What to do if Galaxy Note8 is unable to send text messages [troubleshooting guide]

Welcome to today’s #GalaxyNote8 troubleshooting article. We would like to show you the steps on how to deal with a Note8 that is unable to send text messages or SMS. We hope you’ll find this guide helpful.

Fix #1: Do a restart

A lot of issues are fixed by doing a simple restart. By restarting your device, you’re refreshing the system, which may, in turn, address the bug that causes the SMS glitch. Because we don’t know the full history of your Note8, any troubleshooting step might be useful in fixing the problem. A restart is a good way to kick it off.

Fix #2: Verify if voice calling works

Voice calls and SMS are tied up so if one goes down, the other service might be having problems too. Be sure to check if you are able to make and receive calls. If that won’t work, then text messaging may not work too. If voice calling won’t work too, you’ll need to contact your carrier right away.

Fix #3: Check signal reception

The main reason why smartphones have signal indicators on top is to let users know if there’s good signal reception in an area. If your text messages keep failing to send in a particular area only, that’s an obvious sign that your phone may be getting weak cellular signal or not at all. Before you send and SMS, make sure to check how good network coverage is. Generally, poor network service is indicated by 1 or two signal bars so make sure to find a place with good coverage before sending.


Fix #4: Check message center number

If your phone is still unable to send SMS even when you’re using it in a location with good signal coverage, the next good thing to do is to check whether or not your phone has the correct Message Center Number. Sometimes, the MCN changes after inserting another SIM card from anothe carrier. Ideally, this number is automatically configured the moment a SIM card is inserted but sometimes, this doesn’t happen. Some messaging apps may also change this number for some reason so it’s good if you can manually check it. If you don’t know what your carrier’s message center number is, you can ask them for it, or use Google to find it.

To check your Note8’s message center number:

  1. Open your messaging app (we assume it’s Samsung’s Messages).
  2. Tap More settings (three-dot) icon at the upper right.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap More settings.
  5. Tap Text messages.
  6. Tap Message center.
  7. Enter the correct message center number.

We highly recommend that you ask your carrier for this number instead of using Google for it. Some websites may contain outdated or incorrect information so it’s good if you can get the information directly from the source.

Fix #5: Delete old messages from inbox

Both sending and receiving mechanisms of SMS in your Note8 require enough space to operate. If your messaging app’s inbox is full, it may stop sending and receiving messages. Make sure to delete old conversations and messages with images (MMS) on them. Once you’ve cleared your inbox of old texts, check if SMS sending works.

Fix #6: Clear messaging app cache and data

Another good thing to do when dealing with the messaging app is by clearing its cache and data. Apps keep temporary files and folders in order to operate efficiently. Sometimes, these temporary files or cache may get corrupted, resulting to app slow downs or worse. Apps, like Messages, also keep user-specific data like usernames, passwords, and other similar ones. These are called app data. If wiping an app’s cache won’t fix the problem, make sure to follow it up with clearing its data. Below are the steps on how to clear an app’s cache and data on your Note8:

  1. Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
  2. Navigate down to Apps.
  3. Once in there, look for Messages app and tap it.
  4. You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  5. You should see the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons for the application. Try clearing its cache first. Afterwards, restart your Note8 and check how SMS sending works. If that won’t change anything, repeat steps 1-4 and clear Messages app data.

Fix #7: Try to use another messaging app

Should the steps above won’t work at all, there’s a big chance that there’s an issue with the messaging app you’re using. Consider using another one and see if that will allow you send and receive SMS without any problem. There are many free messaging app from the Play Store that you can try.

Fix #8: Reseat the SIM card

Some users were able to fix texting issues by simply removing, then reinserting the SIM card. In a way, such action refreshes a device’s network setup so make sure to try doing it as well. Be sure to turn the device off first before removing the SIM card. The same is true before you insert it back.

Fix #9: Try sending SMS in safe mode

Third party applications can sometimes cause problems as well. If you have installed many third party apps, it’s good if you can restart your Note8 to safe mode to see if any of them is causing this problem.

To boot your Note8 to safe mode, follow these steps:

  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.

Once your Note8 has restarted to safe mode, only pre-installed apps will be allowed to run. Make sure that try to send SMS while in this mode to see how it works. We suggest that you leave the phone in this mode for at least 24 hours to notice any difference.

Fix #10: Factory reset

This is the most drastic troubleshooting step that you can do. We hope you’ll never get to this point but if all our suggestions above won’t help, there’s a chance that they might be an operating system bug causing the problem. To fix it, you should try a factory reset. Here’s how:

  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.

NOTE: Factory reset will delete all user data so be sure to back your files up before doing it.

Fix #11: Contact carrier

Finally, if factory reset won’t still resolve the issue at this point, the only other recourse for you is to ask for direct assistance from your carrier. There may be an account- or network-related issue behind this issue that only them can fix.