Top 6 Ways to Fix Mes­sage Not Sent Error on Android

Olanrewaju Sodiq

Does an error message that reads 'Message not sent' pop up in your Android device's notification tray when you send SMS or multimedia messages? Refer to the solutions in this guide to learn how to eliminate issues causing this SMS-related drawback on your phone or tablet.

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There are numerous reasons why this error shows up on your screen. And likewise, there are numerous ways to get it resolved. Let's get to it.

1. Check SIM/Account Balance

All mobile carrier networks have specified rates that they charge for short message services (SMS). Check your account balance and ensure you have sufficient funds to cover the SMS cost. You should also note that SMS fees are charged per message segment and sometimes by the number of characters. So, if you're trying to send a lengthy text that exceeds the one-message character limit of your mobile carrier, make sure you have sufficient funds in your carrier account to cover the cost of the entire SMS.

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If you are on a special/dedicated SMS plan, ensure that the plan is active, i.e., hasn't been canceled or expired. A downtime or service outage on your carrier's end could also cause the 'Message not sent' error on your Android device. If you have sufficient funds in your account, try out other solutions listed below. And if the error persists, you should also reach to your mobile carrier.

2. Enable Airplane Mode

A glitch in cellular connectivity on your Android device could prevent messages from going through to the recipient(s). Enabling Airplane mode and turning it off after some seconds will refresh your mobile networks and fix connectivity-related issues causing the 'Messages not sent' error.

Toggle on Airplane mode from the notification panel or go to Settings > Network & Internet > Advanced and toggle on Airplane Mode. Wait for about 5-10 seconds and turn it back off.

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3. Force Stop Messages

Like every other Android application, it's normal for Messages to occasionally malfunction or stop responding to certain commands. When this happens with Messages (or other apps on your device), force-stopping the app is a quick and easy fix that'll restore its functionality to normal.

Follow the steps below to force-stop Messages on your Android device.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select 'Apps and notifications.'

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Step 2: Select App info or All Apps—this option will vary depending on your phone brand and OS.

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Step 3: Scroll through the list of applications and select Messages.

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Step 4: Next, tap the Force Stop icon and select OK on the confirmation prompt.

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4. Clear Messages App Cache

The Messages app could also malfunction if there are corrupt files in its cache directory. Clear the app cache, resend the message, and check if it goes through. Close the Messages app and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Long-press the Messages icon on the home screen or app tray and tap the enclosed (i) icon on the context menu to reveal the Messages app info menu.

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Step 2: Select 'Storage & cache.'

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Step 3: Finally, tap the Clear cache icon to delete the Messages app's cache.

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5. Check SMS Permission

You also want to check that Messages or your default messaging app has permission to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on your Android device. While this permission is always enabled by default on the official Messages app (by Google) that ships with your Android device, you might have to grant third-party SMS apps this permission manually.

Follow the steps below to check if the affected Messages app has SMS permissions.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select Privacy.

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Step 2: Select Permission manager.

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Step 3: Scroll through the list of permissions and select SMS.

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Step 4: Check that the Messages app is in the Allowed section.

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If Messages (or your third-party messaging app) is neither in the Allowed or Denied section, follow the steps below to grant the app SMS permission.

Step 1: Long-press the Messages icon on the home screen or app tray and tap the enclosed (i) icon on the context menu.

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Step 2: On the Messages app info page, select Permission.

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Step 3: Select SMS.

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Step 4: Make sure the SMS Access for the app is set to Allow

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More Troubleshooting Checks

If the error persists after trying all the solutions listed above, check that the recipient's phone number is correct. And if the message content includes a multimedia attachment (images, videos. GIFs, etc.), make sure your phone's cellular data is enabled. That is because multimedia messages (MMS) require cellular data, not Wi-Fi. Some mobile carriers even require you have a dedicated MMS plan before you can send multimedia messages. So, check with your network provider to be sure. Finally, restarting your phone could also help eliminate this error.

Next up: Are you not getting sound notifications for your text messages on Android? Read the article linked below to find out how to fix the message notification sound not working on Samsung, Google, OnePlus, etc.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 3 years to help people solve problems relating to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, etc.) and previously worked with GearBest in that capacity.