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Messages is doing work in the background? Quick 4 fixes

messages working in the background

Although instant messengers took over, for the most part, SMS apps are still irreplaceable. A few Android users report that the Messages app doesn’t work as intended, as users get the Messages is doing work in the background. Based on this report a user posted on Google Forums, it seems that Google Messages is not responding at all. Learn how to fix this issue below.

Table of contents:

  1. Force close Messages and restart your phone
  2. Clear the local data from Google Messages
  3. Uninstall updates and try again
  4. Check RCS and MMS settings

How do I fix my Messages working in the background?

If you get the notification (sometimes, a permanent notification) that Messages are doing work in the background when you try to access the app, you can usually fix it if you:

  • Force-close the app and restart your phone.
  • Make sure that Google Messages are the default SMS app.
  • Clear the local data or uninstall updates from Google Messages.
  • Leave the Beta program.
  • Check settings and definitely don’t forget to report the problem to Google.

1. Force close Messages and restart your phone

Start by force closing the app and restarting your Android. This might be only a temporary problem and many of those don’t require any complex troubleshooting steps. Unless we are looking at a bug of sorts. In which case, you can continue to the second solution on the list.

To force close the app, you can just close it from Recents, although we suggest navigating to Settings > Apps > Messages and tapping Force stop. After that, just restart your Android and look if the problem reoccurs.

2. Clear the local data from Google Messages

The second thing you should try is resetting the Messages app by clearing the local data on your Android. Also, ensure that Google Messages are your default Messaging app. This action won’t delete any of your messages, so don’t worry about losing any data in the process.

Here’s how to clear local data from Google Messages on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps. Expand All apps.
  3. Select Messages from the list of available apps.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Clear data and get back to the App Info screen. Messages is doing work in the background
  6. Open Default apps and set Messages as the default SMS app.messages doing work background

3. Uninstall updates and try again

If the Messages is doing work in the background and you can’t access the app or send messages on Android, you can try uninstalling the updates. Since Google Messages come as a built-in app on most contemporary Android devices, you can’t really remove it. But, what you can do is restore the app to the factory settings version. This won’t delete any of your messages as they are saved in the cloud.

Here’s how to uninstall updates from Google Messages:

  1. Again, navigate to Settings > Apps > Messages.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots menu in the top right corner and select Uninstall updates.
  3. Confirm and later you can re-update the app.Messages is doing work in the background

In addition, we suggest leaving the Beta program for Google Messages. You can do that in Play Store.

4. Check RCS and MMS settings

Finally, the fact that you constantly get notified about Messages still doing work in the background means that Messages are trying to either get or send some new messages while you’re offline. For that reason, we suggest inspecting RCS and MMS settings. Because, if Messages have permission to auto-download an MMS, you might be notified about failed attempts constantly.

To avoid this, you should navigate to Messages > 3-dots menu > Settings > Advanced and try disabling (or enabling if disabled) Auto-download MMS. You can also disable RCS (Chat features) and look for improvements. Messages is doing work in the background

If that didn’t help, tap on the 3-dots menu and select Help & feedback where you can report the problem to Google. And, with that said, we can call it a wrap. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing about your experience with this problem.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in July 2022. 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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