Turn on Wi-Fi messaging & chat features

If chat features within Messages are turned on, you can:

  • Send messages over Wi-Fi and mobile data (instead of SMS or MMS)
  • Add people to group conversations
  • See 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 needs chat features turned on. Chat features are only available for some phones and service providers, including carriers on Jibe Mobile from Google. For more info, contact your service provider. Learn more about chat features. 

Turn on chat features

When chat features are on, you are automatically able to send messages over Wi-Fi and use other features. If your carrier and device aren’t automatically set up for chat features, you may see a notification to “Do more with Messages.” If you see this notification:

  1. Open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. On the notification that you can "Do more with Messages," tap Get Started and then Next.
  3. You'll be asked to let Messages stay connected in the background. Tap Yes.

Note: You may occasionally receive an SMS to verify your phone number. If you're having trouble turning on chat features, learn how to troubleshoot

To turn chat features off:

  1. Open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap More More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Chat features.
  4. Turn Enable chat features on or off.

Learn more about chat features.

Understand chat status

To find your status, make sure your chat features are turned on. The possible statuses are:

Turn specific chat features on or off

Let others know you've read their messages

To turn on read receipts:

  1. Open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap More More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Chat features.
  4. Tap Send read receipts.

To find out when others have read your message: They have to turn on read receipts in their Settings. 

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

To turn on typing indicators:

  1. Open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap More More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Chat features.
  4. Tap Show typing indicators.
If sending a message doesn't work, choose how to resend it

If you try to send a message over Wi-Fi or mobile data but it doesn’t work, your phone can try to send it again. You can choose how a message is resent: 

  1. Open Messages Messages Logo Round.
  2. Tap More More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Chat features.
  4. Tap Resend messages if undelivered.
  5. Choose how to resend a message.

Note: If you see 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.

See when you're sending by mobile data, SMS, or MMS

The Send icon in the compose bar shows how you're sending a specific message.

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

Learn more about chat features

How chat features work

  • When you turn on chat features: Messages checks all your contacts to see if they can also use chat features, and checks again when you message someone. These checks and your chat messages may go through other service providers to reach your contacts. Messages sent with chat features use the Rich Communications Services (RCS) protocol, which involves sending messages over the internet instead of as SMS messages. When chat features are offered by Jibe Mobile from Google, and you send a message with chat features, those messages pass through Jibe Mobile servers for message delivery purposes. Delivery of SMS and MMS messages, which are always sent through your carrier, will not change.
  • When you send a file (such as a photo) using chat features: Your carrier or service provider shares the file using a randomized URL. Your file is hosted either by your carrier or Jibe Mobile from Google. The link isn’t visible to you or the person receiving your message.  
  • If you turn off chat features: Specific features like typing indicators and read receipts turn off instantly. If you use Jibe Mobile from Google, your info including phone number and device information may be retained for up to 30 days. 

Why certain chat features aren’t available

Your device might not have some chat features for the following reasons:
  • No compatible SIM card found: Messages doesn't detect a SIM card that's eligible for chat features. Make sure that an eligible SIM card is inserted and set as the default call SIM.
  • Device doesn't support chat features: Check to make sure that Messages is the default SMS app. Some devices might not be eligible for chat features.

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