How to fix a Galaxy S9 that won’t send text messages, with group messages not working randomly

Today’s troubleshooting article answers two common issues that many #GalaxyS9 users have encountered. The first case talks about an S9 user having a problem sending and receiving group messages, while the second case is purely about being unable to send SMS. Although both cases have different circumstances, their troubleshooting steps and potential solutions are basically similar so we’ve decided to group them together.

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.

Problem #1: Galaxy S9 can’t send or receive group messages at random

Ok here is the issue I am having. I have contacted ATT numerous times and they tell me it’s a known issue, but i really can’t seem to find anywhere on the web that talks about this exact issue.  My problem is sending group messages. In the app it shows that my message goes through, looks like everything is fine, but the recipients never receive them when i send them, they will get them the next day or days later.  Doesn’t matter where i’m located, it happens all the time. It’s very frustrating as this is how my friends and i communicate on a daily basis as we are all older, have children and work full time. I get their texts in real time and try to text back, but they either don’t ever receive them or receive them hours or days later and they are random and have no idea what i am talking about. This happens in a few different group messages that i text frequently in.  Please help. I have tried clearing the cache thing in safe mode as per the customer service rep. I have downloaded a different texting app to see if that helps, still doing the same thing. I have made sure that the app is not optimized in the battery saver function, pretty much everything but a factory reset on phone. Any help on this issue is greatly appreciated. Thanks. — Joe Hennessey

Solution: Hi Joe. A group message is ideally just a regular text message but with multiple contacts joining in. Unlike your normal text message, group messaging is a lot trickier to fix because it involves multiple parties that may be causing the main reason for your current problem. The cause can be phone related (your S9 device), network (yours or from other members of a group), or the devices of your contacts.

In this case, the troubleshooting steps that you can try are limited to those that you can do to your phone. Since you’ve only tried some of them, we’ll mention the rest of the relevant ones that you can try.

Try to send and receive group message while on safe mode

One of possible reasons why you have this issue on your phone may be the presence of a bad or poorly coded third party app. To check if that’s the case, try to boot your phone to safe mode for a few days and see how group messaging works. While running in this mode, all third party apps and services will be suspended, only allowing pre-installed apps (those that originally came with the operating system) to work. Any app that you’ve added after first setting up the device won’t be running at all so it’s a good way to know if you have a bad-app issue. This means that you can also use only the default messaging app throughout the observation period.

We don’t know how often and random this group messaging issue occurs but make sure to observe your phone long enough. We suggest that you let your device run in safe mode for at least 48 hours straight. During this time, try to replicate the issue as often as you can by sending as many group messages as possible. Be sure not restart the phone for 48 hours.

If group messaging works normally while your S9 is on safe mode, that means that one of your apps must be causing the trouble. Should the issue occur even when the device is on safe mode, continue with the rest of the troubleshooting below.

To boot 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 try to replicate the problem. If voice calling works properly, you have a bad app issue at hand.

Clear network settings

Another good troubleshooting step that you can try in this case is to reset the network settings on your device. Some texting and connectivity bugs can sometimes be caused by incorrect or corrupted network settings. To check if this the cause of your issue, here are the steps to clear the network settings on your S9:

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

Reseat SIM card

Some users were able to fix texting problems in the past by doing a simple step: removing the SIM card. This can sometimes be an effective way to fix cases when there’s an issue with the SIM card or account. If you haven’t tried it yet, be sure to do so. Basically, what you want to do is to remove the SIM card while the phone is off. Then, you want to turn the phone back on and re-insert the SIM card. This should clear and reconfigure that cellular settings on your device.

Replace SIM card (if using GSM phone)

Should reinserting the SIM card won’t work, the next good thing that you can try is to see if a new SIM card will work. It’s possible that there may be a bug in the current SIM card you’re using so replacing it with another SIM card may help.

Factory reset

Ultimately, you need to factory reset your device to ensure that there’s no software bug that causes an issue with sending and receiving of texts and group messages. As far as phone troubleshooting is concerned, this is the most that you can do at this point.

To factory reset your S9:

  1. Make a backup of your personal data.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. 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).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times 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.

Talk to your network operator

Texting problems are not entirely an issue on the device side. You’ve pretty much covered all the things that you can do as an end user. If group messages still arrive late or not at all randomly, the issue is most probably beyond your ability to fix. Remember, there are other variables involved in this situation and at this point, there’s nothing more that you can troubleshoot on your end. Despite this, we highly recommend that you let your carrier know of the problem so they can create a ticket for it. There may or may not be an immediate fix for it. Alternatively, you can try to tell your friends about the problem so they can work with their carriers or troubleshoot their device.

Problem #2: Galaxy S9 won’t send text messages

I cannot send text messages I was messing around in the service mode the other day. I do not know what i changed, however now I can receive messages but not send them. All the APN  information is correct i did the force stop in messages and then a “CLEAR CACHE”. Nothing works. — Benjamin Dunlap

Solution: Hi Benjamin. Try to restore all app settings first and see if that will fix your problem. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Tap Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your device and see if the problem is fixed..

Delete old message threads

Should nothing change after you reset all app preferences, you need to go back to your messaging app and ensure that you delete old conversations. Try to delete as many as you can and see if that will allow you to send.

Clear messaging app data

If the problem is still there, make sure that you deal with the app directly by wiping its data. If you’re using the default Samsung messaging app named Messages, this should work just like when you reinstall it. Before you wipe the app’s data, be sure to back up your messages, especially if you don’t want to lose them. For this, you can use the Samsung Smart Switch app.

To delete your messaging app’s data:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Find and tap your messaging app.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Tap Clear Data button.
  6. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Clear network settings

Another good troubleshooting step that you can try in this case is to reset the network settings on your device. Some texting and connectivity bugs can sometimes be caused by incorrect or corrupted network settings. To check if this the cause of your issue, here are the steps to clear the network settings on your S9:

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

Ensure that Message Center number is correct

One of the common reasons why SMS may fail to send is because of an incorrect Message Center number. Get the correct Message Center number from your carrier and make sure that you input it manually on your device (if it’s showing a different number).

To get to your phone’s Message Center number:

  1. Open your Messages app.
  2. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap More settings.
  5. Tap Text Messages.
  6. Tap Message center.
  7. Enter the correct number.
  8. Tap Set.

Reset all settings

Hopefully you’ll not reached this point in your troubleshooting ladder but if you do, make sure that you wipe your device’s settings. It has a similar effect to a factory reset but without the need to clear all user data.

Here’s how to do it:

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

 


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