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How to fix your Huawei P20 that cannot send or receive SMS/text messages [Troubleshooting Guide]

The Huawei P20 is classified among the budget smartphones that offer high-end features and impressive design and display. That’s one edge it got over other hefty flagship devices rivals. But like any other flagship smartphones, the P20 is also not free from minor and major software issues. One of the widespread issues transpiring on the P20 is on text/SMS sending and receiving failure. Such problem is inevitable considering the fact that it’s network-related.

Thus, it can occur any time whenever the network is down or having some problems. On the positive note, such problems are rectifiable by end-users for as long as hardware damage isn’t present on the device. Highlighted below are some suggested workarounds and potential solutions you can refer to when dealing with texting problems on your P20 smartphone.

For smartphone owners who found our site while trying to find a solution, try to see if your phone is one of the devices we support. If it is, then visit the troubleshooting page for that device, browse through it to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. However, if you still need our help after that, then fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

How to troubleshoot Huawei P20 that can’t send / receive text message?

Before troubleshooting software problems on your phone, check the signal bar indicator and make sure it has at least 2 stable signal bars. Signal issues may also be the underlying cause. If you see any network-related error on the status bar, then that’s what you need to deal with. If your phone is getting strong and stable signal bars but still cannot send or receive text/SMS messages, then you can proceed and troubleshoot your P20.

Don’t forget to create a sample SMS message to send and receive on your device.

First solution: Force stop messaging app then restart.

One of the possible reasons why SMS functions aren’t working on the phone is due to the messaging application that’s acting up. Your messaging app might have been corrupted and therefore unable to work unless it’s restarted. To rectify minor app errors and glitches, force stop your messaging app then restart/soft reset your P20. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Application Manager.
  3. Tap the All tab.
  4. Select your Messaging app.
  5. Then tap Force Stop

Clearing background apps can also help. Any background apps that were corrupted or crashing may also affect other functions and applications.

Second solution: Clear cache and data on messaging app.

Errant cache and temporary data for the messaging app can also cause SMS sending or receiving errors to occur. This is why it’s imperative to clear app cache and data from time to time. Here’s how to clear cache and data on the messaging app:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Application Manager.
  3. Tap the All tab.
  4. Select your Messaging app.
  5. Tap Clear Cache. If necessary, tap Clear Data from the messaging app as well to clear any corrupted temporary data for the app.

After clearing cache and data, relaunch the messaging app then try to create a sample text/SMS message and send it to your own number.

Third solution: Update software to the latest version available.

Software and apps updates usually offer fix patch to obliterate existing problems inflicted by random bugs and malicious software. If you haven’t set your device and/or apps to auto-update, then you will need to manually install pending updates. Here’s how to manually check for software updates on the P20:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap System.
  3. Select System Update.
  4. Tap the option to Check for Updates.

To check for any pending app updates you’ve downloaded through the Google Play Store app, launch Play Store then navigate to the Updates section. You will then see a list of apps with pending updates. Just tap on Update to install individual app updates or tap Update All to update apps simultaneously.

Don’t forget to reboot/soft reset your P20 after installing updates to ensure all new software changes are properly implemented and to prevent any app from going rogue.

Fourth solution: Reset APN/network settings on the phone.

Incorrect or misconfigured network settings may also halt a device from sending or receiving text or SMS messages. This usually occurs after installing a software update that’s programmed to auto-configure or override network settings on the receiving device. Thus if the problem started after updating apps or device software, then try resetting APN/network settings with these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Advanced settings.
  3. Scroll to and tap Backup & reset.
  4. Select Network Settings Reset from the given options.
  5. If prompted, read the warning message and then tap Network Settings Reset twice to confirm.

Allow your device to finish resetting network settings and restore the default values. When it’s done resetting network settings, reboot your phone then reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.

Fifth solution: Wipe cache partition on the phone.

This is often the key to resolving software problems that are attributed to corrupted system cache and temporary system data. Like individual apps, the phone system also stores cache or temporary files. When these files get corrupted, there is a tendency for other system or phone functions to become adversely affected. To clear this out, wipe cache partition on your P20 with these steps:

  1. With your phone turned off, press and hold both the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds.
  2. Let go of the buttons when the Honor logo appears.
  3. Shortly after seeing the logo, the EMUI screen shows up with the recovery mode options.
  4. Press the Volume Down button to scroll to and highlight Wipe cache partition option.
  5. Then press the Power button to confirm selection.
  6. Use the Volume buttons to scroll to and highlight the next options and Power button to confirm selection.

Wiping cache partition is also recommended when dealing with post-update issues on the phone. This won’t affect any data and personal information stored on the internal memory of the phone, thus won’t result to data loss. Should this still fail to solve the problem, then you may have to consider resorting to a full system reset to erase your phone and restore its factory/default settings.

Other options

Check for any ongoing network outages that may have affected network-related services in your place. Contact your network service provider or carrier for further details on that matter. Also ensure that your account status is good. Carriers typically impose a soft disconnection to accounts with unsettled issues like unpaid bills. When this happens, outgoing services are temporarily disabled for the account. As a result, you won’t be able to make phone calls and send text/SMS messages. Incoming services however won’t be affected.

If your P20 started to have problem sending or receiving SMS/text messages after installing a software update, then it’s likely a post-update issue that requires a fix patch. In that case, contact your device carrier or Huawei Support to escalate the problem so that they can make necessary assessments and if necessary, develop a fix patch to address it.

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