How to fix your Samsung Galaxy Note8 that can’t send / receive text messages [Troubleshooting Guide]

Sending and receiving text messages are among the most basic functions a phone should do without any problems. However, that’s not the case for some of the owners of the new Samsung Galaxy Note8. It seems like smartphones nowadays have a lot of issues and basic functions like these are often among the most commonly reported issues.

In this post, we will tackle this problem with the Note8 being the subject of our troubleshooting. We only need to determine if the problem can be fixed without any help from a tech because if not, then you should bring it back to the store and have your provider’s tech check it out for you. After all, it’s new and they should replace it if their tech can also not fix it. So, if you’re one of the owners of this phone, continue reading below as this post maybe able to help you.

If you’re looking for a solution to a different problem, then take time to visit our Galaxy Note8 troubleshooting page for we have already provided solutions to some common issues with this device. Try to find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions and workarounds we suggested. If you can’t find something similar and you badly need help, consider contacting us by filling up our Android issues questionnaire. Make sure to provide us with the information we need so that we can help you better. Don’t worry, it’s free.

How to troubleshoot your Galaxy Note8 that can’t send / receive SMS

We only need to do the basic troubleshooting especially that the phone is still new. Any problem that isn’t caused by water or physical damage should have something to do with the firmware. If the problem is with the hardware, then your provider should replace it no questions asked. Now, for this problem, here’s what you should need to do:

Step 1: Check if your phone is getting good reception

When it comes to functions that require your phone to connect to your provider’s network, signal is very important so this must be the first thing you need to check. You don’t have to do something fancy to do this because you just have to look at the signal indicator at the status bar to know if it’s getting decent signal or not. You should be able to tell immediately if that’s the cause of this problem.

Also, try to see if you can find an icon that resembles a plane because if there is such an icon on the status bar, it means that flight mode is enabled, which disables all wireless communication. Just disable flight mode and your phone should regain its service.

Assuming your phone is getting really good signal and that there’s no airplane icon showing, then move on to the next step.

Step 2: Reboot your phone in Safe Mode and try sending a message

We need to rule out the possibility that this problem is caused by a third-party app. Try disabling all third-party apps at once by booting your phone in safe mode. Once in that mode, try sending a text message to your own number so that you would know if it goes through and if your phone can actually receive it. Now, here’s how you boot your phone in 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.

If your phone can’t send out a text message still, move on to the next step. However, if it can actually send out the message but can’t receive it, then skip to step 4.

Step 3: Check the message center number

The message center number is necessary so that your phone can successfully connect to your provider’s network and send a text message. It might have been deleted or changed for some reason and this often occurs to phone that you brought in to your provider. Phone’s carried by your service provider, however, are often have a pre-set message center number that even if reset, the number would still be the same. At this point, I suggest you call your service provider and ask about the correct center number.

Message sending issues are often tied to a network problem and while I suggested you check the center number, there’s nothing much you can do even if you found out it’s deleted.

Step 4: Make sure your phone has enough storage space left

If your device can successfully send out a message but not receive it, then the problem is more likely with the phone because if it were a network issue, the message should not have been sent in the first place. Among the most common reasons why messages aren’t receive is the storage space in your phone’s internal memory. Messages are actually being downloaded so if there’s not enough space left, they won’t be downloaded even if your phone is capable of receiving them. Try deleting a large file or two and send a text message to your own number to see if it goes through this time. If still no, then it’s time for some serious firmware troubleshooting.

Step 5: Wipe cache partition

It’s time to rule out the possibility that this problem is due to some corrupt system caches, so in this step, try deleting the caches from your phone so that they will be replaced with new ones. Don’t worry, these deleting and replacing processes are done automatically. Just follow these steps and you should be good…

  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.

If the problem persists after this, then move on to the next step.

Step 6: Backup your files and reset your phone

This is the final step in our troubleshooting but it’s potentially effective assuming the problem has something to do with some glitches or minor issues with the firmware. The reset will bring the phone back to its out of the box configuration and would delete all your files and data, so make sure to make a backup of them prior to the reset. Also, try disabling the Factory Reset Protection of your phone so that you won’t be locked out of your device.

How to disable Factory Reset Protection on Galaxy Note8

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap Google.
  5. Tap on your Google ID email address if multiple accounts are setup. If you have multiple accounts setup, you will need to repeat these steps for each account.
  6. Tap 3 dot icon.
  7. Tap Remove account.
  8. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT.

How to Master Reset your Galaxy Note8

  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.

You can also reset your phone from the Settings menu…

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Backup and restore.
  4. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  5. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. Tap the back button to the Settings menu and tap General Management > Reset > Factory data reset.
  7. Tap Reset.
  8. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your credentials.
  9. Tap Continue.
  10. Tap Delete all.

If the problem persists after this, then bring your phone back to the store and have it replaced.

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3 Replies to “How to fix your Samsung Galaxy Note8 that can’t send / receive text messages [Troubleshooting Guide]”

  1. So i have this N on the 3 lines when i open messages and i click it takes me to “chat settings” i click it says register for new features? You will receive a code in a text message to verify your number. And since then i havent been able to recieve pictures of any kind i try to update fot the new features but keeps saying registration failed i been doing so for 3 days and hasnt update and cant get pictures still i need help.

  2. If the other person has iPhone and they have “imessage” checked “On” then you won’t receive their messages till they check it off. Your welcome.

  3. Any suggestions for fixing group chat issues? I’m under the cricket network and had a samsung and cricket rep try to figure out why my messages come in separately. No resolution so far.

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