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How to fix Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) that can no longer send / receive text messages [Troubleshooting Guide]

To be able to send and receive text messages are just two of the most basic functions a mobile phone could do. Phones from the past decade can do these things without any issues but why is it that smartphones nowadays seem to have a difficult time sending and receiving text messages?

We have received quite a lot of complaints from our readers and among the most common issues are related to text messaging. In this post, I will tackle the texting issues sent by Samsung Galaxy A3 owners. We will have to look into all possibilities and try to rule out each of them until we can pinpoint what the problem really is and what needs to be done to fix it.

Texting issues may occur if your phone has some problems detecting signal from the tower or connecting to your provider’s network. There are also times when they occur due to network-related problems and only your service provider can fix. So, we only need to determine if the problem is on your end or not because if not, then it’s time for your service provider to provide solutions.

Now, before we jump to our troubleshooting guide, if even you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to different issue, then I suggest you visit our Galaxy A3 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most commonly reported issues with this device. Try to find a problem that’s similar with yours and use the solutions or workarounds we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, then fill up our Android issues questionnaire and we will include your concern in our next posts.

How to troubleshoot your Galaxy A3 that can no longer send text messages

In this section, we will tackle the problem that occurs when you send text messages. More often you’ll get the “Message not sent” error if the sending didn’t go through but there are also times when your phone doesn’t notify you of the problem. You would only know your messages didn’t go through when your friends tell you that you didn’t reply to their messages even if you did. Before we proceed, here’s one of the problems that best describes this issue…

Problem: I have a Galaxy A3 phone and recently it’s having difficult time sending my text messages but I can still receive all texts sent by my brother. I’m not really sure why this is happening since it started out of nowhere. Can you help?

Troubleshooting: Now let’s try to find out why  your phone can no longer send a text message. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Try to make a phone call to any contacts in your phone

Obviously, this doesn’t fix the issue but it will give you an idea if the problem is with the network or your phone. So, it is imperative that you do this step before doing any troubleshooting procedures.

If your phone cannot make a phone call, try to check the signal indicator and if it shows there’s decent signal, then it’s a network problem and as early as now, you should already call your service provider and have this problem checked. More often, network problems can be fixed after a few hours and all you can do is wait until further notice.

However, if your phone can still make phone calls, then the problem might have something to do with the settings in your phone.

Step 2: Check your phone’s Message Center Number

The Message Center Number may appear like a phone number that needs to be set in your phone so that it can successfully send SMS or text messages. There are times when it’s deleted or has to be edited to reflect the correct number.

During my tenure as a technical support representative to one of the wireless companies in the U.S., my former company had to change the center number and a few minutes after doing so, thousands of calls come in and majority of those calls has something to do with text messaging. What we had to do is give the customers the new center number and walk them through setting it up in their phones and that should fix the problem.

In this case, we have to consider this possibility so you need to check if your phone has the correct Message Center Number but following these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Messages.
  3. Tap the menu icon (3 dots on the upper right corner of the screen).
  4. Touch Settings.
  5. Now tap Text messages.
  6. Touch Message center.

If you can see a number in the field, then try to check if the number is correct. You may search online for the correct Message Center Number of your service provider or you can call the hotline and ask the rep for it.

If there’s no number in that field, I suggest you call your service provider as they might have to re-provision your phone.

Step 3: It’s time to reset your phone

Assuming your phone reflects the correct center number and you can actually make phone calls, then it’s time to resort to a reset as there might be some issues with some settings or services in your phone that’s preventing it from sending text messages. So, backup your files and data as they will be deleted during the process and then reset your device…

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Backup and reset.
  4. If desired, tap Backup my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  5. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. Tap Factory data reset.
  7. Tap Reset device.
  8. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your PIN or password.
  9. Tap Continue.
  10. Tap Delete all.

After the reset, try to send a text message to your own number to see if it goes through and if you can actually receive it. If the problem still occurs, then bring the phone to the store and let your provider’s technician determine the problem.

How to troubleshoot your Galaxy A3 that can send but can’t receive text messages

While the next issue is basically related to texting, it’s the opposite of the first one. This time, the phone can send text messages but can’t receive one. Try to read the problem from one of our readers below before jumping to the troubleshooting steps…

Problem: Hello guys. I am hoping that you could shed some light to the problem I’m currently experiencing with my Galaxy A3. I send text messages just fine but nothing is going in. I know because I tried using my girlfriend’s phone to send my number a text message and I never got it. Oh, and I did it 3 times just to be sure. So, basically, I can send a text message but can’t receive one. Do you know how to fix this? Thanks a lot.

Troubleshooting: Unlike sending issues, receiving problems can rarely be attributed to network problems because if it’s really the issue, then you shouldn’t also be able to send a message. That being said, here’s what I suggest you do about it:

Step 1: Check if your phone still has enough storage space for messages

I’m not sure how old your phone is but if you’ve been taking pictures and videos often, there’s a chance that the cause of this problem is insufficient storage space. When messages are received, they are actually being downloaded to your phone and they, too, take up space. So, if your phone only has a few Kb left, that might not be enough even for a single text message. So, try to follow the steps below to check for storage availability:

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Storage.
  4. View the Available space value.

If we suspect is right, then the only way to fix this problem is by freeing up some space. You may need to transfer some of your files to your computer or SD card, uninstall unused apps, delete some messages, and anything that will free up some space. Consider doing the following in freeing up some space in your phone regularly:

  • Delete unnecessary text messages (SMS) and picture messages (MMS)
  • Transfer pictures and media to a computer to remove them from the phone memory
  • Clear the browser cache, cookies, or history
  • Clear Facebook app cache
  • Manage applications. See section below
  • Delete the call logs

Step 2: Clear the cache and data of the Messages app

I know your phone is still capable of sending texts but let’s just try to rule out the possibility that the reason why it can’t receive SMS is due to a glitch in the app. So, in this step, I will walk you through in resetting the app you’re using for messaging:

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Tap Messages in the default list or tap MORE > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear cache.
  8. Tap Clear data and then tap OK.

After this, send a text message to your own number and if it goes through but not received, then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Try using your phone in Safe mode

We have to rule out the possibility that this problem is due to a third-party app. So, you have to reboot your phone in safe mode and try sending a text message to your own number while in this mode. Here’s how you boot your phone in safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the screen with the device name.
  3. When ‘SAMSUNG’ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see ‘Safe Mode’.

If you can receive text messages while in this mode, then you’ll have to look for the app that’s causing the problem. You may have to uninstall it to fix the issue…

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Tap the desired application
  6. Tap Uninstall.
  7. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

If the problem still occurs in safe mode or even after you did all the procedure above, then move one to the next step.

Step 4: Try to wipe the cache partition so that all caches are replaced

Problems like this may also occur due to some corrupt system caches. We have to rule this possibility out just to make sure we don’t miss anything. So, follow the steps below so that all the system caches will be replaced in your phone:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘yes’ and press the Power key to select.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Step 5: Backup your files and data and then reset your phone

If all else fails, then you need to reset your phone to bring it back to its default settings and then you can try sending a text message to your own number to see if would work. However, make sure you backup all your files and data as they will be deleted during the process. After backing up your important data, disable the Factory Reset Protection (FRP) so you won’t be locked out of your device and after which, feel free to reset your device.

How to disable FRP on your Galaxy A3

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap Google.
  5. Tap your Google ID email address. If you have multiple accounts setup, you will need to repeat these steps for each account.
  6. Tap More.
  7. Tap Remove account.
  8. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT.

How to Master Reset your Galaxy A3

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Now send a text message to your own number to see if it works this time. If still no, then you need help from your service provider.

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