What to do if Galaxy S9 won’t send MMS and keeps saying invalid destination error

Are you having troubles sending MMS? Today’s Galaxy S9 post addressed this issue. The solutions offered below are provided in context with the case included here. Basically, a user encounters difficulty sending MMS in a group and the app keeps showing the invalid destination error. If you have a similar experience, refer to the steps below on how to solve it.

Problem: Galaxy S9 won’t send MMS and keeps saying invalid destination error

For the last couple weeks or so, every time I try to send a picture on my Galaxy S9 it says “failed to send message” and claims its an invalid destination. I know they are real phone numbers as I have just called them and told them to expect the picture messages. this also happens every once in a while when sending plain text messages. How do I get these to go through?

Solution: Fixing this problem require doing a number of different things. Follow these troubleshootings steps to figure out the cause.

Restart messaging app

Closing and reopening a messaging app can sometimes clear bugs. Make sure that you do this before doing the rest of troubleshooting suggestions below.

To close an app, just tap the Recent Apps button (left of the Home button), find the messaging app, and tap on the X on top.

Delete old conversation thread

Another simple solution for some SMS and MMS issues is to delete conversation thread and start over. This usually works for group messages that are old or those that contain a lot of media files. Such messages can take a long time to scan and may even slow down the app’s performance. By creating a new group message, you’re not only eliminating potential bugs in the thread, but you are, in effect also making room for incoming and outgoing messages.

Clear messaging app cache

Apps use caches to perform tasks efficiently. Sometimes, caches may get outdated or buggy. To see if this is the one causing a problem, try to delete the cache of your 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. NOTE: Some apps may not have an option to clear its cache. If that’s the case here, just skip this one and jump to clearing the data.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Clear messaging app data

Wiping an app’s data is good at fixing app-level issues, especially those that come after an update. To do it:

  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.

Keep note, deleting your messaging app’s data will also erase all your text messages. Be sure to back them up first if you don’t want to lose them.

Send on Safe Mode

There can an app that interferes with Android or with your messaging app. To check, restart your S9 to safe mode.

To boot your S9 Plus 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.
  8. Check for the problem by sending a message that you want.

If sending works fine and there’s no invalid destination error, that means an app is the culprit. 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 S9 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Re-add contacts

Another simple way to fix a problem like this is to delete, then add the contacts you’re having problems with. Contacts app and messaging apps usually work together to perform a task such as sending and receiving messages. Sometimes, a bug in one can affect the other.

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

Not being able sent MMS is a network problem so make sure to also reset all network settings if nothing has worked so far.

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Network settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button to confirm.
  6. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Use another messaging app

This is hardly ideal but if the problem remains at this point, we suggest that you try to see if it’s a messaging app issue. Use another app and see what happens. There are a lot of good and free messaging apps in the Play Store. Start with Google’s own Android Messages app and see if it works.

Contact your network operator

Letting your carrier know of the problem is the last logical step in this troubleshooting set. The problem may be caused by some temporary network outage or account issues. Make sure to tell them what troubleshooting steps you’ve done so far.

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Harvey Hisona

Harvey is keen with mobile technology and loves writing about all things mobile. He is passionate in helping technology-challenged people by finding resolution to their issues. Contact me at Email

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