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 or Messaging app to send text messages instead.

  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 disabled to switch the setting to SMS enabled.
    • If you are on an older device, check the box next to "Turn on SMS."

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)

Enter a phone number or contact name
  1. On your Android device, open the Hangouts app .
  2. At the bottom right, tap Compose .
  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.

Accessibility

If a screen reader is enabled 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 text in a merged conversation
  1. On your Android device, open the Hangouts app .
  2. From the conversations list, tap the contact you want to text.
  3. On the left edge of the message field, tap the dropdown and select the phone number you want to send from .
  4. Type your message and tap Send Send.

Learn more about merged conversations in Hangouts.

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  : Include an emoji with your message to show how you're feeling. Tap Send Send.
  • Photo : Send one or more photos from your device. Tap Send Send.
  • Camera : Take a photo or a video up to 10 seconds long. Tap Send Send.
  • Sticker : Add personality to your chat with an illustrated sticker. Stickers can only be sent in Hangouts chat conversations, not in text messages. To chat in Hangouts, send your recipient an invitation.
  • 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 number

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

If you merge your conversations, you can choose to automatically reply from the number where you received the text message or to always send texts with a specific number in the Hangouts SMS settings. 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 Hangouts as your default 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.

Turn off Hangouts as the default text messaging app
  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.

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

  • In Hangouts, open Menu Menu and then Settings and then SMS. Tap SMS enabled. Your phone's "Wireless & networks" settings page will open. Tap Default SMS app to choose a new default text messaging app.
  • Or, choose your new default app in your device's settings. If you have a Nexus, read about picking a new default text messaging app. If you have another Android device, follow your device's instructions.

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

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