Turn on Wi-Fi messaging, group chat options & more

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

Chat features are only available for some phones and service providers, including carriers or Jibe Mobile from Google. For more info, contact your service provider.

Note: To use these options, everyone in the Messages conversation needs chat features turned on.

Turn on chat 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 Android Messages.
  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.

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

To turn chat features off:

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

Turn specific chat features on or off

Let others know you've read their messages

To turn on read receipts:

  1. Open Messages Android Messages.
  2. Tap More More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Chat features.
  4. Tap Send read receipts.
Show others when you're typing in a conversation with them

To turn on typing indicators:

  1. Open Messages Android Messages.
  2. Tap More More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Chat features.
  4. Tap Show typing indicators.
Choose how to resend messages

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 Android Messages.
  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.

Add to, leave, or name a group conversation

If your group members all have chat features turned on, you can change options for group conversations:

  • To add people to a group from within a conversation, tap More More and then People & options and then Add people.
  • To leave a group from within a conversation, tap More More and then People & options and then Leave group.
  • You can name a group when you create it. You can't change a group's name after a conversation starts.

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

How chat features work

When you first 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.

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.  

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