Galaxy S8 Phone and Contacts apps keep crashing, SMS split up and broken into parts, other issues

Hello and welcome to the latest #GalaxyS8 troubleshooting article of the day. This post answers some questions regarding Galaxy S8 calling and messaging problems. We hope you’ll find our suggestions helpful.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: Galaxy S8 SMS split up and broken into parts

I see on your site and several other forums that an auto combination setting exists for at least the S7, and some indicate it’s a feature on the S8 and S8+. I just got my S8+, but I don’t see the Auto combination feature where it should be according to all of the forums I’ve read and anywhere else on the phone. It’s like the setting doesnt exist on my phone. Is it possible to use an outdated version of messages to reclaim it or otherwise install the feature, or am I just not looking in the right place? I’ve looked everywhere. Or is there a third party app with that capability to your knowledge? I’ve used Verizon Messages+, Samsung messages, and Textra with not luck (only the last allowed me to control if my messages were split up when they are sent to others with the custom MMS feature). I’ve been trying to fix this for a few days because it’s really annoying when the SMS texts spilt up and can’t be reassembled. I contacted both Samsung and Verizon and neither had an answer for me. Thank you for your time and expertise!! — McKenzie

Solution: Hi McKenzie. Android, apps, and settings in general evolve so changes happen all the time. If you are referring to the Auto combination option under Samsung Messages app in our post we’re afraid you’ve checked an outdated advice. The said post was published May of 2016 and a lot of Android changes has already been introduced. Samsung Messages app has already seen changes as well, including the abolition of the Auto combination option. At this time, Samsung Messages app automatically determines whether a long SMS is converted to MMS (to transmit it as one long message or not). If you want to send and receive long SMS (message with over 160 characters), make sure that you set Set restrictions option to Free. Here’s how:

  1. Open Messages app.
  2. Tap More settings option at the upper left side (three-dot icon).
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap More settings.
  5. Tap Multimedia messages.
  6. Tap Set restrictions.
  7. Select Free.

If you’re using a non-Samsung messaging app, try to see if there’s a similar option. We only support stock Samsung apps.

Clear app data

If you’re able to receive long messages in this phone using the same messaging app before, consider wiping its data to return its settings back to their defaults. Here’s how:

  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. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6 or 7.
  3. Once in there, look for the application 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. Look for Clear Data button and tap it.

Clearing an app’s data will erase your text messages. Make sure to back them up if you don’t want to lose them for good before wiping the app’s data.

Problem 2: Galaxy S8 Plus can’t make a call, Phone and Contacts apps keep crashing

Hello Friendly Android Dudes! I have a new Galaxy S8+, and I have to add I’m a privacy concerned person (some would call it paranoid), and I simply refuse to give apps like the phone internet access. I don’t receive spam calls, all is well, just leave me be and give me phone functionality (i.e. calling!!!). When I open the dialer app OR contacts though (same for both), i can scroll through the contacts, but as soon as I select a contact, the app freezes. Once I kill the app, I can restart it and scroll again (but not select let alone call a contact). — Robert

Solution: Hi Robert. A problem like this can either be due to an app bug or an operating system glitch. Make sure that you do the basic set of software troubleshooting to fix it.

Wipe the cache partition

Android uses a temporary set of files called system cache to quickly load apps. At times, this cache gets corrupted so it’s highly recommended that a user delete it. This will force the phone to build a new cache. Done regularly, such as once every few months, you can expect your apps to load like a charm. Also, doing it can potentially eliminate system- or app-related bugs. Since you’re having trouble with a system app, it’s a must do in this situation. Below are the steps to do it:

  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.

Restart the phone to Safe Mode

Another reason why calling feature as well as contacts app don’t work as expected can be bad third party app. Since only you knows the apps you add in your device, we can’t be more specific what app may be causing this issue. You can, however, try to restart the phone to safe mode to know if our suspicion is warranted. Here’s how:

  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.

With your phone now in safe mode, all third party apps and services will be blocked from running. In other words, pre-installed apps will not run unhindered by any bad third party app. If the issue won’t occur, which means Contacts and Phone apps will work as expected, you can bet an app is to blame.

If you think an app is causing the problem, you should uninstall apps until you’ve narrowed down the source of trouble. Use the method of elimination until the problematic app has been located.

Do a factory reset

If nothing changes at all, even when the device is in safe mode, there must be an Android glitch somewhere. Be sure to factory reset the device to return all software settings to their defaults.

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

Problem 3: Galaxy S8 dual SIM keeps missing incoming calls

Hi. I have a Samsung S8 dual SIM. For the past 1 week my mobile is missing some incoming calls. I get a missed call message although my mobile was switched on. I have a local SIM and a SIM from another country in SIM 2. I went to India and was on roaming for a month and was back around 2 weeks back. I have no issues making calls. Kindly give me a solution to this problem. — Linges

Solution: Hi Linges. For dual SIM card models of Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, there’s an option under Settings to help the system decide which SIM to use for texts and calls. If not set up correctly, it can potentially cause the problem you’re currently experiencing. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Connections.
  3. Tap SIM card manager.
  4. Tap Dual SIM always on.
  5. Enter the phone number/s to receive calls for each of them even when one is active on a call.

If our suggestion above won’t fix your problem, contact your carrier for support.

Problem 4: Galaxy S8 how to block numbers and phrases, no SMS spam filter

No SMS spam filter option in settings for text messages. When i try to reply stop or block to the (reply ‘block’ to stop this user,) the response is ‘block’ failed. The same  thing happens when stop is used instead of block. — Rebecca Van Fossan

Solution: Hi Rebecca. You’re right, there’s no spam filter in settings of Samsung Messages app. If you want to block something, you have two options only:

  • block a phone number
  • block phrases

To block a phone number, you must do the following steps:

  1. Open Messages app.
  2. Tap More settings icon at the upper right hand side.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Block messages.
  5. Tap Block numbers.
  6. Enter the number you wish to block.
  7. Tap the Plus sign to save the number.

To block a particular phrase, here’s how:

  1. Open Messages app.
  2. Tap More settings icon at the upper right hand side.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Block messages.
  5. Tap Block phrases.
  6. Enter the text you wish to block.
  7. Tap the Plus sign to save the phrase.

The steps above are applicable for Samsung Messages app only. If you’re using a different messaging app, there may or may not be similar options for you.