a. You have an active mobile subscription and mobile data


b. You have WIFI connection – if you set up your iMessage with an iCloud email address, you can use WIFI to send iMessages even if you do not have mobile subscriber coverage or a phone number.

Now that you are sure that activating Do Not Disturb will not prevent you from receiving a text, you can set about activating DND when the need arises.

You can either activate Do Not Disturb and deactivate it manually, or you can schedule it to activate and deactivate at certain times. It is entirely up to you.

Just keep in mind that there may be occasions when you need to receive a call or message during a scheduled DND time, but you may forget that you have DND activated.

It is best to schedule DND at times when you are absolutely sure that you do not want to be disturbed, no matter what.

To Activate DND manually:

  1. Swipe down from the top of your iPhone screen to reveal quick settings.
  2. Tap on Focus, with the Moon icon.
  3. Tap Do Not Disturb to turn it on.


  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap Focus
  3. Tap Do Not Disturb
  4. Select the options you want for notifications

If you want the Do Not Disturb to be active on all your iOS devices, you will see the option to Share Across Devices, under Focus.

This will activate DND on all devices that are synced to your Apple account.

To Schedule at Specific Times:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap Focus
  3. Tap Do Not Disturb
  4. At the bottom, tap Add Schedule or Automation
  5. Select the DND time schedule you want

How to Add an Exception to Do Not Disturb Mode

There may be times when, even though you do not want to be disturbed on your phone, you might be expecting some important communication from someone or a group of people.

In such cases, you would not want the Do Not Disturb on your phone to include such people.

Thankfully, iPhone has a feature that allows you to decide which contact(s) you want to receive notifications from when DND is turned on.

With this feature, you will receive calls from the contact that you have enabled exceptions for.

To Add Exception on iOS 15 and above:

  1. Go to Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb to On
  3. Under Allowed Notifications, Select People
  4. Then Select the Contact(s) that you want to enable notification for

To Add Exception on iOS 14:

  1. Go to Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb to On
  3. Under Allow Calls From, select the contact(s) that you want to allow calls from.
  4. You can allow calls from Everyone, No One, Your Favourite(s), or a contact group.

There is also an option, Repeated Calls, which allows calls from the same number that calls more than once within 3 minutes.

This option is made to allow room for emergencies. If it’s something you are interested in, you could also turn it on.

To Allow Only Messages from A Specific Contact with Do Not Disturb Turned ON:

  1. Open the Contact app on your iPhone
  2. Select the contact you want to add a message exception for
  3. Select Edit
  4. Select Text Tone and enable Emergency Bypass setting.
  5. Tap Done

When done right, Do Not Disturb is a great feature that allows you to have your undisturbed time without missing communications that are important to you.

Why Does iMessage Say Not Delivered

Now that you understand how Do Not Disturb works, you can be sure that it is never the reason why the iMessage you tried to send shows Not Delivered.

The Not Delivered error can have any of several causes including:

1. They Have no Service. If the recipient does not have service on their phone, it is usually because of one of the following possible reasons:
They are out of coverage
Their mobile service provider is having issues
They have been disconnected

Whatever the case may be, not having service can cause your iMessage to not be delivered.

This is because, when you send an iMessage to a recipient, the message goes first to Apple servers, then gets to the servers of the mobile service provider of the recipient before getting delivered to their phone.

If the recipient has no service, the recipient’s phone will not be reachable by the servers, and after several tries, the message is discarded.

This results in the Not Delivered error. Note that this can take anything from seconds to days.

2. iMessage Is Down. In other cases, the issue may be from Apple’s iMessage service. iMessage runs on Apple servers to transmit messages among users.

If there is a problem with any of their servers or other infrastructure such as the program that controls iMessage, messages will not get delivered to the recipient, resulting in the Not Delivered error.

3. They’ve Blocked You. If you try repeatedly to send an iMessage to a recipient but keep getting Not Delivered, chances are that they have blocked you.
This may not always be the case though, as the message may show Sent even if you have been blocked. However, it will never show Delivered.

You may want to confirm if you have been blocked by sending the message as SMS or placing a call across. If they are unsuccessful, then you may have been blocked.

4. Their iPhone is Off. Just as with the case of not having service, iMessages can fail to deliver if the recipient’s phone is switched off.
When the servers try repeatedly to send the message without success, the message may get discarded, needing you to retry later.

However, kindly note that this is not often the case.

In a normal scenario, when you send an iMessage to a phone that is turned off, it would only show Sent but not Delivered.

The message should get delivered when the phone is back on and connected to the internet.

5. No Internet ConnectioniMessage is an internet messaging service, unlike SMS. SMS uses credits while iMessage uses internet connection (WIFI or Mobile Data).
When you send an iMessage to a user whose internet connection is off, the message will not get delivered to their device.
On occasion, it may return the Not Delivered error when the connection has been off for a long period.
6. They’ve Changed Their Number. If the recipient has set up their iMessage using their phone number only, your iMessages to them may not get delivered when they change their phone number.
You may try calling the number to see if it’s still in service.

On the other hand, if the recipient set up iMessage using Apple ID or iCloud email, a change of number should not impact your messages to them, as long as they have an internet connection.

7. They Have Airplane Mode On. Similar to being out of service or not having internet an connection, having the phone on Airplane Mode could also result in failed delivery of your iMessage.
However, as with the other 2 scenario, this is not a common phenomenon.

The key thing to note is that a temporary lack of network or connection should not normally result in the Not Delivered error.

However, it does occur from time to time as a result of glitches in the system.

How to Make Sure Your iMessages Are Delivered Whilst Their iPhone is on DND

As you now know, DND does not block iMessage. Your message will not only get sent but delivered as long as the recipient has an internet connection.

However, on your part, you need to ensure that the following are in order:

1. Make Sure You Have Service

If you are using mobile data to send an iMessage, you need to ensure that there is service on your iPhone.

Once you have service and your connection is in order, your iMessage is likely to get delivered to the recipient.

2. Have an Internet Connection

iMessage uses internet connection to send and deliver messages. If you are having issues sending an iMessage, kindly confirm that your internet connection is on and working.

To do this, you may try to open a website or send a message on another internet-based chat app. Once your connection is working, resend the iMessage

3. Make Sure iMessage Isn’t Down

Sometimes, iMessage servers may be down, preventing your messages from getting delivered to the recipient.

The fastest way to know if this is the case is to find out from other iMessage users whether they are experiencing the same issue.

Also, you can check on down detector for iMessage status.

4. Make Sure Airplane Mode is Off

You may forget that you had put your iPhone on Airplane mode at some point. Make sure that Airplane mode is turned off before sending your iMessage.

However, you can have your phone on Airplane mode and turn on WIFI to send your iMessage if you have a WIFI connection.

Does Do Not Disturb Turn iMessage to Green Text Messages?

As you may well know, iMessages are in blue while SMS messages are in green. Sometimes when you send an iMessage, it may get sent as an SMS, hence green.

This happens when there are internet connectivity issues on your phone, and you have the Send As SMS feature enabled.

Do Not Disturb does not change the nature of the iMessage you send. It only prevents the recipient from getting notified of your iMessage.

If your iMessage is turning from blue to green, please check your internet connection or check whether iMessage is down.

Does iMessage Work on Do Not Disturb?

If your phone is on Do Not Disturb, you can still send and receive iMessages. All that DND does is suppress the notification sound and light from incoming messages and calls.

DND does not have anything to do with network actions such as sending and receiving messages.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here