Text message (SMS) troubleshooting

Trouble texting? Check out these troubleshooting steps.

 

If you're having problems with texting just while connected to Wi-Fi Calling, read no further and check out Wi-Fi Calling troubleshooting instead.

 

 

Read me first

For successful texting, make sure:

 

check.PNG Message blocking or Family allowances isn't preventing texting on your end or your recipient's.

check.PNG Your device shows at least two signal bars and you can send a text to yourself. Check out Signal issues / no service troubleshooting.

check.PNG Your device has at least 15% free space. You can delete apps, photos, or songs you no longer want to free up space.

check.PNG For prepaid accounts, you have an account balance.

 

If your device meets the criteria above, but still won't send or receive texts, proceed with the troubleshooting steps below.

 

Tip: If you need help with any of these steps, visit our Device tutorials page, select your device, and use the search bar in upper right to find what you're looking for.

 

Can't send or receive texts

  1. Restart your device.
  2. Turn off Wi-Fi to make sure you're using the T-Mobile network.
  3. Check whether the number you're messaging is on the device Block or Spam List. If it is, you won't be able to text to that number.
  4. Update the time and date on your device and enable auto-update.
  5. Uninstall any downloaded messaging apps.
  6. (Android only): Clear the messaging app cache and make sure the SMSC setting is +120630004.
    • App cache: Choose Email & Messaging > Manage messages.
    • SMSC setting: Choose Apps & Accessories > Manage apps.
  7. (Apple only): Check the following:
    • Is the text being sent through iMessage? If so, see iMessage Help instead.

    • If you or your contact had an iPhone and switched recently, turn off or unregister iMessage & FaceTime. iPhones continue sending via iMessage until it's turned off, so you'll miss these texts if your phone doesn't have iMessage. For more information, see If you can’t receive text messages from an iPhone - Apple Support.

  8. Update your device software to the latest version.
  9. Delete texts and text threads. You can back these up beforehand using apps from the app store.
  10. If available, move the SIM card to another T-Mobile device and try texting from that device. This test will help Care diagnose the problem if you need to contact us.

 

Texting an international number?

In addition to the steps above, check the following:

 

  1. Can you send texts to domestic numbers? (You can test sending to your own number.) If it fails, see Can't send or receive texts instead.
  2. Did you include a plus + sign or 011 before the country code and phone number? Don't use the phone book entry, unless it has the international dialing pattern. Instead, manually enter the phone number. For how to enter international phone numbers, see Make an International Call.

 

Still need help?

If none of these steps solved your problem, contact us so we can take a look into your account and check for any local network issues.

 

 

Error: "Message blocking active"

  1. If you get this error when sending a text to a specific person, ask them to check whether message blocking is active.
  2. Turn off Message blocking on your own device.
  3. Restart your device.
  4. If problems continue, delete texts and text threads. You can back these up beforehand using apps from the app store.
  5. If you are still getting “Message Blocking Active” errors, contact us to double-check your account.

 

 

Delayed texts

Texts may take longer to arrive when they must travel between mobile networks or when network traffic is heavy. But, there are a few things you can do to ensure texts get to you as quickly as possible.

 

  1. Restart your device.
  2. Turn off Wi-Fi to ensure you're using the T-Mobile network.
  3. Send a text to your own number to check for delays. Do not use any symbols, signatures, or attachments.
  4. (Android only): Clear the app cache and data of the Messaging app.
  5. (Apple only): Check the text isn't being sent through iMessage. If it tries to send through iMessage and fails, the iPhone will wait and then revert the text to SMS after a while. This can appear to be a delay.

  6. If text delays continue, contact us to check for any outages.

 

 

Duplicate texts

When a device is in a low coverage area or it disconnects from the network, the device may redeliver or resend your texts as it reconnects, resulting in duplicate texts. There's not much we can do if that's the problem, but there are some other things you can try to prevent duplicate texts.

 

  1. Check if the duplicate texts are from multiple senders or just from one. If they are from one sender, ask the person if they sent the texts more than once (even by accident).
  2. Restart your device.
  3. Turn off Wi-Fi to ensure you're using the T-Mobile network.
  4. Uninstall any downloaded messaging apps. Some of these can cause double texts.
  5. (Android only): Clear the app cache and data of the Messaging app.
  6. (Apple only): Change the following settings:
    • Turn off Repeat Alerts by choosing Settings > Notifications > Messages > Repeat Alerts > Never.
    • Turn off iMessage, and then turn it back on by choosing Settings > Messages > iMessage.
    • Reset Network Settings by choosing Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  7. If problems continue, delete texts and text threads. You can back these up beforehand using apps from the app store.

  8. If texts continue to duplicate, contact us to check the network near you.

 

 

Short codes don't work

 

First things first

To send short codes:

 

check.PNG  Use only U.S.-based short codes.

check.PNG  Make sure Message blocking or Family allowances isn't preventing texting on your end or your recipient's.

check.PNG  Be on any T-Mobile plan other than Simple Choice No Contract, which restricts premium services and short codes.

check.PNG  Be connected to the T-Mobile network, as short codes don't work while roaming.

check.PNG  (Android only) Have short codes enabled.

 

Troubleshooting steps

If you've met all these conditions and still can't send short codes:

 

  1. Restart the device.
  2. Double-check the short code you're using and try again.
  3. If the short code still isn't responding, contact us to check for any outages or account issues.

 

Related pages

Text and picture messaging