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How to fix your Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) that can’t send / receive text messages [Troubleshooting Guide]

Sending and receiving text messages are two of the most common functions a smartphone should be able to do without any issues. In fact, these two should be inseparable so that you can communicate properly without people you want to communicate to. Meaning, if you can send a text message, you should also be able to receive one and vice versa. However, we have received cases wherein users can send text messages but can’t receive and there are also others who can’t send out SMS or MMS but can receive just fine.

We have to look into this problem with the Samsung Galaxy A5 being the subject of our troubleshooting. Let’s try to consider every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can tell what the problem is why your phone can’t send and/or receive text messages. If you’re one of the owners of this device and are currently experiencing similar problems, then continue reading below as this post may be able to help you fix them.

But before we go to our proper troubleshooting, if you happen to find this page because you were looking for solutions to a different problem, then I suggest you visit our Galaxy A5 troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed the most commonly reported issues with this phone and you may find what you’re looking for in there. Feel free to use the solutions and workarounds we provided. If they don’t work for you or if you need further assistance, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and then hit submit and we’ll do our best to help you.

How to troubleshoot Galaxy A5 that can’t send text messages but can receive

Problem: Hi droid guy. I badly need your help because my phone is acting up. I don’t really send text that often but there are times when I have to respond to some messages from friends through text. Recently, however, my phone stopped sending text messages and I just don’t know what caused it or what the reason behind it. I’m sure I’ve never changed any settings that may have caused since I don’t change anything I don’t understand. Can you please help me out with this problem? Thanks.

Troubleshooting: More often, if the problem is with the sending of messages, it’s a network-related problem, although we have to verify your phone is properly connected to your provider’s network and is getting decent signal from the tower. We have encountered issues before wherein signal reception is the cause why the phone can’t send out text messages. The troubleshooting steps below are very practical and are drafted for average users like you.

Step 1: Make sure your phone is receiving decent signal from the tower

You really don’t have to do something fancy to know if your phone is getting good signal from your carrier’s tower; all you need to do is look at the status bar of your phone and find the signal indicator. As long as your phone has, at least, 1 bar of signal, it should be able to send text messages. If you can see an airplane icon beside the signal indicator, then Flight Mode is enabled. You have to disable that so that your phone’s wireless communication will resume.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Connections.
  3. Tap Airplane mode.
  4. Slide the Airplane mode Switch right to the OFF position.

Step 2: Try making a phone call to any number

If your phone shows it has good signal and that there’s no plane icon on the status bar, then this is the next thing you should do. It doesn’t fix the problem but very helpful in determining if the problem is with the network or not.

If you can make a phone call, then your phone is connected to the tower and is actually getting a signal but text messages don’t go through. In this case, it’s time to look at a different angle here because maybe it has something to do with the settings.

Step 3: Check for the Message Center Number

The Message Center Number is actually just a set of numbers that looks like a phone number. It’s used  by your phone to send text messages to your provider’s network. Text messages aren’t actually sent directly to the number you’re texting, they’re sent to the servers and from there, they’re sent to the number you’re communicating to. That is why the center number is very important. If it’s changed or deleted, your phone won’t be able to send text messages no matter what and this is how you check it:

  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, try to verify if it’s correct. You might want to call your provider and ask for the correct center number or you can go online and google it. Do the same thing if there’s no center number in the field.

Step 4: Backup your files and data and then reset your phone

After verifying that the center number is correct, then it’s time to resort to the reset. It will bring your phone back to its factory default settings and it might fix the problem provided it has something to do with some inappropriate settings in your phone. However, you need to backup your files and data as they will be deleted during the reset process and after which, follow these steps to reset your device:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. From the Home screen, tap the Apps tray.
  3. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  4. Tap Backup and restore.
  5. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  7. Tap the back button to the Settings menu and tap General Management > Reset > Factory data reset.
  8. Tap Reset.
  9. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your credentials.
  10. Tap Continue.
  11. Tap Delete all.

After doing all this and your phone is still not capable of sending text messages, it’s time you sought assistance from your service provider.

How to troubleshoot your Galaxy A5 that can send texts but can’t receive

Problem: Hi guys. I’ve been following your blog for a few months now as I bought Galaxy A5 in February. I encountered a few hiccups since I got it but was able to fix them on my own. Recently however, I haven’t received text messages and I know that my friends and family would send messages daily. I’m not quite sure what happened to the phone but I just want to make it work again like before. What can I do?

Troubleshooting: Let’s try to troubleshoot this problem using some practical ways and since this is a troubleshooting guide, there’s no guarantee that we can fix this but please don’t let it stop you but doing something to try to fix the problem. That said, here’s what you need to do…

Step 1: Send a text message to your own number

You can send text messages but can’t receive so when you send a text message to your own number, it will be sent but then you may not be able to receive it but try it.

If the message is received, then you have no problem. I’m not sure if you’ve already done this or not but if you did and you didn’t receive the message, then there really is a problem.

Step 2: Check for available storage space in your phone

Text messages use very small amount of space in your phone’s storage so it’s almost virtually impossible that your phone will run out of space due to messages. However, if you’re fond of taking pictures or recording videos, you may not have noticed you already used up all your phone’s storage space. It is therefore, imperative you check your phone’s memory. Here’s how…

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

If the space is around 200MB or less, then our suspicion is correct. You to transfer some of your files to a computer or SD card to make some space. In this case, the moment you free up some space, you may start receiving text messages immediately. Please, also consider doing the following to free up some more space in your phone’s storage…

  • 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 3: Reset the messaging app as it might be just a glitch

After freeing up some space or if your phone still has enough storage available and this problem still happens, then it’s time to reset the messaging app. Sometimes apps may encounter some hiccups and various issues may occur including this problem. So, in this step, try to reset the messaging app by clearing its cache and data:

  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 to see if you can receive it this time. If still no, then move on to the next step.

Step 4: Run your phone in Safe mode and send a text to your number

If the problem still persists after clearing the cache and data of the messaging app, then it’s time to see if one of the apps you installed is causing the problem. You have to temporarily disable all third-party apps and try to send a text message to your own number. Reboot your phone in safe mode to disable all downloaded apps at once, follow these steps:

  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’.

While in this mode, send a text message to your own number and if you still couldn’t receive it, it’s time to go after the firmware. However, if the message is received in this mode, then you have to find which app is causing the problem and uninstall it:

  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.

Step 5: Delete all system caches so they’ll be replaced

It’s now time to go after the firmware and the first thing you need to do is delete all system caches as some of them may have already been corrupted and that might be causing the problem. You need to run your phone in Recovery mode and wipe the cache partition, here’s how…

  1. Turn off your Galaxy A5.
  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.

The phone will take a little more time rebooting as it rebuilds the caches so wait for it to become active and then try to send another text message to your own number. If  you still can receive it, then it’s time you reset your phone.

Step 6: Do the master reset on your Galaxy A5

This is your last resort and probably the last thing you need to do before deciding to bring the phone to the shop or to your service provider. But before the reset, make sure you make a backup of your important files and data as they will be deleted. After which, disable the Factory Reset Protection so you won’t be locked out of your device.

How to disable Factory Reset Protection of your Galaxy A5

  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 A5

  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.

I hope this troubleshooting guide helps.

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