Can't turn on chat features

If your device and network operator support chat features, and if you’re having problems turning chat features on, try the following steps: 

  1. Check your chat features status: Open the Messages app. Tap More Moreand thenSettings and then Chat features. Check the chat features status. If you’re not connected, tap Retry.
    Important: All people in a conversation (1-1 or group) must have chat features turned on.
  2. Check your data connection: Make sure that your Android phone or tablet is connected to the Internet and can receive SMS.
  3. Check the Messages app version: Make sure that you and the person that you’re chatting with have the latest Messages app version.
  4. Check your default messaging app: Make sure that Messages is your device’s default app for SMS.
  5. Check your SIM: If you’re using multi-SIM card devices, make sure that the same SIM card is enabled for both call and data.
  6. Check your Android version: Chat features only work if you’re on Android 5.0 or higher. Learn how to check your Android version.
  7. Check your Google Fi default: If you're a Fi user, open Hangouts Hangouts. Tap Menu  and then Settings. Under 'Account', tap your Google Account. Under 'Google Fi calls and SMS', next to 'Messages', make sure that the switch is in the OFF position.
  8. (Optional) Check the Operator Services app version: Most devices come with the Operator Services app pre-installed. If it’s pre-installed, make sure that you have the latest Operator Services app version.

Try other ways to fix the issue

If you’re still not able to turn chat features on, clear the application storage for Operator Services and Messages.

Step 1: Clear Operator Services

If you don’t have Operator Services on your phone, follow the instructions below to clear the Messages app.

To clear Operator Services:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, turn on Aeroplane mode.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap Apps and notifications and then See all apps and then Show system and then Operator Services.
  4. Tap Storage and then Clear Storage.
  5. Force quit then restart the Operator Services app.
    • Go to Settings. Tap Apps and notifications and then Operator Services and then Force stop.

Step 2: Clear the Messages app


  • If you clear the Messages app, you won't lose your messages, but you'll lose all Messages settings.
  • Some of your Rich Communication Services (RCS) messages will be marked 'MMS', and you might have problems with RCS groups until you get RCS back.
  • You may not immediately be able to use group chats after re-enabling RCS unless someone else in the group chat can initiate a conversation.

To clear the Messages app:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, go to Settings.
  2. Tap Apps and notifications and then Messages.
  3. Tap Storage and then Clear Storage.
  4. Force quit, then restart the Android Messages app.
    • Go to Settings and then Apps and notifications and then Messages  and then Force stop.
  5. Turn off aeroplane mode. 
  6. After a few minutes, check your chat features status to see if you’re connected.

Learn more about chat features.

Need more help?

If none of the above solves the issue, you can view Chat features by Google FAQ or ask questions in the Messages community.

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