How to fix Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus that cannot send/receive text messages (SMS) [Troubleshooting Guide]

New smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus do offer plenty of smart services and functions that reciprocate their hefty cost. Nonetheless, not all of these features are useful. Regarded among the key smartphone features would include but not limited to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the basic messaging services to name a few. Hence it really matters if any of these services isn’t available. Tackled in this context is an issue affecting one of these key features, particularly on SMS or text messaging feature of the Galaxy S9 Plus. Learn what to do if you cannot send or receive text messages on your new Samsung handset.

When your phone cannot send or receive text messages (SMS), it could be due to a network problem or software issue on the device itself. One of the requisites for your device send and receive text messages is an active signal or cellular network connection. A good account standing is also necessary. Service providers or carriers usually imposed a soft disconnection to delinquent accounts. When this happens, outgoing services like calling and texting are limited or temporarily disconnected but incoming calls and texts can go through. In this case, you will need to settle whatever there is that needs to be settled on your account so as to resume your outgoing services.

Before going further, if you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to your problem, then try to visit our Galaxy S9 Plus troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed most of the commonly reported issues with the phone. We’ve already provided solutions to some of the problems reported by our readers so try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit.

How to fix Galaxy S9 Plus that can’t send / receive text messages

Highlighted below are some more inputs on what to do whenever you’ll have trouble sending or receiving SMS or text messages on your Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. Feel free to use these subsequent walkthroughs when necessary.

First solution: Restart your phone (soft reset).

Minor software glitches that might have prevented your device from sending or receiving SMS are often dealt with by a simple restart on the phone also referred to as a soft reset. It clears up the internal memory and refreshes the system without affecting any of your important data on the phone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. Tap the option to Power off.
  3. Tap Power off again to confirm.
  4. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button again until your phone boots up.

Alternatively, you can perform a simulated battery removal equivalent procedure or soft reset using the hardware keys. It’s used to reboot a frozen or unresponsive device and works similar to the usual restart.

To do so, press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for up to 45 seconds. Release both buttons when the Samsung logo appears.

Second solution: Remove and reinstall the SIM card.

Sometimes SMS sending and receiving failed due to random SIM card issues. A quick simple solution to this is to reseat the SIM card on the phone. Here’s how:

  1. Turn your phone completely off.
  2. Press the card insertion or removal tool into the combined nano SIM/microSD card tray pinhole and then gently push it in until the tray pops out.
  3. Slide the nano SIM/microSD card tray out of the slot.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the tray and check for any signs of damage. If the SIM card looks good, place it back into the tray with the gold contacts facing the back of the phone.
  5. Press the nano SIM/microSD card tray back into its slot until it clicks.
  6. Once the tray is secured in place, press the Power button to turn your phone back on.

Third solution: Clear cache and data from the messaging app.

Corrupted caches or temporary files in the messaging app can also cause conflict to SMS messaging function of the phone. In this case, clearing cache and data on your messaging app will likely fix it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Swipe up or down from the Home screen. Doing so will open the Apps screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Apps.
  4. Tap to select your Messaging app.
  5. Tap Storage.
  6. Tap Clear Cache to wipe out temporary files from the messaging app.
  7. Tap Clear Data to delete all temporary data saved in the app’s memory.
  8. Read and review the message prompt, then tap Delete to confirm.

Restart your phone then open the messaging app afterwards. Create a test SMS message to see if  sending and receiving are already working.

Deleting old and unwanted messages and conversations can also help if the problem is somehow tied to a corrupted message thread or conversation.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your phone.

Network options or relevant settings that aren’t properly configured may also be the underlying cause. Network settings can be altered automatically by some updates be it for apps or Android. If you have enabled auto-update on your device, then this is possible. To fix the problem you can try a network settings reset with these steps:

  1. Swipe up on an empty spot from the Home screen to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap General Management.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  6. If prompted, enter the PIN or password for your device.
  7. Tap Reset settings to confirm action.

Fifth solution: Master reset or factory data reset your Samsung S9 Plus.

As your final option, perform a factory data reset or master reset. The problem could be due to a major system error that can only be rectified by a full system reset. Please note though that you will lose data in the process so creating a backup would be necessary. Here’s how it works:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory by navigating to Apps-> Settings-> Cloud and accounts-> Backup and restore, then select the desired option like Back up my data or Automatic restore.
  2. After creating necessary backups, proceed to a master reset with these subsequent steps.
  3. Swipe up on an empty spot from the Home screen to open the Apps screen.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap General management.
  6. Tap Reset.
  7. Select the Factory data reset option.
  8. Scroll to the bottom of the screen then tap Reset.
  9. Select the option to DELETE ALL.
  10. If prompted, enter your credentials for screen lock and Samsung account verification.
  11. Tap Confirm to continue.
  12. Wait for the reset to finish and your device to reboot.

Ask further assistance

Contact your carrier or network service provider to escalate the problem and likewise ask further assistance and options if you still cannot send or receive SMS or text messages on your Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus after exhausting all possible means on your end. There might be some issues on your carrier’s end or account-related issues that need to be settled to get your services back up and working as intended. If all is good with your account status and network services but still the problem isn’t fixed, then you may contact Samsung Support for other options and recommendations. There might be a more intricate software error that’s preventing your phone from carrying out messaging services and requests.

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