Can’t Send Text Messages From Android? 4 Fixes to Try

Text messages are still widely utilized despite the popularity of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger among other secure instant messaging apps.

When you can’t send text messages on your Android device, you’ll also be worried about whether you’re missing messages people are sending you. Worse still, you may be worried that your device has been hacked, but there’s a very low chance of that being the cause.

We’ll walk you through the steps you need to resolve the problem and restore communication with loved ones and colleagues.

Why Can’t I Send Text Messages on My Android?

Text messaging requires three things: your device, the messaging app, and a cellular network. All three components can fail at different points for several reasons such as:

  • No signal.
  • Insufficient airtime.
  • Wrong settings.
  • The cellular network may not send or receive messages.
  • Network jammed with traffic.
  • The number you’re reaching may be invalid or disconnected.
  • Phone may be damaged.
  • Flight Mode is enabled on the device.
  • The SIM card is not inserted properly.
  • Messaging app may be buggy or malfunction.
  • Invalid message center settings (SMSC).

All these issues may not be easy to diagnose and only reveal themselves once you fix the problem. So, let’s try to get your Android device sending text messages again.

What to Do When You Can’t Send Text Messages From Android

These troubleshooting steps should help you resume text messaging from an Android phone.

Preliminary Checks

  • Check if you have sufficient airtime on your phone plan for sending text messages. You may be trying to send a long message that requires more airtime before it can be sent. 
  • Check your device’s reception as this could interfere with sending or receiving messages and calls from your device. If you’re at home, find a spot with better reception or get a booster to improve reception.
  • Check your cellular provider’s status updates concerning network issues.
  • Confirm the phone number that you’re sending the messages to is correct and valid. You may have entered a few wrong digits or the wrong code that’s sending the message to a non-existent number.
  • Check whether your carrier supports SMS, MMS, or RCS messaging.
  • Verify that Messages is your default text messaging app.
  • Ensure your SIM card is inserted properly into the port. If it is, check your device’s status or notification bar to see whether the mobile network is active. If you get the “No SIM card” message, reinsert the SIM card and try again, but if your phone still won’t detect the SIM card, try it on another phone or contact your network provider.
  • Restart your phone to refresh it in case of endless loops or glitches and install any operating system updates that Messages app needs.
  • Disable Airplane Mode. When Airplane Mode is enabled, it shuts down every form of wireless communication so you can’t make or receive calls, or even send and receive text messages. To disable Airplane Mode, open Settings > Connections > Flight Mode and switch it to Off.
  • Quit and restart Messages app on your device to solve any memory management problems that may be hindering you from sending text messages from your device.
  • Update Android to fix any bugs or repair any issues related to the Messages app and then try sending text messages again. Depending on your Android device model, you can update the operating system by going to Settings > Software Update and install any pending updates or Settings > System > Advanced > System Update.
  • Update the messaging app to resolve any bugs or obscure issues preventing you from sending text messages.

1. Check Blocked Numbers

If you can’t send text messages to one person, it could be that their number is blocked.

  1. To check if it’s blocked, open Contacts, tap on the person’s name and check for the Block icon (circle with a diagonal line) next to the name or number.  
  1. Tap the three dots at the top right side of your screen and then tap Unblock to start sending text messages to the person again.

Note: It could be that the other person has also blocked you, which means you may be able to send but they won’t receive your message. Also, someone might not be responding to you, thus giving you the impression that your messages aren’t going through. 

  1. You can enable Read Receipts to confirm that someone has received your text messages. Open Messages tap the three dots and then tap Settings > More Settings > Text Messages and toggle the Delivery Reports switch to enable Read Receipts.

2. Clear Your Text Message App’s Cache and Data

Clearing the cache helps refresh and remove any glitches in the Messages app.

  1. To clear the cache, open Settings > Apps and tap Messages (or your Messaging app).
  1. Tap Storage.
  1. Next, tap Clear Cache.
  1. To clear the app’s data, tap Clear data and then tap OK to confirm the action.

Restart your device and then try sending the text messages again.

3. Reset SMS Settings to Default

If you swapped SIM cards before the problem started, it’s possible that the default SMS settings changed. This poses a challenge when sending text messages because every service provider has different/unique preferences that allows them to send messages properly.

  1. To reset SMS settings back to default, open Messages app on your phone and tap Settings.
  1. Reset all the options to default, restart your device and try to send a text message again.

4. Check SMSC

The SMSC or Message Center Number is akin to the Access Point Names (APN) that you need for mobile internet connections. SMSC is unique to each network operator and helps you send text messages.

  1. To check the SMSC on your device, open Messages app and then tap the three dots on the right side of your screen to open the Settings.
  2. Tap More Settings.
  1. Next, tap Text Messages.
  1. Check the Message Centre at the bottom to see your carrier’s message centre phone number.

Note: You can also check the operator’s website to compare with the message center number on your phone. If yours is different or missing, enter it in the Message Centre field and then tap OK to save it.

If you still can’t send text messages from Android after trying the previous fixes, contact your service provider for assistance.

Restore Communication with Your Contacts

If you’ve tried all the above checks and fixes and your Android device still won’t send text messages, take it for repair or check with your mobile carrier for further assistance. Know of any other tricks to fix the inability to send text messages from Android? Share with us in the comments.