Galaxy S8 won’t send text messages and only shows “Sending” [troubleshooting guide]

Some #GalaxyS8 owners have been complaining that their device won’t send text messages and only shows “Sending” indicator all the time. If you’re one of these unlucky S8 users, this article is for you.

Fix #1: Restart your S8

Refreshing the system should be the first thing that you want to do here. Network issues are usually caused by temporary bugs that go away once the device is shut down. Restarting is also a great way to refresh the network functionality of an Android device like your S8. By doing it, you’re basically re-establishing the connection to your carrier’s network. Just press and hold the Power button until options show. Then, tap on Restart to restart your S8.

Another way to restart your S8 is by simulating a “battery pull.” This description only makes sense for those who have tried using phones with removable battery packs. For phones with this type of batteries, removing the battery out is the easiest way to unfreeze an unresponsive device. Called soft reset, here’s how to do it:

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

Fix #2: Clear the cache partition

Android uses a system cache to load apps and services quickly. This cache can sometimes get corrupted resulting to problems. To ensure that your S8 uses fresh cache, don’t forget to clear the cache partition. Here’s how to do that:

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

Fix #3: Check signal reception

Having good signal reception while sending or receiving messages is critical. In a lot of times, sending SMS or MMS almost always fails because a device is hardly able to establish solid connection to the network. If this occurs, only bits of the original data that’s supposed to be sent may be transmitted to your network’s computers. This can result to problems and may lead to messaging app glitch wherein the “Sending …” indicator appears to stay forever and won’t go away. To prevent this situation, try sending messages only when your device has consistent signal bar indicators. Avoid sending when it’s only showing 1 or 2 signal bars, or if the signal keeps cutting out.

If your home is located in poorly covered area, or if your room has poor signal coverage in your house, consider getting a signal booster. Not all carriers offer this additional equipment and it’s definitely not free. If money is not an issue though and you need to have consistent signal coverage at home, this can be a life saver.

Fix #4: Verify if voice calling works

Voice calling service uses the same network mode as SMS so if one is problematic, the other one must also be the same. If voice calling works normally though but SMS is not, that’s a totally different story. There must be other factors causing SMS functionality to not work properly. To troubleshoot, continue with the suggestions below.

Fix #5: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off

Some users claimed to have fixed SMS sending issues before by simply turning Airplane Mode on and off. To do that, just pull down the screen from the top, look for Airplane Mode, and toggle it on and off.

Fix #6: Delete old conversations

Incoming and outgoing messages may not work if your messaging app’s inboxes or outboxes are full. Make sure that it’s not the case by deleting several old conversations, especially those that contain MMS.

Fix #7: Reseat SIM card

Removing the SIM card then inserting it again forces a device to disconnect and reconnect to the network. It also re-establishes communication between your S8 and your carrier’s towers so it can potentially clear whatever bug that may have developed over time. Before you take the SIM card out, be sure to turn the phone off. Do the same before you insert the SIM card back.

Fix #8: Delete messaging app data

If voice calling works fine and only SMS is having trouble sending out, it may mean that the messaging app is problematic. To fix the issue, clear the messaging app data and see what happens. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Find and tap Instagram.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Tap Clear Data button.

Fix #9: Check Message Center Number

If you haven’t successfully sent a text message on this phone ever, there’s a chance that it may have an incorrect Message Center Number or MCN. Usually, the MCN is set automatically once you insert a SIM card to a GSM device. For CDMA phones, this is usually pre-set by the carrier. Just in case this has never happened, you can manually check the MCN by doing these steps:

  1. Open your Messages app.
  2. Tap More settings (three-dot icon) at the upper right.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Tap More settings.
  5. Tap Text messages.
  6. Tap Message center.

If you don’t know the correct MCN, be sure to ask your carrier about it.

Fix #10: Reset network settings

By doing this, you’re resetting all data connections back to the factory defaults. The Wi-Fi, mobile data, Bluetooth, etc. will be returned to their default values.

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

Fix #11: Replace the SIM

Some users did fix this issue by replacing their SIM card with a new one. If the issue remains even after doing all the steps above, a new SIM card may help.

Fix #12: Factory Reset (optional)

We won’t recommend that you do a factory reset in this case, especially if the issue intermittent. However, this procedure is known to fix all types of issues so if you want to check how your S8 works when its software is returned to their defaults, go ahead.

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  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 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.

Fix #13: Contact your carrier

If nothing fixes the issue, or if it only occurs from time to time, you should tap the expertise of your carrier regarding the matter. Network performance of a device can be affected by other factors that you can’t control. There may be account- or network-related problems causing this trouble. Most importantly, it’s the duty of your carrier to assist their subscribers when they’re having an issue like this. So, go ahead and let them do their job.