How to fix Google Pixel 3 MMS issue: improve terrible MMS quality

MMS is dying, if not already dead at this time. Well, not exactly but a lot of people today still expects MMS to produce better results than what it’s supposed to do. For such an outdated messaging technology, many folks out there finds it frustrating that it sometimes fail them, just like how a user mentioned below feels. In this troubleshooting episode, we show you the things that you can do fix a possible MMS issue on the Google Pixel 3.

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Problem: Google Pixel 3 MMS is low quality

Hi there, I have an issue with my MMS quality – I have a Google Pixel 3. I understand texting photos loses some quality but mine are terrible! At first I thought it was just the phone – the photos were too high quality for texting but my friend who is with another phone carrier is sending photos fine through MMS, and a friend who is with the same phone carrier I’m with also has said her pictures are sending fine. Even my screenshots which are only a few kb send through blurry, it’s very odd.

I called my phone carrier and they said try putting the sim card back into my iPhone, so I emailed myself one of my Google Pixel’s high quality photos, put the sim card in my iPhone, saved the photo from the email and texted it to a friend and it worked, super high quality. The guy on the phone basically said my Google Pixel seems faulty. When I go to send an MMS on the Google Pixel I get this message “recipient will see lower image quality due to operator MMS limits.” If you can help in anyway that would be great as I really don’t want to have to wipe it and send it back. Thank-you Kind Regards.

Solution: Photos sent via regular text messaging service are expectedly lower in quality compared to the original copy because of technology limitation. MMS works by compressing the file before sending. Cellular data used by MMS is limited so a media file like photos passing through it must be converted to a certain lower file size. This means that overall quality of MMS is usually bad, especially in relation to today’s photos taken by high definition cameras. Unfortunately, MMS restriction is determined by technology or code running on the device and network. Both are usually outside a user’s control so there’s basically nothing much that you can do about them.

If your Google Pixel 3 was able to send a much improved MMS (photo) after reseating (disconnecting and inserting) the SIM card, then that can mean that there may be an issue with the messaging app or with Android. To troubleshoot the issue, try following our suggestions below.

Forced reboot

Sometimes, a simple system restart can clear things up in Android devices. Temporary bugs can also develop if a device is left running for some time. To see if the cause of the problem is temporary, try rebooting your Google Pixel 3 this way:

Press and hold the Power key for 30 seconds or even more and when the logo shows up on the screen, release it.

Unlike other devices wherein you have to press and hold a couple of keys, you only need the power button on Pixel phones and again, it’s hard-wired to respond to it. So, if it actually boots up, that would be the end of the problem but try to do it a few more times if the first try didn’t work. After that and your device still remains unresponsive, try the next solution.

Clear cache of messaging app

The cause of the problem may lie within the messaging app’s cache. To check if that’s the case, try clearing the cache of the text messaging app. Here’s how:

From a Home screen, touch and swipe up to display all apps.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Tap See all ‘xx’ apps.
  4. Tap the appropriate app.
  5. Tap Storage.
  6. Tap Clear cache.
  7. Restart your Pixel 3.

Revert messaging app to defaults

Should nothing work after clearing the messaging app cache, the next step should be return the text messaging app to its defaults. You can do that by clearing the data. Follow the steps below on how to do it:

  1. From a Home screen, touch and swipe up to display all apps.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap Apps & notifications.
  4. Tap See all ‘xx’ apps.
  5. Tap the appropriate app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear data.
  8. Restart your Pixel 3.

NOTE: The steps above will delete all your text messages and MMS. Be sure to back them up ahead of time if you don’t want to lose them.

Reset network settings

Another troubleshooting step that you can try in this case is to clear your Pixel’s network settings to delete possible incorrect configurations or bugs. Resetting network settings will delete all previously connected wifi networks, wifi passwords, VPN settings, and cellular settings. To do it:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap System.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Tap Reset options.
  5. Tap Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.
  6. ​If you don’t see “Advanced,” tap Network & internet > More t> Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.
  7. At the bottom, tap Reset settings.

Reset app preferences

Some users were able to successfully make their device work by clearing their network settings. If you haven’t tried it yet, here’s what you need to do:

  1. From a Home screen, tap the Arrow icon Up to display all apps.
  2. Go to Settings app icon.
  3. Tap System About icon.
  4. Tap Reset options icon.
  5. Choose from the following:
  6. Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth
  7. Reset app preferences
  8. Erase all data (factory reset)
  9. Tap RESET SETTINGS. If prompted, enter the PIN, password or pattern.
  10. Tap RESET SETTINGS to confirm.

Check for bad app

Have you tried sending MMS while the device is on safe mode? On safe mode, your device only allows pre-installed apps, the ones that came with the operating system. With all downloaded apps suspended, you will know if a third party app is the reason for the problem. If you haven’t tried this troubleshooting step yet, follow the steps below to restart your Pixel 3 to safe mode before sending:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. On your screen, touch and hold Power off.
  3. Tap OK.
  4. After you see “Safe mode” at the bottom of your screen, wait to see if the problem goes away.

Remember, safe mode blocks third party or downloaded apps. If received and sent MMS improves, you can bet one of the apps is to blame. To identify which of your downloaded apps is causing the problem:

  1. To exit safe mode, restart your device.
  2. One by one, uninstall recently downloaded apps. After each removal, restart your device. See whether removing that app solved the problem.
  3. After you remove the app that’s causing the problem, you can reinstall the other apps that you removed.

Try another app

Like any app, the default messaging app on your Pixel 3 may be problematic. This can happen due to a number of factors. To check if that’s the case, consider using another messaging app to see if there’s a difference.

There are many good texting apps that you can get from the Play Store. Just install one and use it to see if it improves your MMS.

Install updates

Keeping Android operating system and apps up-to-date is one of the best ways to prevent and,  sometimes, fix problems. Outdated OS can be a source of bugs but so are incompatible apps. To lessen the chances of problems from developing, you must ensure that the software side of your device runs the latest versions. To make this as less of a hassle as possible, let the system do it automatically. By default, your Pixel 3 should download and install updates on its own. If you change this before, you want to regularly check for updates.

To check for software updates (for Android OS), you can go under Settings > Software update.

Factory reset

This is the most drastic troubleshooting that you can do in this case. As the name suggests, this will return all software settings to their defaults. This is usually an effective fix for a lot of software-related issues. If the cause of the problem is a software bug, this might help.

To factory reset your Pixel 3:

  1. Create a backup of your personal data.
  2. Make sure to know the username and password for Google account in the phone.
  3. Open Settings app.
  4. Tap System.
  5. Tap Advanced.
  6. Tap Reset options.
  7. Tap Erase all data (factory reset) and then Reset phone. If needed, enter your PIN, pattern, or password.
  8. To erase all data from your phone’s internal storage, tap Erase everything.
  9. When your phone has finished erasing, pick the option to restart.
  10. Set up your phone and restore your backed-up data.

Contact your network operator

If nothing works at this point and MMS continues to act up, we suggest that you work with your network operator for a fix. As mentioned above, there are other factors that are outside your device that can cause this problem. Make sure to get help from your carrier to figure out the best way to resolve the issue.

Workaround

If you don’t want to send your Google Pixel 3 in for either repair or replacement, you must decide whether or not MMS is really important for your lifestyle. If you only do it from time to time, it is perhaps a good time to stay away from it. MMS at this time is considered obsolete and some carriers have already stopped supporting them. That’s because our world already switched to using apps that supports sending and receiving media (photos, videos, music, documents, etc.) in a much cost efficient and faster way. Apps like Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, Viber, etc. work on both Android and non-Android platforms (like iOS) so sending and receiving media is much easier. If your contacts use any social networking app, try asking them to switch your conversations to that one. For instance, you can chat using Facebook Messenger instead for a much fun and easy manner, not to mention that it’s also free.


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