You’ve recently updated to the new iPhone 12 or 12 Pro and aren’t receiving short code SMS texts on your new device? You’re not the only one! A series of users from AT&T and T-Mobile have experienced this problem too. The issue seems to occur when a brand new SIM card is used with the new iPhone.
Update: This issue persists when upgrading to iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models!
What Are Short Code SMS Texts?
Short Code messages are very popular with apps that use additional verification for increased account security. The texts are also named Short Codes because they literally contain a string of characters, usually numbers. The mobile verification code can be typed, or you can use the iOS auto-fill option to paste the code from your latest SMS.
How To Fix Short Codes On iPhone 12
To put it simple, no Short Codes implies no access to important platforms like banking accounts and similar apps. Depending on your carrier, you have a couple of options to enable this two-factor authentication messages on your new iPhone:
1. Check Cellular Coverage
One obvious reason for SMS messages not to be delivered on your device is the lack of cellular coverage. A series of iPhone 12 models have been reported to experience the No Service bug.
Double-check that you have carrier connectivity before going further. The easiest way is to bring your iPhone into Airplane Mode, wait a couple of seconds and turn off AirPlane Mode. A connection with the nearest cellular tower will be forced and any pending Short Code SMS messages will be delivered!
2. Contact your Carrier
If the short code texts aren’t enabled on your new SIM. you can fix this remotely. Some cellphone companies like T-Mobile can activate the Short Codes from a distance. So, you just need to call their support number or chat with the support department and ask for the service to be enabled for your new SIM.
Tip: Make sure that you have your iPhone 12 packaging nearby, as you might need to provide your device’s Serial Number and other identification details.
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Important: You have to restart your iPhone for short codes messages to start working. However, as reported by Dez, sometimes you need several restarts and Airplane Mode ON/OFF toggling before all short messages are properly received!
3. Go To Carrier Store
In other cases a fix might not be that simple, and you’ll need to pay a visit to the nearest store of your carrier and ask for your SIM card to be replaced.
Dez reported that his SIM was replaced by AT&T and this fixed the problem. He got a confirmation from the staff that he wasn’t the single one returning a brand new SIM, in the past couple of days.
Updated (February 28, 2021)
4. Check Privacy Settings
Restricting the Messages app from being able to access your location ‘while using the app’ could prevent Short Code SMS messages from being delivered.
Updated (December 14, 2021)
5. Use Safari
If Short Code SMS don’t deliver to your iPhone 13, 12 or any other model after performing the above fixes, you should try to web interface workaround. Most apps also have a web platform that you can log-in to from a browser.
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Open Safari and visit the web version of your app. Dismiss the popup that asks you to use the app! Use the log-in form on the website. This will trigger the short code SMS for verifying your authentication.
Brett has confirmed that this is how he managed to sign into his bank account! Does it work for you too?
Have you managed to fix Short Code messages on your iPhone 12? Let us know if any of the above tips helped you out. If we missed something don’t hesitate to add it. Use the comments section available below!
Related: How to enable iOS Software Updates over 5G on iPhone 12!