Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
true

I can't send or receive text messages (SMS/MMS)

If you can’t send or receive text messages (SMS/MMS), have problems with group messages, or can’t send or receive pictures and video, try the troubleshooting steps below. After each step, check to see if your issue has been fixed.

If you just transferred your number to Project Fi, there might be a 48h delay before you can send or receive text messages. Check your porting status before trying these steps.

1. Check your default messaging app

On Android Messages

If your default messaging app is Android Messages, make sure the Hangouts integration is turned off:

  1. On your phone, open the Hangouts app .
  2. In the upper left corner, tap Menu .
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select the Google Account you use with Project Fi.
  5. Under “Project Fi calls and SMS,” find the box next to “Messages.”
  6. Uncheck it if it has a checkmark, otherwise the Hangouts integration is already turned off.
  7. Check for Android Messages app updates.

On Hangouts

If your default messaging app is Hangouts, group messages and multimedia messages (MMS) are supported in Hangouts version 5.0 or higher. To update your app to the most recent version:

  1. On your phone, open the Play Store app Google Play Store.
  2. In the top left, tap Menu Google Play Store Menu Icon and thenMy Apps.
  3. Scroll through your installed apps and select Hangouts.
  4. Tap the Update button near the top of the page. The button will say "Open" instead of "Update" if the app is already up to date.

Once you've updated Hangouts, you should be able to send group or multimedia messages.

On third-party apps

If you're using any app other than Android Messages or Hangouts to send and receive messages, download the most recent version of Android Messages and make it your default messaging app for best results.

2. Update your Project Fi app

In general, we recommend keeping all of your phone's apps up to date. Here's how you can update your Project Fi app:

  1. On your phone, open the Play Store app Google Play Store.
  2. In the top left, tap Menu Google Play Store Menu Icon  and thenMy Apps.
  3. Scroll through your installed apps and select Project Fi.
  4. Tap the Update button near the top of the page. The button will say "Open" instead of "Update" if the app is already up to date.

 

 

3. Make sure you're using a valid phone number with the correct format

Here are some things you can try to see if there's a problem with the number you want to text:

  • Send a test message to a group of friends or family and ask them if it went through. 
  • For MMS, make sure the number you're texting is tied to a device that can receive group or multimedia messages.
  • If you're trying to text a shortcode number, try texting the word "HELP." If you get a message that says "Service access denied," contact a Project Fi agent for more help.

​Make sure the number you're trying to text is correct. If you’re having issues with texting, use the full 10- or 11-digit number. Try:

  • (area code) + (number)
  • 1+ (area code) + (number)

If you're texting an international number from the U.S.

  • Canada and U.S. Virgin Islands: Use 1 (area code) (local number).
  • To all other countries: Touch and hold 0 until you see + on the display, then use (country code) (area code) (local number). For example, if you’re texting a number in the U.K., dial + 44 (area code) (local number).

If you're outside the U.S. and texting international numbers or the U.S.

  • To text a number in the country you’re visiting: Use (area code) (local number).
  • To text another country: Touch and hold 0 until you see + on the display, then use (country code) (area code) (local number). For example, if you’re messaging a number in the U.K. from Japan, dial + 44 (area code) (local number).
    • If this number format doesn’t work, you can also try using the exit code of the country you are visiting. Use (exit code) (destination country code) (area code) (local number).
  • To text a number in the U.S.: Just use 1 (area code) (local number). 

4. Check if your contact is using an iPhone

If so, ask your contact to make sure the messages are sent as SMS/MMS. iMessage won’t work with Android phones. Videos sent from iPhones via MMS won't work on Android phones. For more information about iMessage issues and interoperability, please visit the Apple support site.

5. If the signal icon on your phone has no bars or only one bar, check your coverage area

Check the coverage map for U.S. locations. If you’re using your phone outside the U.S., check the 135+ supported countries where you can use Project Fi.

If we have coverage in your location: Try going to another spot nearby where you have a signal. If you're inside a building or underground, try going outside. Buildings can sometimes block signals. If that doesn't work, continue on to the next steps.

If we don't have coverage in your location: Connect to Wi-Fi so you can try sending messages over Wi-Fi.

6. Restart your phone

Restarting your phone gives it a fresh start and is sometimes all you need to fix your issue. To restart your phone, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Power button until the menu pops up.
  2. Tap Power off, and your phone will turn off.
  3. Press and hold the Power button until your phone starts.

7. Talk to a Project Fi agent

If you've tried the steps above and are still having issues with group and multimedia messages, contact us for more information.

PC is a Project Fi expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?