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Send text messages (SMS & MMS) with Hangouts on Android

You can use Hangouts as your main messaging app for both Hangouts messages and text messages (SMS & MMS). Your text message rates through your mobile carrier still apply.

If you're having problems sending texts or Hangouts messages, try these troubleshooting steps.

Turn on text messages (SMS) in Hangouts

To use Hangouts as the default app for text messages, you'll need to turn on SMS for Hangouts.

Note: Hangouts doesn't support dual SIM cards. If you have an Android One device, you can use the Messenger app to send text messages instead.

  1. Open your device's Hangouts app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap SMS.
  5. Tap SMS disabled to switch the setting to SMS enabled.
    • If you are on an older device, check the box next to "Turn on SMS."
  6. Tap Default SMS Messaging Account.
  7. Select a Google Account. Your text messages will show up with your Hangouts conversations for this account.
    • If you want text messages in a separate profile (not under a Google Account), tap SMS. To see your SMS profile, tap Menu Menu. At the top, tap the SMS profile.

When you turn on SMS, your existing text messages are imported into Hangouts on your Android phone. You won't be able to see them on your computer, iPhone, iPad, or tablet.

If you sign out of your Google Account, you can still send and receive text messages in the Hangouts app. You'll need to sign in to your Google Account again if you want to send Hangouts messages or make video calls.

Send a text message (SMS/MMS)

  1. Open your device's Hangouts app .
  2. At the bottom right, tap Add Add.
  3. Choose New SMS.
  4. Type in the contact's name or phone number.
    • Note: If you're traveling internationally, always use the "+" sign and country code when dialing or texting your contacts and phone numbers (even if it's local to your home or to where you're traveling).
  5. Tap the number or contact. If a contact has multiple phone numbers, choose the number you'd like to text.
  6. Tap Continue Continue.
  7. Type your message and tap Send Send.

After you send the SMS, you can save a number to your contacts by tapping More More and then Add to contacts. Then you can choose to Create a new contact or add to an existing one.

Send a text using a screen reader

If a screen reader is turned on on your device, start a text message by following these steps:

  1. On your Android device, open the Hangouts app .
  2. At the top right, select the New Conversation button. Double-tap to open the options menu.
  3. Select New SMS and double-tap to open.
  4. Type in the person's name or phone number, and tap to select them from the search results. Double-tap to open a conversation.
  5. Type your message and swipe left once to select Send Send. Double-tap to send.

Send a multimedia message (MMS)

Once you've chosen a contact for a text message, you can add attachments to the message. Along the bottom of the screen, select an attachment type:

  • Emoji Emoji: Include an emoji with your message to show how you're feeling. Tap Send Send.
  • Insert image Insert image: Send one or more photos from your device's gallery. Tap Send Send.
  • Take photo Take photo: Take a photo. Tap Send Send.
  • Insert sticker Insert sticker: Add personality to your chat with an illustrated sticker. Stickers can only be sent in Hangouts chat or Google Voice text conversations, not in carrier text messages. To chat in Hangouts, tap to send your recipient an invitation.
  • Insert location Insert location: Add your current location or another location on the map. The message will send automatically after you add the location.

Text messages with your Google Voice or Project Fi number

If you have a Google Voice or Project Fi account, you can send text messages through Hangouts on your computer and Android devices.

If you're having problems sending Hangouts messages after turning on Google Voice text messages, you may need to change your invitation settings.

Turn off texts in Hangouts & choose a new text messaging app

If you use Hangouts as your default app for sending text messages, you can switch to another SMS app at any time. You won't lose your old messages: they'll move over to your new SMS app.

Note: Turning off SMS texts in Hangouts affects texts from your carrier number. To change your app for Google Voice or Project Fi texts, turn off Google Voice in Hangouts.

  1. On your Android device, open the Hangouts app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap SMS.
  5. Tap SMS enabled. A list of available text messaging apps will appear.
  6. Select the text messaging app you want as the default.
Turn off Hangouts as the default text messaging app

If you are on an older device, you may have to use the following instructions.

Android KitKat & Lollipop:

  1. On your Android device, open the Hangouts app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu and then Settings and then SMS.
  3. Tap SMS enabled. Your phone's "Wireless & networks" settings page will open.
  4. Tap Default SMS app, and choose a new default app from the list.

Android Jelly Bean:

  1. On your Android device, open the Hangouts app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu and then Settings and then SMS.
  3. Next to "Turn on SMS," tap the toggle button so it turns gray.
  4. Make sure you have another text messaging app installed.

From device settings:

Set your new default app using your device settings. If you have a Pixel phone or Nexus device, read about picking a new default text messaging app. If you have another Android device, follow your device's instructions.

Brenna is a Hangouts expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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