Friday, June 15, 2012

How to Get SMS Delivery Reports on any iPhone [No Jailbreak Required]

If you still use SMS (and considering the sheer volume of SMS over the world... who doesn't?) you might think it's quite odd that Apple's iOS lacks one of the most basic features you can find in even the most modest cell phone out there: SMS delivery reports and notifications.

Sure, if you're sending messages to other iPhone, then you might use iMessage, and have not only delivery reports but even reading reports as well (if the other user allows it). But, if you're texting people with regular phones... how can you be sure the message got through?

Thankfully, there's a way, and it doesn't even require you to jailbreak your iPhone (if you do, then you'll probably have found many cydia apps that take care of this for you.)

The solution I'm about to show you works on the iPhone... and any other phone as well.

You need only type a special GSM code in the beginning of your SMS, to enable the delivery report of text messages. This code might vary according to your country/operator, but in Portugal you'll get the job done by writing the following in the beginning of you text:
  • *NOT#
This will request a delivery notification message to be sent to your phone when the SMS gets delivered (or fails to be delivered), and won't be seen on the receiving end.

Here's the delivery notification message you get in return, sent by your cell phone operator.

In other countries you might have to use one of the following codes:
  • *N#
  • *0#
  • *noti#
  • *R#
  • *A#
  • *!#
  • *NM#
  • ...

Though it's quite easy to use it - once you know how, and get used to typing it - I think there's still no excuse for Apple not to have this feature easily available on the iPhone (since the very first iPhone OS!) - especially when you consider just how much time and effort they "waste" on other stuff - like the motion-senstitive metallic reflections on the iPod app on iOS 6 - but... maybe it will eventually make its way through into iOS... some day.

... Just as a side note, there were a bunch of other extra SMS service you could enable using similar codes. Many years ago I recall using the *FAX# SMS header, that allowed anyone to send a SMS message to a fax machine. It was kind of cool at that time... but of course, it's completely obsolete by now (is there anyone still using fax machines?... I hope not! :)


  1. Ola Carlos. tenho um Iphone 5C, tenho estado à procura de solução exatamente para a falta de delivery reports para sms, e fiquei muito entusiasmada com seu post.

    Mas... tentei e os sms com o *not# no inicio simplesmente não seguem... Tenho conexão à Optimus, e tenho meu marido também com Optimus, para quem fiz os testes...

    Saberias dizer porque?? Eu estava felicíssima de encontrar uma solução tão tão simples...

    Very grateful, kaya

    1. Deveria funcionar. Cá em Portugal funcionou com todas as redes quando fiz os testes. :(


  2. eu estou em Portugal...No Algarve...

    Se e quando fizer os testes de novo, se me puder comentar...Obrigada!!

    1. Acabei de testar, enviando SMS de um Optimus para Vodafone, e recebi o SMS comprovativo da entrega do SMS.

  3. Hi Carlos... Sorry!!!! As always, machines are right ...!!!!
    I had momentarily no connection from Optimus, that was the problem...!!!

    I have restarted my beautiful I phone, and tried your trick, and it worked.

    Thanks so so much!!!!!!

    happy kaya

  4. It didnt work for me
    Im from Iran snd I bout an Iphone and I have problem with my delivery and Imassage activation


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