Fix: Failed text message notification on Android

Even though we swiftly moved to instant messaging apps, the good old SMS will always be the most reliable way to send and receive short and simple text messages. However, even this proved technology can fail from time to time. Some users report that they are getting a failed text message notification every time they try to send a text message.

We have a few steps to recommend in order to fix this. Check them out below.

Table of contents:

  1. Check carrier and cellular coverage
  2. Disable RCS and select the default SMS app
  3. Make sure you are not blocked
  4. Remove and place again your SIM card
  5. Try sending the message again

Why do my text messages keep failing?

1. Check carrier and cellular coverage

The first thing you should do is check the available carrier credit or SMS cap. This depends on your plan, carrier, and region, but if you might need to add some funds to the credit in order to send SMS and/or use other telecommunication services like mobile data or regular calls.

Another thing you need to check is network coverage. Make sure that you have network coverage. SMS relies on network coverage to send text messages and if the coverage is bad, the outgoing messages will keep failing. You can try restarting your device or enabling/disabling the Airplane mode to mitigate these issues.

2. Disable RCS and select the default SMS app

The new messaging technology called RCS (Rich Communication Services) is the SMS successor. However, the service is still not widely available and it requires a network connection in order to send and receive text and multimedia messages.

Since it’s still quite a novelty, the integration in certain regions is sub-par, to say the least. So, for the sake of troubleshooting, we suggest disabling it and sticking to SMS.

Here’s how to disable RCS on your Android device:

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap on the 3-dot menu and open Settings.
  3. Select Chat features.
  4. Disable Chat features and check for improvements.

In addition, we suggest setting the default SMS app. Of course, you should select the app you use. Especially if your go-to text messaging app is not the system one.

Here’s how to change the default SMS app on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Select Default apps. On some Android skins, you’ll need to expand all apps and, from the 3-dot menu, select Default apps.
  4. Under SMS or Messaging select the app of your choice as the default one.

You can also clear the local data and reset the Messages app that way. Just navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Messages and open Storage. Tap Clear Data, confirm, and restart your device. Test again and look for improvements.

3. Make sure you are not blocked

This can happen accidentally since many apps (Google Messages first come to mind) will suggest blocking and reporting spam when users get multiple messages from a number that’s not in the Contacts list.

A rare occurrence but we are trying to cover as much ground as possible and tackle all possible reasons why you get the failed text message notification.

Send a test text message to any other contact/number and check if you get the error again. If you do, try removing and placing the SIM card again.

4. Remove and place again your SIM card

Since the SMS technology depends on GSM cellular network to work, the problem might be with your SIM card. Try restarting your device again and, if that doesn’t work, turn it off, remove your SIM card from the slot and place it again.

If your device has a dual-SIM option, switch slots and give it another try. Hopefully, this will address the problem. If it doesn’t and, considering all previous steps failed to fix it, make sure to contact your carrier and ask for the solution.

5. Try sending the message again

Finally, the problem might not be on your side at all. Just wait for some time and try re-sending the message. Hopefully, after some time, your carrier will address the issue and failed text message notification won’t appear the next time you send an SMS.

Thank you for reading and we hope these steps helped you address the problem. If you have any suggestions we forgot to mention make sure to share them in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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