AT&T Galaxy S6 Active unable to send SMS to one contact after system update, other issues

Welcome to another #GalaxyS6 post! We bring 6 more issues reported by some members of our Android community over the past few days.


Below are the specific topics we cover today:

  1. Galaxy S6 is sluggish and typing SMS is very slow
  2. AT&T Galaxy S6 Active unable to open SMS from one contact after system update
  3. Recover files from a water-damaged Galaxy S6 Edge
  4. Sprint Galaxy S6 keeps failing during activation to Pakistani network
  5. Virtual keyboard on Galaxy S6 won’t appear
  6. Verizon Galaxy S6 can’t connect to AT&T’s 4G LTE network | Galaxy S6 MMS not working on AT&T network

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page, or you can install our free app from Google Play Store.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Problem #1: Galaxy S6 is sluggish and typing SMS is very slow

I own a Samsung Galaxy S6 that I purchased new from a 3rd party about 5 months ago. I purchased it when I switched from one provider to another and needed a phone that was going to be compatible with the new provider (Verizon). I’d heard nothing but good things about the S6 and was sure it was going to turn out to be a good phone at a good value. Shortly after purchasing and activating the phone, it has become nothing but a nuisance. Its network connectivity is sporadic and I can’t connect to 4G in areas that are known to have great 4G. It even struggles to connect to 3G. I have less than 100% confidence that sent/received messages are making it to their destination.

For the past several months, I’ve just been dealing with the problem, but it has become intolerable. I visited Verizon recently and they suggested it sounded like a SIM card issue and just replaced the SIM card. The new SIM card didn’t do anything to resolve the issues. I’m about ready to consider scrapping this phone and purchasing a replacement, but phones aren’t cheap and I did not get more than 5 months use out of this one. Everything about the phone is sluggish including typing text messages. Words and letters don’t appear when they should. Sometimes autocorrect occurs prematurely. And sometimes the words/letters I’m typing and even parts of sentences get duplicated automatically. I want to enjoy this phone, but I’m on the last straw and might just get rid of it.

Some potentially helpful details:

-Phone was activated new with Verizon, but a number from the old provider was ported to the new phone

-Phone hasn’t been subjected to any abnormal conditions (no major falls, no submersion in water, etc.)

-every single application on the phone down to the test messaging system is sluggish

-System cache partition has been cleared without any improvement in performance

-Phone is rebooted at least 3 times per week.

Any other questions that might lead to helpful answer, please feel free to ask. I can’t tolerate having a dumb smart phone anymore. I’d rather have a dumb clamshell and a separate computer. — Brenton

Solution: Hi Brenton. Hi Brenton. Since you’re dealing with the overall performance of your Galaxy S6 here, the best thing that you can do is to establish a benchmark performance so you can determine if the device has to be replaced. To do that, you must do a factory reset first, then observe it for a few days. This is an important step since a newly factory reset Galaxy S6 means it’s running a known working version of the operating system and built-in apps. If the phone remains sluggish during the observation period, that’s a clear sign that the issue never software in nature but hardware. During the observation period, you also want to check how text messaging works. If the messaging app continues to work slow, then that’s another proof that something in the phone is not working right.

Also, make sure that you don’t install anything during the observation period. Some issues are caused by bad apps or updates so ensure that you don’t add anything to the system during this time. Many average uses re-introduce apps and updates right after a factory reset causing them not being able to identify if a third party app or update is causing the issue. That said, you must also observe how your phone behaves once you’ve re-installed your apps. If the phone works fine after a factory reset but then starts to show issues later on (after re-installing apps), then that’s a clear sign of a third party app issue.

Basically, what we’re advising is to check if there’s a difference in performance after a factory reset (and no apps installed) and when you start using your phone once all your apps are installed. If there’s no observable difference between the observation period and when you have all your apps installed, you can bet hardware is to blame. You must find a way to have the phone replaced.

Problem #2: AT&T Galaxy S6 Active unable to open SMS from one contact after system update

I have a Galaxy S6 Active (AT&T). I have had no issues until the recent (a few months ago) software updates. Since the software updates, there is one, only one, contact in my phone I can no longer receive text messages from. I can send them text messages and they get them, but I cannot open the ones they send. This particular contact is marked as a favorite so I see that I have messages from them in the favorites at the top of the messaging app. I receive text messages from this contact when in a group message without issue. I was able to send and receive text messages to this contact without any issues before the software updates. Any help would be appreciated. — Bonny

Solution: Hi Bonny. We can’t see any reason why your messaging app will suddenly pick on one contact after an update but if you are positive that the issue started happening after you installed a system update, the first thing that you want to do is refresh the system cache.

Wipe the cache partition

Here’s how to do it:

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • Press the Power key to select.
  • When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.
  • Try to test sending a message again.

Delete and re-add the contact in question

Delete the contact from your Contacts app then add it again. If that won’t make a difference, proceed to the next procedure.

Check if the contact is blocked

You may have installed another app that may be blocking the SMS of this contact from loading. Go over your list of apps and see if you recently installed an app that may be restricting your interaction with a particular contact.

Delete messaging app’s cache and data

If nothing happens, the next thing that you want to do is delete the messaging app’s cache and data. Here’s how:

  • Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
  • Navigate down to “Apps”. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6.0.
  • Once in there, find the messaging app and tap it.
  • You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  • You should now clearly see the Clear Data and Clear Cache buttons for the application.

NOTE: Tapping on the Clear Data button will wipe out entire message threads. If you don’t want to lose important conversations, make sure that you back them up before doing this procedure.

Do a factory reset

Finally, if the issue persists, the final step to do is to reset all software settings back to default. Try not install apps after a factory reset so you can observe how sending SMS to this contact works now that the OS has been restored to default. If the issue still remains, contact your carrier to see if there’s anything that they can do.

Problem #3: Recover files from a water-damaged Galaxy S6 Edge

My husband’s Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge phone had been previously where the glass broke. The phone still worked fine. We are on vacation and he was charging his phone. When I woke up to his phone being face down on the floor where some water was. The phone is/was on, but only the edge screen works. So it just shows the time and battery percentage. We tried turning it off and pushing the home button but nothing happens. We aren’t as concerned about the actually phone itself, but getting the pictures from our vacation. The phone is in a bag of rice because we don’t have the tools to take off the back cover. Any suggestions for how we can at least get the pictures? — Chelsey

Solution: Hi Chelsey. If your main concern is file recovery, bring the device to third party repair center and let them check if they can repair or replace the screen assembly. If that can’t be done, your photos are good as gone as there’s no other way to access them.

Going through Samsung’s service center route is out of the question since they will ensure that the memory is wiped out first before any repair is attempted.

Problem #4: Sprint Galaxy S6 keeps failing during activation to Pakistani network

I have Samsung Galaxy Sprint S6. I bought it here in Pakistan from a local shop. I used it with my local carrier here in Pakistan. It sometimes used to detect my service, sometimes i have to pull out the SIM and put it again and then it detects it. My cousin by mistake restored the cellular network data. And from then it has stopped detecting any SIM. I tried activating it but it gets stuck there. Although when i put a SIM in it, it shows the name of my carrier on top left corner of the screen and shows the signal strength as well. And when i try to activate it shows 3G as normal phones show. But it doesn’t activate it. I opened browser from recently used apps tray and checked if 3g is working or not. But 3g is not working though settings are 100% accurate. When i put my SIM and start the phone it shows a black screen which says please wait while we are activating your device and it never gets completed. Help me out please. — Ali

Solution: Hi Ali. We don’t know anything about your phone software-wise so we can’t say this for sure but resetting the network back to default may had re-configured the device to work only in Sprint network. Try to bring the device to a shop and see if they can network unlock it. That may be the problem why activation keeps failing.

Problem #5: Virtual keyboard on Galaxy S6 won’t appear

When I tap “Enter Message” on a recipients text message thread from within the Messages app, the virtual keyboard does not appear. However, all other facets of the touch screen work: I can scroll, tap attach button, go back, menu, etc. Also, if I rotate the phone into landscape orientation, I can get the keyboard to appear once I tap Enter Message. The keyboard will then stay open if I rotate back to portrait orientation. I have tried the following fixes, all of which have resulted in non-solution: 1. Safe Mode boot 2. Delete recently installed/updated apps 3. Clear Cache/Data from Messages app, as well as TouchWiz Home app. 4. Force stop messages app and reboot. 5. Selected a different default keyboard other than Samsung native or Google. Of note, when I changed my default messaging app to Message+, I had full functionality of my text messaging. So something seems to be stemming from the Messages app in portrait mode. — Kyle

Solution: Hi Kyle. How about factory reset? We say you try it to see if it makes any difference. Here are the steps:

  • Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S6.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power keys together.
  • When the device powers on and displays ‘Power on logo’, release all keys and the Android icon will appear on the screen.
  • Wait until the Android Recovery Screen appears after about 30 seconds.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option, ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • Press the Volume Down button again until the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted and then press the Power key to select it.
  • After the reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.

Problem #6: Verizon Galaxy S6 can’t connect to AT&T’s 4G LTE network | Galaxy S6 MMS not working on AT&T network

Good morning! I recently bought a Galaxy S6 that was a Verizon phone that has been factory unlocked. I used my SIM card from my iPhone 4S that was with AT&T and then set up the APN with AT&T tech support. I was told that was all I needed to do in order to receive AT&T service on my new phone. However, using my mobile data or wifi, all I can get is 3G instead of 4G LTE.

Also, I am unable to receive photos and group texts. A button will appear that says “Download.” When I touch the button it says “Downloading.” But nothing ever downloads! I have checked and double checked to make sure the network mode is set correctly to LTE/GSM/UMPS. There may be other issues but I have not discovered them as of yet. I really like my new phone and it has so much more to offer than my previous phone. Please help! — Mrscaptmorganiv

Solution: Hi Mrscaptmorganiv. The first issue is either caused by a limitation on your phone, or by AT&T’s coverage in your area. Each network has its designated operating frequencies so the devices they provide to their customers are built with the right chips to work with a certain frequency band. If your Galaxy S6 is not compatible with the operating frequency of AT&T’s LTE network in the area, you’re out of luck. You simply have to contend with 3G on the at phone. Do some little research about the 4G LTE operating frequency of your S6 so you can check with AT&T if it’s compatible with their network.

The second issue can only be fixed by your carrier. As long as the APN settings on an activated device is correct, MMS should work. If that’s not happening, the issue is either caused by a software restriction (Verizon phones are notoriously buggy when it comes to MMS functionality on other networks), or by AT&T’s restriction on your account. Please work with AT&T so they can enlighten you on the true case. If they’ll say that MMS is allowed under your account and should work, then you can bet the phone MMS functionality won’t work in AT&T’s network.


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