How to Fix the Unknown Message Not Found Error on iPhone

Find messages from unknown senders

Getting a 'message not found' error text from an unknown number on an iPhone can sometimes happen once or numerous times over several hours. The 'unknown message not found' iPhone error almost always appears as an actual text message and not as a system error or alert, but it can still be frustrating and confusing, especially when you get a lot of them. Here's what causes these errors and how to fix them.

Cause of Unknown Address Message Not Found Errors

The 'unknown address message not found' texts are often not a major problem to worry about and aren’t a sign that your iPhone is damaged or dying. These messages are usually caused by a small software glitch in the iMessage or FaceTime apps, a weak Wi-Fi or cellular signal, or a minor disconnect between your device and your network provider.

A drawing of an iPhone getting a message error.
Dacian_G / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Getting a regular text message from an unknown number or address isn’t unusual and simply means the sender is masking their own number so you can’t call them back or identify them. It’s only really a problem when the message itself says the message can’t be found.

How to Fix Unknown Message Not Found iPhone Errors

Here are several proven solutions that have been shown to solve this missing message from unknown sender bug.

These fixes can be used on all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models running any version of iOS.

  1. Check your mobile reception. If you’re only getting a few bars, this is likely the cause of all of the missing message errors as their content can’t be retrieved from your provider’s data centers. You may need to move your phone to a part of the house with a stronger signal or possibly upgrade to a newer handset.

  2. Turn Airplane Mode on and off. This can reset your connection to your mobile carrier and may fix any messaging issues you’re experiencing.

  3. Restart your iPhone. Restarting your iOS device can fix a variety of technical problems including those affecting messaging apps and services.

  4. Turn iMessages and FaceTime off and on again. Open Settings and turn FaceTime and iMessage off, restart your iPhone, then turn these two apps on again.

  5. Update iOS. It’s important to keep your operating system up-to-date not just for security reasons but also to keep everything running smoothly.

    Make sure to connect to a Wi-Fi network to save data when downloading the latest updates.

  6. Update your iPhone’s apps. Many apps won’t work properly if they’re not running the latest version. Updating all the apps on your phone might remove the error if this is the problem.

  7. Reset network settings. Network settings could be causing your message to be lost or incomplete. This will fix any connectivity issues your iPad or iPhone may be having with your cellular provider.

  8. Perform an iPhone hard restart. A hard restart is a slightly more dramatic restart. It won’t delete any data but it will refresh the operating system and apps to improve performance and smooth out any glitches and bugs.

  9. Block unknown callers. Blocking all calls and messages from unknown numbers can be a great way to reduce spam texts and messages from scammers.

    If you have important contacts who call or message you from anonymous or hidden numbers, this setting will block communications with them.

  10. Check your SIM card. Try removing your SIM card to see if it’s been damaged.

  11. Clean your SIM card. While you’re checking to see if your SIM card has been worn out or scratched, see if it’s become dirty at all. If so, carefully clean it using a dry cotton swap or a lint-free cloth.