How to fix Galaxy S9 Plus that won’t send text messages [troubleshooting guide]

Many people are contacting us for help about their #GalaxyS9Plus not sending texts. If you’re one of them, this post should help you figure out an answer.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that 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. 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.

Why would your S9 fail to send SMS?

Just like most Android problems that we solve in this blog, there are often more than one possible reasons why your S9 may fail to send text messages. Here are the most common ones that we encounter:

  1. Contact format is incorrect
  2. Message Center Number is incorrect
  3. Corrupted messaging app cache
  4. Outdated messaging app data
  5. Messaging app issue
  6. Rogue third party app
  7. Unknown software bug
  8. Network-related issue

Needless to say, the first task for you is to isolate the main reason of the problem. Because only you knows that history of your device, you want to remember when exactly did you notice the issue to occur. Did you install an app before when you notice that the phone suddenly failed to send your messages? Did you change some settings that might affect the network configuration? Did you change the SIM card? Anything that you might have done differently on your device may have a direct connection to the problem so make sure that you start your troubleshooting by remembering some relevant details. If you can’t remember anything at all that might cause the problem, proceed to the steps below.

Save your messages

Troubleshooting this issue may require that you delete the messaging app or its data so you’ll be basically erasing your conversations. Make sure that you back them up before doing anything drastic. If you are using the stock Samsung messaging app, consider using Samsung’s own backup tool by going under Settings > Cloud and accounts > Backup and restore > Back up my data. If you want to only back your messages up, make sure that you put a check mark beside Messages. If you want to back everything up, simply hit the Select All option. Afterwards, tap on the BACK UP option at the bottom to begin backing up.

Keep in mind that this type of backup option only works if you’re logged in to your Samsung account. For more specific information what this backup feature does, you can tap on the More information icon at the upper right hand side.

Alternatively, you can save your backup to your computer by using the Samsung Smart Switch app. For more information how this works, consider following this article: How to create backup from Samsung device to your computer via Smart Switch.

Cache partition wipe

Once you’ve taken care of your backups, the next thing that you want to do is to refresh the system cache, which is stored in the cache partition. Android relies on good system cache to load apps quickly. Sometimes though, the system cache gets corrupted for some reason. To check if you have a cache-related issue, you can clear the cache partition. If you haven’t tried that, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo displays, release all three keys.
  4. An ‘Installing system update’ message will show for 30 – 60 seconds before the Android system recovery menu options appear.
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight wipe cache partition.
  6. Press Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight yes, them 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.

Can’t send to one contact only?

If your S9 can send text messages to all your contacts except one, there are two possible reasons for that:

  • The first one is the possibility that the contact information you’re trying to send SMS to may be formatted incorrectly in your Contacts app.
  • The other possibility can be due to a possible network problem.

Make sure to check if the phone number of the contact you’re trying to send SMS to is correct. If you want, try deleting the phone number before attempting to send an SMS again. Make sure that you have the right digits and format.

If that won’t work still, there may be an issue with your network being unable to send your message to that number. Contact your operator for assistance.

Verify Operator Message Center number is correct

One of the most common reasons why a device may be unable to send text messages is due to incorrect Message Center Number. To check, follow these steps:

  1. Contact your operator and ask for the correct Message Center Number.
  2. Open Messages app.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap More settings.
  6. Tap Text messages.
  7. Check the Message center number and compare it to the one you got from your operator.
  8. If you want to make changes, just tap Message center and input the numbers.
  9. Tap SET when done.

Clear messaging app cache

Problems with cache of a messaging app may sometimes lead to sending or receiving of messages. To check if your S9 messaging app has a bad cache, make sure that you clear it.

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right hand (three-dot icon).
  4. Tap Show system apps.
  5. Find the Keyboard app (if you’re using the stock Samsung keyboard, look for Samsung Keyboard) and tap it.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap CLEAR CACHE.
  8. Restart your S8 and check for the problem.

Clear messaging app data

Should clearing the messaging app’s data won’t work, the next good thing to do is to clear the messaging app’s data. This will erase all your conversations and restore the app itself to its factory state so hopefully you’ve already created a backup.

To clear an app’s data:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right hand (three-dot icon).
  4. Tap Show system apps.
  5. Find the Keyboard app (if you’re using the stock Samsung keyboard, look for Samsung Keyboard) and tap it.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap CLEAR DATA.
  8. Restart your S8 and check for the problem.

Uninstall/reinstall messaging app (if applicable)

If you happen to be using a non-stock messaging app, you can also try to uninstall it to see what happens. This is oftentimes an effective way to fix app issues so you don’t want to skip it.

To uninstall an app:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Apps.
  4. Tap the desired application in the default list.
  5. To display preinstalled apps, tap Menu. Tap
  6. Show system apps.
  7. Tap UNINSTALL.
  8. Tap OK.

Boot to Safe mode and observe

Bad or poorly coded apps can sometimes interfere with the operating system. This often stems from the fact that some apps are simply problematic. To check if you installed a bad app, try to restart the device to safe mode and see if you can send a text message or not.

To restart your S9 to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen appearing on the screen.
  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. When Safe mode appears in the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume down key.
  7. Let your phone run and check for the problem.

If your device can send texts only on safe mode, then you know that one of your apps is behind the trouble. You should uninstall apps until you identified the problematic one.

Reset network settings

Some users were able to successfully fix network-related problems, including texting issues, by resetting their device’s network settings. If you haven’t tried this yet, here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, gap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings.
  3. Tap General management.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Tap Reset network settings
  6. Tap Reset Settings button.

Replace SIM card

Ideally, your issue should have been fixed by now but if it’s still not working, the next good thing to do is see if replacing the SIM card will work. This troubleshooting step is known to fix network issues in the past so be sure to get another SIM card to see if the issue lies there.

Most operators can replace the SIM card for free so be sure to go to your carrier’s store and ask one.

Reset settings

Resetting your S9’s software settings to default has a similar effect to factory reset. The difference is that you don’t need to delete personal information and return all software settings to their defaults.

To reset the settings of your S9:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button.
  6. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Factory reset

Finally, if the issue is still there after doing all the suggestions above, make sure that you wipe the phone clean by returning all its settings back to their defaults. Factory reset will delete your personal data as well so be sure to back them up before attempting this solution option.

To factory reset your S9:

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

Contact carrier

Almost all our suggestions above are meant to check if there’s any software bug that prevents your S9 from sending SMS. if the issue continues after doing all of them, then the cause is most likely outside your ability to fix. To help you isolate where the real trouble lies, be sure to ask assistance from your carrier’s technical support team.

 


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If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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