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Can’t send Text Messages on Android? Try these 6 fixes

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With the rise of the omnipotent instant messengers and VoIP services, 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 Nonetheless, this a bit outdated technology (RCS is steadily coming) still has issues.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 text messages on Android and there are a few possible reasons for that. Check the list below if your text messages won’t send on your Android.

  1. Clear the app’s cache and try 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

Couldn’t send text messages on my Android

If you couldn’t send text messages on your Android after a couple of tries, check with your carrier, reset the Messages app by clearing the local data, or reset SMS settings. If that does nothing, reset the Network settings and inspect the SIM card. Finally, you can try an alternative messaging app like Google Messages or Textra.

1. Clear the app’s cache and try the Airplane mode

Let’s start with the common troubleshooting when SMS messages failed to send or can’t be received on Android. 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 the Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps (Application Manager).
  3. Open the Messages app.
  4. Choose Storage.
  5. Clear Cache. can't send text messages on Android

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

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. This number affects both sending and receiving text messages on your phone.

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 if you can’t send text messages on Android

Resetting Network settings on your Android 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. can't send text messages on Android
  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 incoming calls and text messages from coming through.

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.

Another indication that there’s something wrong with your SIM card is if you get the “Phone not registered on a network” error message.

6. Try another messaging app if you can’t send text messages

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

You can find those with ease in the Store, and Google Messages is the good choice (get it on Play Store). 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.

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

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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