Turn on chat features in Messages

If chat features are turned on, you can:

  • Send messages over Wi-Fi and mobile data, instead of SMS or MMS
  • Add people to group conversations
  • Find out when others are typing
  • Let others know you’ve read their messages
  • Share high-quality photos

To use these options, everyone in the Messages conversation must turn on chat features.

Chat features are only available for certain devices, service providers, and carriers, including Jibe Mobile from Google. For more info, contact your carrier.

Learn how your data is handled in chat features offered by Jibe Mobile from Google.

Turn on chat features for the first time

When chat features are on, you can send messages over Wi-Fi and use other features.

If your carrier and device aren’t automatically set up for chat features, you may be offered chat features through Jibe Mobile by Google. In that case, the Messages app will prompt you to open and agree to the Jibe Terms of Service. You might be asked to provide your phone number.

Important: You may occasionally receive a text from Jibe Mobile from Google to verify your phone number. Chat features are available for your default or preferred call SIM at this time and may be available for other SIMs later. Manage your default call SIM in your System settings. To learn how to use dual SIM settings, contact your device manufacturer.

If your carrier supports chat features but your device isn’t automatically set up for chat features, you may get a notification to “Do more with Messages.” If you get this notification:

  1. On your device, open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap Get Started and then Next.
  3. To keep Messages connected, tap Yes.

If you can't turn on chat features, learn how to troubleshoot.

Turn chat features on or off

Important: If you do not turn off chat features in Settings to stop sending and receiving chat messages when you remove a SIM card from your device, the chat features may continue to work for up to 14 days.

  1. On your device, open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. At the top right, tap More More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Chat features.
  4. Toggle "Enable chat features" on or off.

Tip: You can also turn chat features off in the Messages deactivation web portal. If you've used your phone number with a previous phone and don't receive text messages on your new phone, visit the deactivation web portal to turn off chat features on your old phone. If you lose or break your phone but still have your phone number, you can turn off chat features in the deactivation web portal.

Understand chat status

To find your status, go to Settingsand thenChat features. The possible statuses are:

  • Connected: Chat features are ready to use with other people who have them turned on.
  • Setting up: Messages is verifying your phone number. If verification takes more than a few minutes, next to the status, tap Retry.
  • Disconnected: Chat features are temporarily unavailable. Check that you're connected to the internet.

Learn more about how to fix issues if you can't turn on chat features.

Turn specific chat features on or off

Let others know you've read their messages

To turn on read receipts:

  1. On your device, open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap More Moreand then Settings.
  3. Tap Chat features.
  4. Tap Send read receipts.

To find out when others have read your message, they must turn on read receipts in Settings.

Show others when you're typing in a conversation with them

To turn on typing indicators:

  1. On your device, open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap More Moreand then Settings.
  3. Tap Chat features.
  4. Tap Show typing indicators.
If sending a message doesn't work, choose how to resend it

If you tried unsuccessfully to send a message over Wi-Fi or mobile data, you can choose how to resend a message:

  1. On your device, open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap More Moreand then Settings.
  3. Tap Chat features.
  4. Tap Resend messages.
  5. Choose how to resend a message.

Important: If you get an option to send as “SMS with a link,” and choose it, your media could be accessible by a public link not controlled by Google.

Find out if your message is sent by mobile data, SMS, or MMS

Look at the Send icon in the compose bar. You'll see one of the following messages:

  • Send by Wi-Fi or mobile data Send
  • Send by SMS Send by SMS
  • Send by MMS Send by MMS

Need more help?

If none of the above solve the issue, you can view the Chat features by Google FAQ or ask questions in the Messages Community.

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