What to do if Galaxy S8 won’t randomly send text messages [troubleshooting guide]

While some people may find out that their phone may not be able to send texts at all, others may realize that their own device may do it randomly. In this troubleshooting article, we try to give troubleshooting steps and solutions if a #GalaxyS8 is unable to SMS randomly. If you’re one of those who happen to experience this issue, below are the solutions that you should try.

Today’s problem: Galaxy S8 won’t randomly send text messages

I just updated my phone and it seems to randomly not send texts to people but does not show up as failed on my end. Multiple contacts with different phones and carriers. It looks like it went through fine, but I’ve had my friends send screenshots of what they’ve gotten and half of my texts are missing. I’m getting all of their texts. I have screenshots of what it looks like on my phone vs their phones, if that helps. Not sure if this is remotely related, but when my friend added me on Whatsapp, his profile showed his correct number but the profile name was some random coworker of mine that he doesn’t know. When I checked my coworker’s info on my phone contacts, she had her correct number under the nickname I’d originally put her under, but there was also a separate contact with her full name (which I don’t believe I’ve ever added into my phone) with my friend’s number instead. The same friend’s number is ALSO on his correctly named contact profile. I’m horrified that she might be getting these messages to my friend. Other weird minor annoyances have suddenly popped up with the update, too, like unwanted letters or words getting entered while I type/Swype on my phone, or duplicating words/letters, across all apps. It’s like the update my phone. — Kathleen S. Whitcomb

Solution: Hi Kathleen. There’s a number of possible reasons why you have this type of messaging problem. Let’s discuss each of them and how to fix the problem. Before you do any of the solutions below though, we suggest that you restart your Galaxy S8. Many minor bugs are fixed by turning the system off for even just a bit. That’s because some bugs may only develop after a system has been running for a long time already. If you don’t usually restart your device regularly, be sure to do this simple troubleshooting step. After you restart your phone, use it for a few days and observe how messaging works. If the random issue you’re experiencing still remain, go ahead and do the possible solutions below.

Refresh the system cache

Android sometimes encounter errors or manifest glitchy performance due to corrupted system cache. To see if your problems are due to a bad system cache, you want to clear the cache partition. Doing so will delete the current system cache and will force your S8 to create a new one over time. To clear the cache partition:

  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.

Force stop messaging app

Should clearing the cache partition won’t change anything, your next move would be to deal with the messaging app directly. There are three things that you can do about it. The first one is to by restarting it, though it doesn’t involve restarting the entire phone. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Find the messaging app you’re using (can be Samsung Messages app or third party).
  4. Tap FORCE STOP button.

Clear cache and data

The two other troubleshooting steps that you can do with your messaging app is to clear the cache and its data. You should do this if your Force stopping the app won’t work at all. To clear your app’s cache and data, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Find the messaging app you’re using (can be Samsung Messages app or third party).
  4. Tap Storage app.
  5. Tap Clear Cache button.
  6. Restart your device and observe how messaging works for as long as necessary.

If the problem returns after clearing the cache, your next move would be to clear its data. Keep in mind that clearing the data of the messaging app will delete your messages as well so be sure to back them up before you proceed.

To clear a messaging app’s data, repeat steps 1-4 and tap Clear Data button.

Force close and clearing of cache and data can also be applied to your keyboard app to see if there’s an issue with it as well..

Toggle Airplane Mode

Some network problems are fixed by simply toggling Airplane mode on and off. Be sure to do it to see if this will fix your issue. In order to know if this step is effective, make sure to use your phone for at least a day before doing other troubleshooting steps.

To access Airplane Mode:

  1. Pull down the screen from the top.
  2. Find Airplane Mode and tap it. This will enable Airplane Mode. Wait for 5 seconds before tapping Airplane Mode again to turn it off.
  3. Restart your S8 and observe it.

Reset network settings

If the problem is still happening after doing the suggested solutions above, your next step is clear the device’s saved network configuration. Don’t worry, this one will only affect the network aspect of the device such as saved wifi, mobile data, VPN and other network settings so your data should be safe. To wipe your S8’s network settings:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset network settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button.

Try another messaging app

Ideally, the problem should already be fixed by now but if it still remains at this time, you should consider using another messaging app. There are many apps that you can get from the Play Store so be careful with your pick. Try to use an app from a reputable developer to avoid installing malware into the device.

Boot to safe mode

Sometimes, a bad third party app may cause problems. To see if one of your installed apps is the reason why your S8 appears to randomly not send messages, you need to run it on safe mode. Safe mode blocks third party apps so if the problem won’t occur, that’s a clear indication that you have a problematic app. Here are the steps to boot your S8 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. Let your S8 run for at least 24 hours. Be sure to try to replicate the issue by sending as many texts as possible. If your messages will work properly, then that means an app is to blame. We don’t know how often this issue occurs but let your phone run on safe mode for as long as possible.

Remember, safe mode won’t pinpoint the exact app. If you think an app is problematic, you’ll have to invest more time narrowing down the possible causes by uninstalling and observing the phone after each uninstall. Do this cycle until the issue is resolved.

Install carrier updates

Most network bugs are fixed by installing updates. Make sure to check for pending updates manually if you disabled automatic updates on your S8 before. To do that, just go under Settings > Software update and tap Download updates manually.

Contact your carrier support

Should the issue persist after you’ve performed everything in this post, that means that the problem is network-related. Everything mentioned above are meant to address a wide variety of aspects on your device. Since doing them did not fix the issue at all, only your carrier should be able to help you from here on.