Solutions for Samsung Galaxy S4 SMS & MMS Problems [Part 2]

S4 sms 2

We give you today the continuation of our troubleshooter series that deals with all Galaxy S4 SMS- and MMS-related issues.

For those who missed the first part of this series, just click this link.

If you can’t find a solution to your issue, or if you think you have an unusual Android problem, don’t let us know about it by using the link at the bottom of this page.

Problem #1: Samsung Galaxy S4 not getting sound notification when a text message arrives 

When I am texting and the person responds I do not hear the notification so I don’t know without looking whether they responded to my text. — Denise

Solution: Hi Denise. Android Lollipop has brought a lot of improvements including more options in managing sound notifications. The best place to start should be under Settings>Sound & notification. Once you’re in this menu, tap Interruptions to set types of sound and vibrate notifications you want. Selecting priority preferences by tapping When calls and notifications arrive will ensure that you will be notified by sound when a text message or any other notification you nominate arrives.

Keep in mind that there are three options under priority preferences:

1. Always interrupt (allows all notifications)
2. Allow only priority interruptions (only lets through notifications you have selected as priority like calls, messages, reminders, or events)
3. Don’t interrupt (doesn’t allow all types of notifications)

Problem #2: Samsung Galaxy S4 not receiving a text message from one person only

Hi, I’m hoping that you can help me with a messaging problem that started over a week ago now. The problem is I am not able to receive any text messages off my one friend. They are able to get my texts that I send but I don’t get theirs. This is only a problem with this one person as I am able to text other people fine. I have already checked if their number has been added to my spam list or block list but they haven’t. I also reset my phone which did not solve the problem either. I don’t know what else to do to solve this messaging problem. — Stacey

Solution: Hi Stacey. Do you use any other text messaging apps in your phone? If you are try switching to the stock Samsung Messages app and see if that makes any difference. If you have been using the stock app all along, please ask your friend to contact his or her carrier to check if they have problems in their SMS delivery system.

Problem #3: Rooted Galaxy S4 unable to send text messages

I just moved to England with my American S4 (used to be on Verizon) and had it unlocked over here. They used Kingo ROOT and ever since I have not been able to text. I can receive texts, but anything I send comes back – “The text-to-speech message you have sent has been rejected by recipient’s phone”.

It’s also showing all the numbers I try to text still having American dialling codes – 011 44 etc…The phones location is definitely set to UK, I’ve re-entered all my contacts with only UK numbers.

I’ve force stopped text-to speech engine and Talkback.  It’s made no difference.

I’m using ThreeUK as network here – they couldn’t figure it out, even Samsung tech support over here don’t know the American phones and couldn’t help.

Please help. Cheers. — Jo

Solution: Hi Jo. The issue may be due to Kingo Root. Any chance you can let the people who unlocked your phone check what’s wrong? We think bringing the phone back to them is your only chance to restore the basic functions of your phone.

Problem #4: Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4 won’t send text messages

I just got my phone a few days ago and directly after getting it connected to my carrier, i would send text messages and they would say that they sent and they had not sent. I tried an App Cache Cleaner, and turning it off and back on again. This problem has occurred with both Wi-Fi connection and my carrier. My messages just are not sending and I would like to know how to fix it. I am fairly new to Samsung and i would really like to get this fixed as soon as possible. Thank you, with regards. — Patrick

Solution: Hi Patrick. You’re supposed to let Sprint know about this problem first to check if the issue is on their end. Carriers do maintenance works from time to time so it’s best if you can verify the status of their service in your area first. Of course, outages happen as well so knowing them before doing something on your phone will save you a lot of trouble.

Now, assuming that there’s no carrier-specific issues, these are the things that you can do:

Check if airplane mode is ON

If airplane mode is on, your device is restricted from sending and receiving signals that results to being unable to send and receive text messages. This is turned off by default so verify if it stays that way.

Ensure Sprint Zone is enabled in your device

If Sprint voice network does not work in your S4, you will be unable send and receive text messages. Verify if this service is working by following these steps:

  • Open Sprint Zone app.
  • Open Device Diagnostics by swiping from right to left.
  • Look for Network and verify that it is in the Passed section as that would mean that your device is connected to the network.

Reboot the phone

Also known as soft reset, a simple restart can sometimes works wonders. To do it, simply turn off the device, remove the battery, wait for at least 30 seconds, put the battery back in, then restart the phone.

Boot the phone in safe mode

If you recently downloaded some app updates or installed third party apps, consider booting the phone in safe mode. This prevents third party apps from running. Here are the steps:

  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen (assuming the phone responds to Power key press), release the Power button.
  • As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  • Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  • If you can read ‘Safe Mode’ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode.

Contact Sprint customer support

If all troubleshooting steps fail, kindly work with your carrier for more assistance.

Problem #5: Samsung Galaxy S4 stopped sending messages after a Lollipop update

After the 5.0.1 update, every text fails. I tried looking for the call center number to see if Verizon looked it to there’s but couldn’t find it. Tried setting the message to Hangouts but it’s the same — couldn’t send an SMS. —  Jon

Solution: Hi Jon. If you were able to send SMS before updating to Lollipop, the problem may stem from corrupt firmware or cache. Please delete the cache partition first to see what happens next. Just follow these steps:

  • Turn the phone off completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  • Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • Press the Power button to select the option.
  • The phone will automatically restart once cache data are wiped out.

If deleting the cache won’t work, consider restoring the phone to its defaults via factory reset. Make sure not to install the same set of apps after wiping the phone clean. After the factory reset, verify if the phone can now send a text message. If the problem continues, please ask the help of your carrier.

Problem #6: Galaxy S4 can’t receive MMS

Hello! For some reason my picture messages in my texting mode won’t download. It was working fine until yesterday so I’m not sure what would’ve caused this. I deleted some apps in case that was slowing my phone down and I also restarted but it doesn’t help. Please help! Thanks. — Leticia

Solution:  Hi Leticia. Did you do something different on your phone like download something, install an app, or change some settings prior to noticing the problem? If you did, you might want to undo it to see if that caused the phone to suddenly stopped downloading MMS. For example, if you installed another messaging app before this problem occurred, removing it from your phone may help. Changing some network values or settings like the APN or message center can also impact the MMS function of your phone.

If you did not do anything though, please do following:

Turn off Wi-Fi

Make sure that you are using your carrier’s mobile data connection when trying to download an MMS. If both Wi-Fi and mobile data are on, turn off the former.

Call your carrier for more support

Doing this has two reasons: to verify if there’s an on-going network-related issue that may have impacted MMS service, and to check if your phone’s APN and Message Center number are correct.

Problem #7: Galaxy S4 no longer receive MMS after updating to Lollipop

Hey, I recently updated to 5.0 which I was really excited about up until the update was done & I got a chance to check out a bunch of issues that came with it. My battery drains so quick now I don’t even think I want the phone anymore, I have a flashed S4 from Sprint to Metro & I used to use a stock APK or something to receive MMS, now I can’t. What am I supposed to do about that? And it sucks that I can’t put emojis into my contacts anymore. I’m regretting the UPDATE MAYBE I SHOULD GO BACK?Charles

Solution: Hi Charles. Some users find Lollipop well below expectations. If you are having troubles after updating, please refer to this article for guidance, Why Android Lollipop Causes Problems.

Problem #8: Metro PCS Galaxy S4 cannot send text message

Hello there. I hope you can help me! I just switched my Verizon Galaxy S4 over to Metro PCS today. Everything seems to work with the exception of SENDING text messages. I can receive them, but cannot respond or initiate them. Data, phone,  everything else seems fine. I checked the APN settings online and confirmed them with Metro.

When I send a message it says “Failed to send message to John Doe, want to try again?”

I’ve Googled this for hours. I’m really hoping you can help me.

Thanks in advance. — Jeremy

Ps attached are screen shots of my device info.

Solution: Hi Jeremy. Is it possible that you may have inadvertently changed the message center? Please check with Metro again to see if your device is using the correct message center when sending an SMS.


That’s it for now! We hope that the solutions for Samsung Galaxy S4 SMS & MMS problems given here can help our ever-growing Android community.

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