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How to Fix Stopped Working

Hopefully, you’ve never received anything so tacky as a breakup-by-text; but regardless, most of your texts and MMS messages contain some important information you need to know. And in a communication medium with so much potential for misunderstanding, you need all of your message to appear. For instance, just the other night I was trying to get our infant daughter to go to sleep while my husband was downstairs. She had drifted off, so I settled into clicking on dumb Facebook quizzes, like “Which Friend is Your Twin?”

The results of that quiz yielded a creepy picture of my face morphing into my husband’s face. I sent what I thought was an MMS, with a line of text, proclaiming “Scary stuff right here.” He rushed upstairs and asked me what was wrong with the baby. My MMS/pic had never arrived; only the text, indicating (he thought) that some scary stuff was happening with the baby.

A picture, group text (maybe even from your boss), the remaining text after the SMS 160-character limit, video, audio MMS is worth 1,000 words, and may even prevent 1,000 misunderstandings. You need it to work. If you see the error message, your Messages app is not functioning correctly. Try this advice.

Must Read: How to Troubleshoot MMS Problems on Android


1. Reboot

Sometimes a simple restart is all it needs.

2. Update App

Make sure your Messages, and all other apps, are up-to-date.

Update Button

3. Update System

Look for an OS update by going to Settings > System > System Updates to check for Android updates.

Software Update

4. Install a Third-Party Messaging App

There are numerous alternatives to your stock messaging app, including Handcent or GO SMS Pro.

Download: Handcent Next SMS

Download: GO SMS Pro

5. Delete Messages

Often the issue is due to corrupt data within a text or set of messages. If you are having trouble using Messages itself to eliminate bad data, try using a third-party messaging app.

Delete Message

6. Go Back to Stock ROM

If the problem started after you installed a custom ROM, go back to stock firmware.

7. Install a Different Custom ROM

If you can’t stand stock firmware, but you are still seeing the error message, try a different custom ROM. Search for your make and model on our website for recommendations.

CyanogenMod Home

8. Hard Reset

This is another, more drastic way to eliminate any data that might be corrupt. Be sure to backup anything you want to keep, like Contacts. Then, from your Apps menu, select Settings. Tap on Backup & reset. Choose Factory data reset, then Reset phone. This should probably not be your first step in how you fix stopped working, as you will have to basically start over with your device.

Factory Reset2

9. Turn Mobile Data On

MMS typically relies on mobile data.

Mobile Data

10. Install SAVE MMS

This app may help with an incompatibility issue between the sending and receiving device.

Download: SAVE MMS

11. Re-enable Apps Previously Disabled

If the function you are performing depends on a companion app, it might not be able to work properly without it. For instance, if you are attaching an audio file to your MMS, but have since disabled or deleted the app you used to create it, your MMS app may malfunction.

Enable App

12. Check Memory

If your device is running low on memory, you might have to make some space. To find out, go to Settings > Device > Storage and compare what you’ve used with your total amount of space.

Storage Space

13. Uninstall App Updates

Conversely, updates can sometimes cause issues. If the problem started after an update, and you are able to roll it back (uninstall the update), you can try this method to determine if the update itself is the problem. Go to the Messages app, tap on More (usually three vertical dots in the corner), and select Uninstall Updates if this is an option. Even if the uninstall seems to help, keep your eye out for future updates that contain a fix.

14. Remove Third-Party Messaging Apps

Sometimes these are the problem.

15. Uninstall Task Killers

These apps might be interfering with your messaging app’s functionality.

16. Reinstall any App Associated with Messaging

When you send messages that rely on an app to function, but the app is uninstalled, the software will always try to point to a resource that isn’t there.

Install App

17. Put Focus on Message; Not Error

Long-press the background of any text already received before the error message appears. Hopefully you will be able to open your text/MMS before the error message interrupts.

18. Fix SIM

If you follow this path: Settings > About device > Status and instead of your number under Phone Number, it just says Unknown or Suspended; contact your carrier to have them add it to your SIM card.

Phone Number

19. Pull Battery

If you are one of the lucky ones that has a device that will let you do this, try it.

Remove Battery

20. Use SMS Backup & Restore

This is a quick way to backup, delete, then restore all of your messages. This can fix corruption in the messaging database, and help you fix stopped working.

Download: SMS Backup & Restore

21. Try Safe Mode/Process of Elimination to Remove Problematic Apps

If you are needing to determine if a third-party app is causing the error message to trigger, you could also try Safe Mode or simply the process of elimination. Safe Mode will take any third-party apps out of the equation, and allow you to access the behavior of the Android with just stock apps. You could also remove all or almost all third-party apps and add them back one or two at a time, or remove each suspicious app one at a time to see if the error message goes away. You might want to conduct this test for at least a solid day or so, to give any app time to act out if it’s destined to.

Safe Mode

22. Enable Roaming

This is important if you are outside of your carrier’s network. It can get pricy, though, depending on your plan.

Enable Roaming2

23. Set Network Mode to Auto

Allow your device to switch between data settings depending on what’s available, if you have this option. Go to Settings > Wireless & networks > More > Cellular networks > Preferred Network Type.

Network Type

24. Check Account

Make sure your phone carrier has given you a plan with active texting and MMS.

25. Delete All APNs Except for MMS

Go to Settings > Wireless & Network > Cellular Networks >Access Point Names and delete all of the APNs except for the one associated with your MMS.

Access Point

26. Ensure Image Isn’t Too Big

Your carrier may impose a size limit for images/attachments.

27. Disable Firewall

If you have a firewall on your Android, you might have to disable it to download MMS.

28. Ask Your Carrier to Reprovision Your Android

Contact your carrier to request that they refresh your APN settings.

29. Turn Wi-Fi Off

Since MMS uses mobile data to function, remove any obstacles to maintaining that connection.

30. For Trouble with only Certain Contacts

Remove that contact’s information, then reboot your Android. Re-add the contact.

Contacts Group

31. Use a 10-digit Phone Number

Most carriers require the use of the country prefix (1 for US numbers) as well as the area code.


Having functional MMS and texts is really important. Sometimes you need to be able to fire off a quick message, picture, video or audio. And sometimes it’s imperative that you are able to receive them. error appears if the Messages app isn’t working properly, and it can be very persistent and frustrating.

Obviously some of these solutions are going to be less work than others; so it might be best to save options such as a factory reset for last. Another tactic that has been suggested a lot, but was not included because it didn’t work in almost all instances, was to wipe the cache. Most problems with updates are eventually resolved by future updates, so stay on the lookout for these to fix stopped working. If you are still experiencing issues after trying all of these tips, don’t be afraid to reach out to your carrier for advice.

Do you have other tips you would like to share? Have you tried any of these? Let us know what worked or didn’t work for you in the comments.

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