Send text messages (SMS & MMS) with Hangouts on Android
If you have the Hangouts app on Android 4.0 and higher, you can send and receive text messages (SMS & MMS), photos, and videos. Remember, your text message rates through your mobile carrier still apply.
You can send and receive text and multimedia messages in the Hangouts app without being signed in. But if you want to send Hangouts messages or make video calls, you’ll need to sign into a Google account.
Watch the video below to learn how to enable, send, and receive text and multimedia messages.
(You can enable captions for this video in your own language by clicking the "CC" button and selecting your desired language from the menu.)
Turn on & off text messages (SMS) in Hangouts
For devices that are running Android 4.4 or higher, follow these steps to turn on SMS. Open the Hangouts app, go to Settings > SMS > and touch SMS Disabled to make Hangouts your primary text messaging app.
For devices that are running Android 4.3 or lower, follow these steps to turn on SMS. Open the Hangouts app on your Android device. Go to Settings > SMS > Turn on SMS and check the box.
When you turn on SMS, all of your existing text messages are imported into the Hangouts app. You can only access these messages on your Android phone and not from any other Hangouts on the web, iOS device, or your tablet.
How to send a text message (SMS/MMS)
Open Hangouts on your Android device. There are three ways to send a text from Hangouts:
- Directly add a phone number. Touch the compose icon to open a new Hangout. You can type in a phone number in the search box at the top of screen, and it will give you an option to “Send SMS to.” After you’re finished typing the number, touch the number below “Send SMS to.” After you send the SMS, you can save the number to your contacts by touching the number and touching Add to People. Then you can choose whether to Create a new contact or add to an existing one.
- You can search for a contact or select from the contacts list. Touch the compose icon to open a new Hangout and search for the contact’s name or choose from the contact list. Then choose the phone number you’d like to text.
- Choose a contact from your conversations list. Touch the person’s name at the top, and then you can choose to SMS from the drop-down items.
If your contact isn’t available on Hangouts and has a phone number, you’ll see an SMS icon with the contact’s profile photo. After you choose the contact, type the message you’d like to send. Then touch the send icon.
How to send a multimedia message (MMS)
Once you’ve chosen a contact for a text message, you can add multimedia to the message too.
- On the right side of the message box, touch the camera icon to send a photo or a video.
- A box will appear giving you a few ways to add multimedia: take a photo, take a video, or attach an existing photo.
- Select the option you’d like.
- You can also type in a message in the box if you haven’t already done so.
- Then touch the send icon.
Change other settings for SMS
Go to Menu > Settings > SMS > to manage the following settings:
- Account to show SMS in: If you’re logged into more than one account in your Hangouts app, choose which account you’d like to use for text messages. The text messages will show up next to your Hangouts conversations in that account on your Android device. Google does not upload your texts or back them up so they won't show up on other Hangouts apps if you log in with that same account on another device or computer. If you sign out of the account you chose, they’ll move to a separate SMS section and no longer be associated with an account.
- Sound: Touch Sound to change your sound notification for your text messages.
- Vibrate: Touch the checkbox to make the phone vibrate when you receive a text message.
- Delete old messages: Touch the checkbox to delete your old text message when your phone’s storage is low.
- Delivery reports: Touch the checkbox to see a checkmark once your SMS has been delivered.
- Auto retrieve MMS: Touch the checkbox to automatically retrieve multimedia messages (MMS), such as photos and videos.
- Roaming auto-retrieve: Touch the checkbox to automatically retrieve MMS messages while you're roaming.
- Wireless alerts: Touch wireless alerts to see which alerts you'd like to receive. These settings may not apply depending on your location. You can choose any of the following:
- Show extreme threats
- Show severe threats
- Show AMBER alerts
- Alert reminder
- Vibrate on alert