How to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting

Today, In this post we are learning how to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting. Texting has become a vital part of our daily life. Statistics show that people spend roughly 4.5 hours per day on mobile phones. And I bet, most of it involves texting. Why? You might know the answer as well. Texting is a lot less complex than a video or audio call. As it stands, you don’t have to look at the person directly or be over-cautious about how your voice sounds, when it comes to texting. There is no awkwardness in the air and is considered an easy ice breaker. For some, texting optimizes multitasking. It allows you to juggle between different people simultaneously. But, there is one disadvantage to it. People can often misunderstand what is being said because it is hard to guess the tone of the conversation.

How to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting
How to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting

Many get mad when they don’t receive texts back and assume that the person is avoiding conversation on purpose. While this may not be true from the perspective of the receiver. There are chances that the person is having technical issues and hence did not receive your message at all in the first place. When seen from a business perspective, you would not want to be seen as a parasite by texting the customer continuously. Imagine opening a message box to a train of messages while the phone was out of service. Horrible, isn’t it? This article covers hacks and tricks that you can follow to make your texting life better.

How to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting?

Finding if the receiver’s phone is switched off can help a lot with texting. This has a significant influence on the kind of response from the other side. Also, there are times when you really want to engage in a deep convo and end up losing enthusiasm when the opposite side doesn’t respond. Hence, it is always a good habit to check if the person you are texting is active to avoid misunderstandings. The simplest way to check will be to call the person and see for yourself.

If the phone is switched off then you will hear a similar message, if it is busy you will hear a message saying the person is on another call. Sometimes, even if your call gets forwarded or gets directed to voicemail, it might be because the phone is switched off or out of service. Below, we have listed a few other hacks that might help you with this.


Though the overall accuracy of all the methods is pretty low, this method alone contributes a significant amount to the average. This method is much more reliable than the rest. But, before getting into the subject, let us look at how SMS works to get a clear idea of the hack.

Working of SMS

SMS stands for Short messaging service. We send a message and the other side receives, that is all we get to see from the outside. The actual procedure is bigger than you think it is.

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Firstly, the message you send is not transmitted as it is. It is converted into small data packets in binary format. The data format of this message includes factors like the length of the message, a timestamp, destination phone number, and message in the binary format. All these mentioned factors are described by the PDU(Protocol description unit). The PDU controls aspects like the place where the message is to be sent, choice of which short message center to use, length of the message, and sender’s phone number. The PDU receives a tag along with the message info that helps the receiver decode the encoded message and display it on the device. 

SMSC ( Short message service center) behaves like a very important hub that helps transmit messages from one end to the other. It basically stores the message and sends it to the other side forming a channel between the transmitter and receiver. Overall, the message from the sender side is transmitted to the nearest cell tower which then passes it over to an SMSC. This SMSC then sends it to a cell tower nearby the receiver which delivers the message to its final destination. So you will not receive messages in only two cases. One is a poor network connection and the other is if your mobile is switched off.

SMS check

For Android users, you can go to the messaging app to check for indications.

  • When you send a message and you find the word “delivered” along with the time it was sent, then it implies that the message was successfully delivered to the other side. So it means the receiver’s phone was neither switched off nor was facing poor network issues. 
  • Instead, if you see “undelivered” along with the time stamp, it means that the receiver’s phone was either switched off or was facing poor network issues. 
  • For some Android phones like Samsung, to check for the status of the message you must press and hold on to the message until a list appears. Choose “View details” to see the elaborate details of the particular message.

On the other hand, for all iPhone users,

  • When the message is sent and you see “delivered”, it implies that the message was successfully received on the other side too. 
  • If you see “not delivered”, then it means that the phone was switched off or was not having network service. Also, if the message is not delivered you will see a red badge on the message icon. Messages on iPhone don’t display time like on android.

Whatsapp check 

On the topic of how to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting, You can check for indications of a dead phone even from an internet-based messenger. Whatsapp is widely preferred over normal text messaging because it doesn’t cost as much as the latter. Again you can only guess. 

  • If you see a clock icon below the message you sent, then it means that there is a network issue from your side.
  • If you see a single tick, it implies that your message has been sent successfully but has not been delivered to the receiver. Here you can make speculations of either their phone being dead or due to poor internet.
  • Double ticks indicate the message has been both successfully sent and delivered but the recipient has not yet seen the message.
  • Double-blue ticks indicate that the message has been seen.
  • When it comes to messages in groups, it is difficult to determine who has read or has not read your message. But, Whatsapp has access to such a feature. You can view the list of participants that have seen, not yet seen, or not received your message along with timestamps. To use this feature, hold and press on the message you sent and click on the info icon to view the “Read by” list.
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Instagram check

Waiting for someone to text you back or curious about whether he/she has seen your message? It is easy to check how to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting on instagram. Go to the direct messages section, the paper plane icon on the top right corner. Go to the chat you want and scroll down to the message you sent. If the message has been viewed by the recipient you will see “Seen just now” or “Seen on Saturday” just below your message in light letters. To determine if the person is online, go to the direct message section, and tap on the profile you want to check. Below the username, you will find the status, either “Active now” or “Active 1hr ago”.

Facebook messenger check

For all the Facebook fanatics out there, there are ways to check for activity status on messenger too. It is similar to Whatsapp but the icons differ. 

  • If you see a blue circle on the right side of your message, it means that your message is still being sent.
  • The message is sent from your side if you see a blue circle with a tick mark inside.
  • If you find a filled-in blue circle with a tick mark inside, it implies that the message has been delivered but the recipient has not yet seen it.
  • If you find the recipient’s profile picture inside a circle, then it means that the message has been seen.


While texting is bridging the gap between different kinds of people it is also the cause for many relationships falling apart. Hence it is always good to consider that there might be issues on the other side instead of jumping to conclusions. All the hacks mentioned above work purely on second-hand guessing because we do not have technology that can directly help us find out if a phone is switched off. Also, if it is a friend of yours that you are texting, you will definitely know their whereabouts. So if you know that they are in town, at home, and the weather is fine, then you can easily suspect that their phone is switched off if you find them unresponsive to your messages. It is advisable to work on your instincts. Hope this article helped!


What happens to a text message when a phone is off??

I did a small experiment to actually see what happens to the message sent when the receiver’s phone is off. Also, I used two mobiles, let’s consider them mobile A and mobile B for explanation purposes. I switched off mobile B and sent a message to it from mobile A. When I switched on mobile B, I did not get the message immediately. I sent another message to check and voila, the first message was delivered to mobile B along with the second one.
I did the same with a poor network connection but in this case, the message was delivered immediately the network got better. So, when the phone is switched off,  I believe the message is stored in the SMSC from the transmitter side and has a delay in getting sent to the receiver. This delay is due to the fact that both the phones are not directly connected to each other and since the message is stuck still on the transmitter side, it does not have the information of whether the phone is on, on the receiver side. 

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If my message says not delivered does it mean the receiver‘s phone is switched off?

Not necessarily. There could be two reasons, either the phone is having poor network issues or the phone is switched off. You cannot definitively deduce that the phone is dead. But you can still make guesses and try figuring out the issue on their side. 

How to find out if someone has blocked my number?

The simplest method is to check by calling another number. First, try calling your number. If the person has blocked you, you will hear a “temporarily not in service” message. Now, try calling from a different number and if you hear the caller tune then it means you have been blocked. In iPhones, if a person has blocked you, your messages will not be either delivered or seen. Of course, this might happen for other reasons too, like poor network issues or phone being switched off. But if the status of your message remains the same for a while then you can confirm your doubts.
To find out if you are blocked on WhatsApp, you can check it from the last seen status. If the “last seen” of the person is not visible anymore, then it means the person must have blocked you. But, there is an option to hide your last seen on Whatsapp. So another way to check for it is to see the timestamps, if you don’t see the timestamps below the messages, then the person must have blocked you. You will not be able to view their profile pictures as well in case you have been blocked. Messages will not be sent to the person if you have been blocked. A single tick below the message is an indication of it. Another indicator is to try adding them to a group. You can add people that have blocked you to a group.