Can’t send SMS messages on Android? Here’s what to do

With the rise of the omnipotent instant messengers and VoIP services, the SMS and MMS fell behind. However, SMS is still quite reliable when it comes to simple text messaging. Issues-wise, you don’t depend on an internet connection so it does its simple job quite efficiently. Nonetheless, this a bit outdated technology (RCS is steadily coming) still has issues. Users report that they can’t send SMS messages on Android and there are many possible reasons for that. Check the list below to resolve this problem.

Why are my SMS texts not sending?

  1. Clear apps cache and try with the Airplane mode
  2. Reset SMS settings to default values
  3. Change the Mobile Message Center Number
  4. Reset Network settings
  5. Check the SIM card and network coverage
  6. Try another messaging app

1. Clear apps cache and try with the Airplane mode

Let’s start with the common troubleshooting when SMS messages won’t send or can’t be received, for some reason. The first step is to simply restart your device.

The second requires enabling and disabling Airplane mode in quick succession. That fixed the temporary stall for some users.

The third step is clearing the cached data the messaging app accumulated over time. If you’re using a third-party app for SMS messaging, you might as well reinstall it.

If we’re referring to a stock SMS app, follow these steps to clear its cache:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps (Application Manager).
  3. Open the Messages app.
  4. Choose Storage.
  5. Clear Data.

2. Reset SMS settings to default values

Every service provider has a specific and unique set of options that allows users to freely send SMS and MMS messages. These settings are usually administered automatically, as soon as you put the SIM card in a dedicated tray.

However, they might change after a SIM card replacement or a system update. In that case, the SMS messages might just stop deploying in both incoming and outgoing messages.

Follow these steps to reset SMS settings to default values on Android:

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Reset all settings to factory values.
  4. Restart your device.

3. Change the Mobile Message Center Number

Lots of affected users resolved the issue by replacing the Mobile Message Center Number with alternative values. These numbers are related to individual service providers, so we suggest googling your provider and confirming the MMCN.

After you’ve acquired the number, follow these steps to set it in SMS settings:

  1. Open Messaging app.
  2. Tap on the 3-line (or 3-dot menu).
  3. Choose Message Center and change the number.

To avoid further issues, you can contact your service provider and ask for a settings message that you can apply and restore the original values to APN and SMS settings.

4. Reset Network settings

Resetting Network settings might help as well. All kinds of things can go wrong, especially if you’re combining SMS and MMS messages.

To Reset Network Settings on Android, follow the steps we enlisted below:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap System.
  3. Choose Reset options.
  4. Tap Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.
  5. Confirm selection.

5. Check the SIM card and network coverage

We covered most of the software-based troubleshooting steps. And the problem might be due to hardware — a poorly placed SIM card might prevent both calls and SMS messages.

Open the SIM card tray and look at whether the SIM card is firmly in its predicted position. After that, reset your device and look for changes. Ensure that you have reliable and stable network coverage.

6. Try another messaging app

Finally, if none of the previous steps helped you, we suggest contacting the support. Also, since we can’t be completely certain about the in-app issues (almost every major OEM adds its own SMS app), we can suggest trying a third-party app.

You can find those with ease in the Store, and Google Messages should be a good choice. Also, the provided solutions only apply to non-rooted devices. If you’ve rooted your phone and the SMS messages just stopped working, flashing it and installing a factory ROM looks like a proper solution.

Either way, these were our solutions. Don’t forget to tell us in the comments section if they were helpful. Also, feel free to tell us about your solutions in the comments section below and visit our  Twitter or Facebook social media for extra insights into Android and iOS.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2018. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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Ankit
Ankit
March 3, 2020 2:54 pm

None of the above method works of me please suggest some other methods also

Charity
Charity
June 3, 2020 3:45 pm

I also need further assistance please

Lilly
Lilly
July 1, 2020 12:12 am

I had to reset network settings and it worked!!! Yippee! Thank you!!

Mr. Text Message
Mr. Text Message
September 25, 2019 11:23 pm

I added Goggle Messages and it even fix the original app messages

Lila Blu
Lila Blu
March 25, 2019 9:11 pm

Resetting to default, worked for me.
Thank you.

Marc
Marc
September 24, 2020 2:02 pm

Yippee, using an iPhone instandly solved all my Android time wasting issues 🙂