Even though instant messaging platforms like iMessage and WhatsApp have become quite popular, SMS is still trustworthy. It is more likely to reach the recipient even when things are slightly messy. So, I understand your frustration when you come across an error message saying that this “phone number is no longer in service”.

    In this guide, I will explain what “this phone number is no longer in service” means.

    “This Phone Number Is No Longer in Service” Message Explained

    The message appears when you are trying to text a person who has disconnected the mobile number. However, the issue could also happen due to network-based problems. You must consider the possibility of this message being a prank if you get this message while trying to text a close friend.

    What Does the “This Phone Number Is No Longer in Service” Message Mean?

    If we take things at face value, the message means that the number you are trying to text is no longer in service. The user or the service provider could have disconnected it. But we will talk about that in a minute.

    This Phone Number is No Longer in Service message

    This is what typically happens. You text one of your contacts as you normally would. However, instead of getting a delivered message or a reply from the recipient, you get a text saying that the number is no longer in service.

    Depending on the situation, this message can be frustrating or confusing. Here are two scenarios.

    In scenario 1, you are trying to get in touch with someone you know but haven’t been in touch with for some time. Let’s say you are trying to contact your childhood friend or someone. And you get a message saying that this phone number is no longer in service. This makes sense, right?

    I mean, this person might have changed the number, or the number could have been lost or disconnected. And this is okay.

    Scenario 2 is a little different. You open your phone and try to text a contact that you actively message. Instead of getting the delivered sign, you get a message saying the phone number is no longer in service. And this would be pretty frustrating because you might have talked or texted this person recently.

    So, you may find it difficult to believe that the number is no longer in service. In this case, you need better reasons to understand what the “This Phone Number Is No Longer in Service” message means.

    Reasons for the “This Phone Number Is No Longer in Service” Message

    There are two potential reasons why you get this message.

    #1 The Number Is No Longer Active

    This is the no-brainer answer you can use.

    You are getting this message because that particular number is no longer active.

    A few things might have happened.

    • The user may have lost that number or requested disconnection from the carrier.
    • Similarly, the cellular carrier may disconnect a number due to multiple issues, such as a lack of bill payment and active usage.
    • It is also possible that the number is locked and cannot be used for calls or messages.

    #2 Network Issues

    Even though I said that SMS messages are trustworthy, they are not perfect.

    Regional or country-level network issues can affect your SMS messages and how they are delivered.

    So, if you found this no longer service message while trying to contact a known number, it could be a network issue.

    • Sometimes, this network issue will be fixed in a few minutes or hours, and you can contact the person as you would normally do.
    • But in some other cases, you may have to wait for some time and make changes to your SMS settings.

    Regardless of the reason behind the issue, you can try several methods to solve the problem.

    How to Check If A Number is No Longer in Service

    The first step is to confirm whether the number is actually no longer in service, and you can use a few methods to do this.

    #1 Verify Active Phone Numbers by Calling Directly

    The first method is simple. You can simply call the number and analyze the response. If the number is actually not in service, you will hear an automated response saying the same. But if the call is going through and you can listen to the ringing, this could be a network or SMS-related issue. If you get the second response, it means the number is in service.

    Person holding an iPhone

    #2 Use Alternative Communication to Reach Recipients

    You should also try alternative communication options. For instance, if you can contact the recipient via social media or email, you should check with that. The person is likely facing some issues with the number, and they are sorting it out. So, alternative communication methods are a way to not get ahead of yourself.

    With these two methods, you can confirm whether the number you are trying to contact is in service or has been suspended.

    How to Fix the “This Phone Number Is No Longer in Service” Error?

    #1 Double-check the Phone Number

    This might seem basic, but you should check whether you enter the correct number. Wrong digits in a phone number could lead to multiple issues, including the message we are discussing.

    #2 Restart Your Smartphone

    The reasons behind this step are unknown, but restarting your smartphone before jumping to conclusions is a good idea. In some instances, network issues with your device may signal that the number you are trying to contact is no longer in service.

    #3 Contact Carrier for Support

    If you see this message while texting multiple people on your contact list, it could be a problem with your number, not the recipients. Therefore, you should get support from your cellular carrier to solve the issue.

    They might ask you to reinstall the SMS configuration settings or to get a new SIM card. Either way, you can solve this issue quickly and without causing further complications.

    #4 Contact Cellular Carrier

    You should also consider contacting the cellular carrier, but I recommend this as the last option since there are privacy concerns. And you should do this only if the situation demands it.

    For instance, if you badly want to get in touch with someone and your only point of contact is the number, you may contact the cellular carrier and ask for some communication details.

    Depending on the situation and their privacy policy, you may be able to understand whether the number is no longer in service or if some other issues are causing the message.

    What To Do When You Get a Text from a Disconnected Number?

    Getting a text from a so-called disconnected number must be frustrating, right? But you must understand a few things before acting on these text messages.

    You might get a text from a service that is no longer in service for multiple reasons.

    One could be that the person has already registered an account for WhatsApp, Telegram, or even iMessage to enable text messages and FaceTime calls. So, even if the number is disconnected, these devices may take some time to confirm and adequately manage the number.

    WhatsApp on iPhone

    Two, the entire attempt of text messages could be a threat of caller ID manipulation, also called caller ID spoofing. So, you might receive a message from a number that is no longer being used for multiple issues such as phishing or ransom.

    Third, try calling the person through their phone number to text to keep things clear.

    Some Other Tips

    Here are some miscellaneous tips that will help you deal with the “this phone number is no longer in service” error message and be safe while doing so.

    • You cannot unquestioningly trust the authenticity of SMS delivery messages and responses, so you should try calling the person as soon as possible before you take alternative methods.
    • This message could also be a prank when the recipient tries to make you believe that their number is out of service. But you can continue this prank if you want.

    While some of these tips are fun, you should consider some precautions.

    For instance, there is also the ethical aspect where if you are impersonating something, it should not pose a danger to the recipient. Similarly, there are legal implications that you should be aware of.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What does it mean when it says this phone number is no longer in service?

    At face value, the number has been disconnected or is not being used by the recipient. It could also be a network issue.

    Why did I get a text saying this number is no longer in service?

    You probably got the message because the number you recently texted is not being used. You may also get this message as a very common prank.

    How to get a phone number that is no longer in service?

    You cannot get a phone number that is no longer in service because the cellular carrier may be concerned about reassigning the number.

    How do you know if someone has blocked your number without calling them?

    You can consider alternative communication methods, but it’s a good idea to text them from another number and see if the message goes through.


    I believe this guide clarified the text message saying that this number is no longer in service or that the number you have texted is no longer in service.

    While the text message itself may vary depending on the carrier and device, the idea is that you can look for alternative communication practices.


    Rajesh Namase is one of the top tech bloggers and one of the first people to turn digital marketing and blogging into a full-time profession. He has unwavering passion for technology, digital marketing, and SEO. With a penchant for exploring the digital world, Rajesh covers a wide range of topics, from Android to the intricate universe of the internet, including WiFi, YouTube, and more.


    1. I had one with the noise and it said, “I’m sorry, but the person you are calling doesn’t have internet or a voicemail. Try again later. Goodbye.”

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