What to do if Galaxy Note9 won’t open or send text photos (MMS not working)

MMS problems can take many forms. In today’s troubleshooting episode, we help a Galaxy Note9 users having a problem opening and sending MMS.

Problem: Galaxy Note9 won’t open or send text photos (MMS not working)

I am VERY FRUSTRATED!!! I cannot open nor send pictures on my galaxy note 9. I have watched all the videos and have tried everything but hard reset due to will lose IMPORTANT stuff.. This is FRUSTRATING!! I am managing my dad’s cancer care from another state and rely on info and pics being sent to me by my brother, which I can’t open…… Never had this much trouble with a phone until I got this phone.. It may be a good phone but I wouldn’t know sue to the complexity to operate it.

Solution: There are a number of potential causes for your problem. Let’s go about each of them and how you can address the possible reason for your problem.

MMS subscription

While some carriers may include Multimedia Messaging System in their basic network packages, some may require that a customer pay for it on top of their basic texting and calling subscriptions. If you are not sure whether or not MMS is included in your present subscription plan, we suggest that you talk to your carrier about. If MMS is not included, you must tell your carrier that you want to add it so they can activate the service and associate it on your account.

If MMS was working fine normally on this phone but suddenly stopped for some reasons, that can either be due to a device problem or an issue with your account or network. Continue with the troubleshooting below.

Take note of the error message

Are you getting an error message or code when trying to open or send photos via text? Some texting codes are generic while others may only be interpreted by your carrier. If you are indeed getting any error message, do a quick Google search about it and see if there are any specific actions that can be done about it. If you can’t find any online help about the error, you can either continue troubleshooting or get the help of your carrier.

Verify mobile data is working

Sending media like photos, videos, music file, documents, etc. via text does not go through the usual channel for texts. Such messages are converted into MMS and it requires cellular internet to be transmitted. If you mainly rely on wifi for your internet needs and did not pay for cellular data or mobile data, you won’t be able to send MMS, even if you are actively subscribed for it.

If you have an active mobile data subscription but happens to have consumed your monthly allowance, MMS will fail to work as well. So, before you start downloading or sending MMS again, make sure to turn on mobile data first.

The best way to know if you still have remaining cellular data allowance is by using other apps that require internet connection. If they too shall fail and won’t work, then it’s time to contact your network operator for help. Popular apps that require internet includes ones such as YouTube, Netflix, etc.

Check voice calling

If you are unable to make or receive voice calls, mobile data or MMS may not work as well. Try to make any call and see if everything’s fine.

Some of the possible causes why voice calling may not work includes the following:

  • Not adequate network coverage
  • There’s a temporary network problem
  • There’s an error at the receiving end
  • The selected network is out of range
  • The selected network mode is not available
  • Roaming isn’t activated in your rate plan
  • There’s no credit on your prepaid phone card
  • Your number has been suspended
  • Flight mode is turned on
  • Fixed dialing is turned on
  • Your mobile phone is overloaded for unknown reasons
  • Your SIM is faulty

SIM card issue

In some network troubles, the reason for the problem may be SIM-related. To check if you are in a similar situation, you can try to troubleshoot the SIM card.

The first thing that you want to do is to see what happens if you temporarily remove the card from the phone. Sometimes, disconnecting the SIM card can eliminate temporary network bugs. This can also force the device to configure the APN or Access Point Names. Before you take the SIM card out, make sure to turn the phone off to avoid corrupting some data. Once the SIM is out, wait for  few moments before inserting it back. Again, make sure that the phone is off at this point. Then, turn the phone back on and see how MMS works.

Another way to go about the issue is by replacing the SIM card, especially if you suspect that it’s causing a problem. If you another phone from the same carrier, try to use its SIM on your Note9.

Keep in mind that the SIM card trick only applies to GSM devices. CDMA devices may or may not benefit from this troubleshooting step due to the way their software are designed.

Check the APN

You can also manually check and modify the APN (if there’s something that’s not specified by your carrier). If you want to do this, contact your carrier so you can take the correct APN values from them. By default, APNs are automatically added to the device once a SIM card has been inserted.

Delete old conversations

Messaging apps have finite storage reserved for them. If it’s running out of space, it won’t be able to receive or send out messages. Make to delete old conversations that you don’t need to make more room. Also, if you’re only having an issue with one contact, try to delete your conversation with the said number and create a new one.

Clear messaging app cache

Some apps may suffer from poor performance sometimes if their cache is corrupted. Delete the messaging app’s cache and see what happens.

  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 Note9 and check for the problem.

Delete app data

A more drastic troubleshooting that you can perform on your app is by deleting its data. This will revert the app to its factory state, remove app updates, and erase your messages. If you don’t want to lose your text messages, we suggest that you back them ahead of time. You can use Samsung Smart Switch to back them up.  

To delete the data on the messaging app:

  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 Note9 and check for the problem.

Check for bad app

Some apps may interfere with Android or cause problems with other apps. To check if you have a third party app issue, boot the device to safe mode. In this mode, all downloaded apps will be suspended. So, if there’s a bad app involved, MMS should work on safe mode and not on normal mode.

To restart your Note9 to safe mode:

  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.

To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your Note9 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Reset network settings

This is a staple troubleshooting step for any networking issue. Be sure to do this before contacting your carrier. This step will do the following:

  • Stored Wi-Fi networks will be deleted.
  • Paired Bluetooth devices will be deleted.
  • Background data sync settings will be turned on.
  • Data restrictive settings in applications that were manually turned on/off by the customer will be reset to the default setting.
  • Network selection mode will be set to automatic.

These are the steps to reset your network 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.

Talk to your carrier

Should none of the suggested steps above help, then it’s high time for you to get back to your carrier. This kind of problem falls within their scope of support so it’s primarily their duty to help you figure out where the problem lies.

Workaround: use apps to send photos

MMS is obsolete. There are now many third party apps such as Facebook Messenger, Viber, etc. that allows users to send and receive high resolution photos for free. Such apps work on both Android and non-Android platforms so it’s more convenient to use than MMS in a number of ways.

If you don’t have mobile data or rely on wifi most of the time, why not try the said apps.


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