How to fix Galaxy Note9 can’t respond to group message issue

There are many forms of texting problems on Galaxy devices. In this troubleshooting article, we address a particular issue on the Galaxy Note9. The problem is basically about a device being unable to respond to a group message. If you experience this same problem, follow our steps below on how to deal with it.

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Problem: Samsung Galaxy Note9 can’t respond to group message

Hello, I have been having a very annoying issue in regards to group messages. In my group chat, whenever one of my friends sends a picture/gif (iPhone user), I am unable to respond at all to the texting group unless I send a picture; text messages fail. I receive no specific error message, just an orange exclamation mark that says the message failed to send. This was very strange so I reached out to T-Mobile after the first time, and after their engineers investigated the issue, they determined it was a device flaw. The only thing they could do is recommend replacing my device, which seemed strange for such a “minor” issue. Now, I just had the same issue occur in a separate group chat when the same iPhone User sent another gif. Have you run into this issue before? Why am I unable to respond to group messages after a friend sends a gif?

Solution: While we need more information about your case in order to give you a better explanation, we won’t right away say it’s a device issue at all. In many of the same and similar cases we encountered in the past in a variety of devices, the cause of the problem is one of the following:

  • An app bug
  • A software coding issue
  • Network configuration issue in a device
  • Network- or carrier-related problem

The first three items are usually fixable on your end by doing some basic software troubleshooting. The last one though is outside an end user’s control as it can be coming from a fault in your carrier’s system, or on your contact’s side. You won’t be able to obviously deal with these two so that makes the problem unfixable.

To ensure that you’ve covered all possible troubleshooting steps for your device, follow our suggestions below.

Forced restart

There are plenty of Android issues that are caused by temporary bugs. Minor bugs sometimes develop if a device needs a refresh. This is why it’s recommended that you restart your phone at least once every few days. If you haven’t tried restarting your device at this stage, we suggest that you forced reboot it. It has the same effects when you physically remove the battery. Since it’s borderline impossible to disconnect the battery on your Note9, here’s what you need to do to simulate its effects:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. You can use the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Wait for up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.

Clear cache partition

Making sure that a device’s system cache is in top shape is often overlooked by many Android users. Android uses a set of temporary files called system cache to load apps quickly. As you use your device, Android keeps a copy of things it thinks it will need again in the future. So, instead of downloading them again from the internet or looking for it somewhere, it simply keeps them as cache so the next time it needs them, it can be accessed faster. While this system works majority of the time, it can also become corrupted for other reasons. This can then lead to performance problems as well as a host of other issues. To ensure that there’s no system cache issue, try clearing the current cache. You won’t lose personal data for this and Android will rebuild the cache over time. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 cache partition’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Keep apps and Android updated

One of the ways to lessen the chances of bugs from developing as well as fixing known, reported ones is by installing updates. Making sure that apps and Android are running their latest version does not require much effort since your Note9 is set to download app updates. For Android updates, as long as you’re in your home network any carrier or Android updates are also convenient as you’ll receive notifications for them whenever they become available. All you have to do is to tap on a few buttons to confirm the download of app and system updates.

Google Play Store app is set to automatically download app updates. If you changed this behavior in the past, you should manually check for app updates from time to time.

Delete problem threads

Sometimes, a long conversation thread may become buggy. Try to delete the ones you’re having problems replying to. Then, ask your contacts again to send you a similar message and see if you can respond to them fine.

Clear app cache

There’s a chance that the problem might be caused by a bug in the messaging app’s cache. To check if that’s the case, you can try to clear the app’s cache. Here’s how:

  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 3 dots icon (at the upper right)
  5. Tap Show system apps to display preinstalled apps.
  6. Find and tap Google Play Store.
  7. Tap Storage.
  8. Tap Clear cache.
  9. Tap OK.
  10. Restart the device and check for the problem.

Revert messaging app to defaults

Another way to directly deal with a possible app issue is by reverting it to its defaults. Doing this troubleshooting step will result to loss of your messages. If you don’t want that to happen, be sure to back them up ahead of time. If you have a computer, you can use Samsung Smart Switch to create a backup.

To begin clearing the data on the messaging 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 3 dots icon (at the upper right)
  5. Tap Show system apps to display preinstalled apps.
  6. Find and tap Google Play Store.
  7. Tap Storage.
  8. Tap Clear data.
  9. Tap OK.
  10. Restart the device and check for the problem.

Safe Mode

This troubleshooting step helps if the cause of the problem is a third party app. Safe Mode is a separate software environment from Android and is a useful tool used by technicians to check for app issues. As an end user, you can also safe mode to know if the problem you’re experiencing is due to a third party app interference. To boot your Note9 to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name 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. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
  8. Try to check if the problem returns by sending a response to conversations you’re having problems replying to.

If there’s no problem responding at all, that means that you have an app trouble. To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your Note9 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Reset network settings

There may be a configuration error on your device. To clear it or any other potential network bugs, try to do the steps below.

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap General Management > Reset settings.
  3. Tap Reset network settings.
  4. If you have set up a PIN, enter it.
  5. Tap Reset settings. Once complete a confirmation window will appear.

Reset app preferences

Resetting app preferences is oftentimes overlooked in many Android troubleshooting articles but when it comes to an issue like yours, it might help a lot. It’s possible that one or some of your default apps may not be set correctly, causing this glitch to occur. Because there’s no way to know if this guess is true, what you need to do is to simply ensure that all default apps are turned on. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your Note9 and check for the problem.

Factory reset

Lastly, try to wipe your phone and return all software settings back to their defaults with a factory reset. This is an inevitable solution that you should do if all our suggestions above won’t help. To factory reset your Note9:

  1. Create a backup of your 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.

Try using another app

In case the problem is caused by a coding issue or restriction on the current app, try to use a different one. There are many messaging apps that you can use for this purpose in the Play Store. Try using known stable apps like Google’s Android Messages app or any other similar app from reputable developers.

Contact your network operator

If all these device troubleshooting fails to fix the problem, you should continue working with your network operator. While the issue may appear minor, there’s still a chance that there may be a device issue causing it. Let them do some troubleshooting on their end and follow their recommendations afterwards.

 


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