Text Arrives as Email

A text sent from Messages on my iPhone to a Green-Bubble Group Chat arrives at an iPhone recipient as an email.

How can I get the iOS recipient to receive the message as a text (instead of as an email)?


  1. Me: iPhone 12 Pro iOS 16.1.1 using Messages
  2. W: iPhone 12 Pro iOS 16.1 using Messages
  3. D: iPhone 13 Pro Max iOS 16.1 using Messages
  4. S: (unknown smartphone) Android (unknown version) (unknown text app)

Settings (within Settings → Message)

Settings → Messages → Send & Receive:

  1. You Can Receive iMessage to and Reply from: all my iCloud identities are checked and my cellular phone number is checked
  2. Start New Conversation: Only an email address is checked


  1. Text to any of them individually, each receives as a text.
  2. Text to W&D as a group appears in Blue Bubble and arrives as text.
  3. Text to W&S as a group appears in Green Bubble and arrives to S (Android) as text but arrives to W (iOS) as email.

Recipient Addressing
From within the Messages app, tapping on the top of the W&S Conversation, there are two people listed and tapping on each of them displays my contact for each person with the little “recent” grey lozenge next to a phone number for S (Android) and next to an email address for W (iOS), as shown below:

If it was me, I’d ask S (your son?) to start a message to the group, see if that sends the message to the iOS recipient (W) as a message, and just reply to the group from now on. See what happens.

What do you mean by “start a message”? Do mean start a new Conversation, or send a text within the existing Conversation (Group)?

Are you thinking that I can participate in Green-Bubble Group Chats, but not originate them (correctly)?


Well, I’m thinking that the messages app is seeing your wife’s email address as the primary iMessage address, but when you add your son’s number and it turns into MMS, it isn’t replacing your wife’s address with her mobile phone number. Could be a bug, could be just a weirdness, but if you already have a group thread where everybody is receiving via message, then replaying to that group will send properly to your wife’s mobile number. It’s only in the composition on your device that this may be happening.

It may be that your wife’s settings / messages / send & receive doesn’t have her phone number checked? Or it may be (assuming that her number is checked there) that there is just a weirdness going on?

Another thing that you can try, if you like, is to add your son’s address first, so Messages knows from the start that it’s not an iMessage group, and then add your Wife’s and D’s. (So, my speculation is that you add wife’s number, it adds changes the address to blue [because it recognizes it as an iMessage device], then when you add your son’s, which is not an iMessage number, it switches to an MMS group - but it’s already addressed to your wife as her email address linked to her iMessage account, so it sends your message to her as email.)

But if you already have a group with W, D, S that has everybody receiving as a text message - just reply to that.

I must always address a mixed group by starting with an Android participant name and then adding any and all others. That establishing the conversation as MMS so that all additional recipients will be properly addressed.

I’ll try to pay attention to the order in which I add participants in my next mixed Group Chat.

Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving :turkey:

I texted (via iOS Messages) Thanksgiving Day greetings to several new, mixed groups and in each instance entered all the Green names before any of the Blue names. Each group included both W and D (who are iOS recipients).

In every group, the text to W was addressed to email whereas the text to D was addressed to a phone number. Yes, W’s name was blue in every instance that I entered it into the list of group recipients,

Can I draw any conclusions from this experiment? Can I conclude that the problem concerns W’s configuration as opposed to mine?

Are you entering her phone number or typing her name as a contact? Also did you have her check settings / messages / send & receive that her “start conversation from” is set to her phone number and not her email address?

That I’m not so sure of. It could be that your device defaults her contact to the email address associated with her iMessage account.

I selected W by typing W’s name, not W’s email address or phone number. I let Messages select the transmission technique on its own.

After reading your comment, I typed W’s name and I now notice that the blue match to my Contact for W has selected … W’s email address, not phone number! (Until now, I was focused only on whether the name is blue or green; I ignored whether the checkmark is on the email address or phone number. :man_facepalming:t3:)

So, I presume that this email-instead-of-text problem is due to my iOS configuration, not W’s.

Do you have any idea how Messages decides whether to select on a contact’s email or phone number?

I knew I’d read about this. This might help; give it a try: How to stop iMessages from going to an email address instead of a phone number