Galaxy S9 group message not working: incoming replies are in individual texts

Many people are often wondering what’s the reason why group messages don’t work as intended. In a sample case below, we show you what can go wrong or what limitation exists for group messaging in top tier phones like the Galaxy S9.

Problem: Galaxy S9 incoming group messages are in individual texts

I am trying to send a group message to two of my friends. On their end it shows that the message was only sent to one of them. When they reply it does not come back in that original group conversation, it comes back in a new individual one on one message which only I can see not all involved in the conversation. How can I do a group chat where I can see both people in the conversation and we can chat all together.   

Solution: Generally, Android devices support group messaging. If you are receiving individual text messages instead of group messages, that means that one of these situations is true:

  • that there’s a problem on your phone,
  • that their Android device or carrier does not allow group messages or
  • that they’re not using Android devices at all.

Troubleshooting the issue

If your friends are using non-Android devices or iPhones, group messages may not be possible or won’t work properly.  This is true when a group has members using iPhones. Apple devices usually defaults to using their proprietary iMessage service. Messages sent from an iPhone as a response to a group message will be received as individual messages. There’s no fix for this as this is a technology restriction or incompatibility.

If all of the members of the group are using Android devices, then there’s a chance that you may be able to fix the issue by troubleshooting it. Below are the things that you can try on your end:

Verify your friend’s devices support group messaging or MMS

Carriers convert group messages into MMS. If your friends don’t have mobile data or their devices don’t support group messaging, the problem is beyond your ability to fix. You must ask them to subscribe to MMS first or ask their carriers to allow them to send group messages before you can form a working group.

Ensure MMS is enabled

As mentioned above, MMS requires mobile data. Since group messages are converted to MMS, you want to make sure that your mobile data subscription is in order. To know if mobile data is working, turn off wifi on your device, switch on mobile data, and use any app that requires internet connection to work like YouTube. If it streams videos just fine, then your mobile data subscription is good. Proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Delete old conversations

If group messaging between the same set of friends worked before (assuming none of you switched to non-Android devices), there’s a chance that the problem may lie on the messaging app. The first troubleshooting step that you want to do is delete old conversations or group messaging threads. This should make room for incoming and outgoing messages as well as clear any buggy messages.

Clear messaging app cache

Should deleting old threads won’t work, the next step is to clear the app’s cache. Apps use temporary files to work efficiently. Sometimes, this cache may become corrupted. To check if that’s the case, you want to delete the cache of the messaging app. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap your app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Cache button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Clear messaging app data

Wiping an app’s data is often an effective way to fix account-related issues that might hamper app’s performance. This will basically delete return the app to its factory version and delete the account associated with it. In the case of messaging app, this will also delete all text messages. If you want to save some of your messages, be sure to back them up ahead of time using Samsung Smart Switch.

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap your app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Data button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Reset app preferences

Resetting app preferences is oftentimes overlooked in many Android troubleshooting articles but when it comes to an issue like yours, it might help a lot. It’s possible that one or some of your default apps may not be set correctly, causing this glitch to occur. Because there’s no way to know if this guess is true, what you need to do is to simply ensure that all default apps are turned on. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Reset network settings

This is an important troubleshooting step for this issue. Make sure to do it as a follow-up should nothing change after reverting all app settings.

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

Install updates

Sometimes, network issues or messaging app problems can only be fixed by installing updates. Be sure to keep both Android and apps updated on your device.

Get help from network operator

Should none of the above steps help, you should talk to a representative from your carrier about the trouble. Remember, they can only help if the problem involves Android devices only. If there’s an iPhone or non-Android in the mix, there’s nothing that your carrier can do at all. Of course, it’s also outside their scope of support if your friend’s carrier’s don’t support group messaging, or if there’s incompatibility issues.


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