Samsung Galaxy S9 can’t send text messages due to “Unfortunately, Messages has stopped” error

The error “Unfortunately, Messages has stopped” is a notification that tells you that the default text messaging app on your Samsung Galaxy S9 has crashed and it may be due to a minor issue with the app or a complicated problem with the firmware. We have readers who reported they couldn’t receive messages due to this error but the fact is that they may still be able to receive SMS but the moment they open them, the error shows up and the app closes as soon as they hit OK on the dialog box.

In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your Samsung Galaxy S9 in a bid to get rid of the error message so that you could continue using your phone and send / receive text messages. We will try to consider every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can figure out what to do to fix the problem. If you’re one of the owners that is bothered by this error message, then continue reading as this post may help you one way or another.

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 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 “Messages has stopped” error on Galaxy S9

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First off, this error message is a minor problem and that’s based on my personal experience. I’ve encountered this problem several times already with various Android devices and most of those cases have been resolved. I will share with you the solutions I’ve been using to address this problem provided that it occurred without apparent reason or cause. However, if you tried to root your Galaxy S9 or installed a custom ROM and then this problem started, then the issue must be with the modified firmware. Try to re-flash the stock firmware to get this problem sorted out.

Now, for those whose phone’s firmware remained intact, here’s what you must do:

First solution: Restart your Galaxy S9

If this is the first time you encountered this issue, then don’t do anything except reboot your phone. Why? Because it might be just a minor glitch in the system and such issues can easily be fixed by a reboot. So, hit that power key and restart your S9 and after that, open the app to know if the problem still occurs. If it still does, then try doing the Forced Reboot instead:

  • Press and hold the volume down and power keys at the same time for 10 seconds or more.

The forced restart is far more effective than the normal reboot as it refreshes your phone’s memory and reloads all apps, services and core functions. If the problem continues after this, then it not just a minor issue or glitch. Move on to the next solution.


Second solution: Find out if it’s because of third-party apps

It’s imperative that before you continue your troubleshooting, you should find out if the problem is caused  by one or some of the third-party apps you installed on your phone. Third-party applications can cause pre-installed apps to crash since applications like Messages are common to many apps. To rule out this possibility, run your phone in safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen appearing on the 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. When Safe mode appears in the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume down key.

Messages would still be able to run in safe mode so try to open it to see if it still crashes. If it does not, then it’s clear enough that the problem is due to a third-party app. Find that application and then uninstall it.

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps.
  3. Tap the desired application in the default list.
  4. To display preinstalled apps, tap Menu > Show system apps.
  5. Tap UNINSTALL > OK.

You may have to uninstall more than one app to fix this problem. However, if the app still crashes even in safe mode, then you will have to troubleshoot the app itself and then the firmware as that could be where the problem lies.

Third solution: Clear cache and data of Messages

Doing this will reset the app and bring it back to its default settings and configuration. Just a heads-up, along with its cache and data, your text messages will also be deleted. If the problem is with the app, then this will take care of it. Follow these steps:

  1. From a Home screen, touch and swipe up or down to display all apps.
  2. From a Home screen, navigate: Settings > Apps.
  3. Tap App Manager.
  4. Locate then tap Messages.
  5. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Cached data.
  8. Tap CLEAR.

Open the app after doing this and if the problem continues, then you have no other choice but to reset your phone.

Fourth solution: Backup your files and do the Master Reset

The Master Reset is is the ultimate solution to any app-related issues but the reason why we’re always hesitant in performing it is because you may lose some of your important files and data including some of your contacts, pictures and videos. So, do your best to backup every important file you don’t want to lose. After the backup and if you don’t know your Google account or password, you better remove the account that’s setup in your phone so that you won’t be locked out after the reset. Once everything is set and ready, try to follow these steps to reset your Galaxy S9:

  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.

For people who may not be able to reset their phones immediately, I suggest you try wiping the cache partition instead. It’s basically has similar effects as with the reset but your file and data won’t be lost:

  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 three keys.
  4. An ‘Installing system update’ message will show for 30 – 60 seconds before the Android system recovery menu options appear.
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight wipe cache partition.
  6. Press Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight yes, them and press the Power key to select.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, Reboot system now is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

I hope that this troubleshooting guide can help you. If you have other concerns you want to share with us, feel free to contact us anytime or leave a comment below.

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