How to fix Google Pixel 3 XL that is not receiving text messages

Sending SMS or text messages is one of the basic yet most useful functions of any smartphone. Nonetheless, there are many factors that could make even the simple sending and receiving of text messages become complicated and impossible to complete. Problems like this are inevitable since it involves network attributes. Tackled in this post is a relevant issue on the Google Pixel 3 XL smartphone that’s not receiving text messages. Read on to find out why this happens and what to do in order to get SMS functions of the phone back to their normal functions.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our Pixel 3 XL Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

Troubleshooting Pixel 3 XL that’s not receiving text messages

Before troubleshooting, care to check the signal strength of your phone. If the signal strength is fluctuating or unstable, then that could be the main reason why your phone couldn’t receive text messages at the moment. In this scenario, you will have to deal with signal issues first in order to resolve text messaging errors. However, if your Google Pixel 3 XL phone is getting a stable signal and yet not receiving text messages, move on and try these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Turn Airplane mode Off/On.

If you’re in an area with a good signal reception but still unable to receive text messages, then it’s either that there are really no text messages sent to arrive or your phone’s SMS messaging system is glitching. Should this be just a minor software glitch, performing basic tweaks like the Airplane mode toggle will likely be able to fix the problem. Enabling Airplane mode will turn off all wireless radios on your Google Pixel 3 XL and disabling it resumes wireless functions. Thus, it allows your phone’s network connections and relevant functions to refresh. Any associated errors including text messages reception flaws will also be cleared out in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Access Settings from the Main menu
  2. Tap on Flight mode.
  3. Tap the toggle switch to turn it on.
  4. While airplane mode is turned on, reboot your phone.
  5. After it reboots, go back to Settings then tap the toggle switch to turn it off.

When the signal is restored, try to create a sample SMS and send it to your own number. If you receive the message, try using a different phone and then create another sample SMS message to send on your Pixel 3 XL. If that doesn’t work, then the problem is more likely with the other phone and not on your Pixel phone. There might be some settings that needed to be modified.

ALSO READ: How to fix Google Pixel 3 XL that can’t receive incoming calls

Second solution: Reinstall the SIM card. 

SIM card issues on the phone such as loose or dislodged SIM card, SIM card data corruption and a damaged SIM card can also cause the same problem. To eliminate this from the underlying causes, reinstalling the SIM card is recommended. The process basically involves removing and reinserting the SIM card on the phone. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn off your phone completely.
  2. Insert the sim ejector into the small hole on the SIM card tray. 
  3. Gently push the ejector tool until the tray ejects. 
  4. Pull out the SIM card tray then remove the SIM from the SIM card slot.
  5. Check if the SIM card has any sign of damage. If it looks good, place it back into the card slot in the same position before you removed it.
  6. Secure the SIM card then push the tray back into the phone. 
  7. Lock the SIM card tray in place then turn on your phone. 

Once the phone has rebooted completely and the signal status has become stable, try to create and send a sample text message to your own number and see if it’s receiving now. If not, then proceed to the next solution. 

Third solution: Wipe cache partition on your Google Pixel 3 XL.

Unwanted cached files and corrupted temporary data on your phone can also cause conflicts to certain apps including messaging. Cache-inflicted errors usually occur from recent software updates as well as faulty app installations. To make sure that this isn’t hindering your phone from receiving text messages, clear cache from your Google Pixel 3 XL’s messaging app with these steps:

  1. From the Main menu, access Settings.
  2. Select Apps & Notifications
  3. Tap on See all Apps.
  4. Select Messaging App
  5. Tap on Storage.
  6. Select Clear cache

Once the cache clearing is done, reboot your phone and then launch your messaging app to test and see if text messaging features are already working as intended.

Aside from clearing cache on the Messaging app, wiping cache partition on the phone can also help fix cache-related issues. Just follow these steps if you wish to try it:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until your phone turns off.
  2. Press and hold the Volume down button for 3 seconds. 
  3. Then press and hold the Power button while keep pressing the Volume down button for another 3 seconds and release them. 
  4. Press either of the volume buttons to navigate on the options. 
  5. Select Recovery mode by pressing the Power button.
  6. Press and hold the Power button  for a few seconds once Android logo appears.
  7. Keep on pressing the Power button then press and hold the Volume up button. Release them after three seconds.
  8. Press either of the volume buttons to navigate on the recovery menu.
  9. Press the Power button once Wipe cache partition is highlighted.
  10. Press the Volume down button to highlight Yes.
  11. Press the Power button to confirm.
  12. Once done, highlight Reboot now then press the Power button

The phone then restarts. As soon as it boots up and acquires network signal, you can go ahead and create a sample text message to send and receive on your own device. 

ALSO READ: Fix Google Pixel 3 XL with ‘No Service’ error or Emergency Calls only

Fourth solution: Reset network settings. 

Performing a network reset is often done to resolve network-related errors that could not be remedied by the initial procedures. Resetting network settings will delete all current network settings on your Google Pixel 3 XL and restores the network defaults. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Access Settings from the Main menu
  2. Scroll down then select System
  3. Select Advanced
  4. Select Reset options
  5. Select Reset Wi-Fi, Mobile & Bluetooth
  6. Tap on Reset Settings. 
  7. Once prompted, enter your device lock code.
  8. Tap Reset Settings again. 

After the network settings reset, allow your phone to reboot and re-establish network connections. Then you can try sending sample SMS when ready.

Fifth solution: Reset Factory Settings on your Google Pixel 3 XL.

If all the above solutions failed to fix the issue and your Google Pixel 3 XL still can’t receive text messages, performing a factory reset or master reset can be deemed among the last options and ultimate solutions. Wiping everything from your phone is usually the key to resolving the issue especially if it’s triggered by stubborn system bugs and major data corruption. But before you do, be sure to back up all your important files from the phone. Failure to do so will result in permanent data loss. You can back them up to cloud or move them to an external drive, if available. Then follow these steps when you’re all set to master reset your Pixel phone:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until your phone turns off.
  2. Press and hold the Volume down button for 3 seconds. 
  3. Then press and hold the Power button while keep pressing the Volume down button for another 3 seconds and release them. 
  4. Press either of the volume buttons to navigate on the options.
  5. Select Recovery mode using the Power button.
  6. Press and hold the Power button  for a few seconds once Android logo appears.
  7. Keep on pressing the Power button then press and hold the Volume up button. Release both buttons after 3 seconds.
  8. Press either of the volume buttons to navigate on the recovery menu.
  9. Press the Power button once wipe data/factory reset is highlighted.
  10. Press the Volume down button to highlight Yes – delete all user data.
  11. Press the Power button to confirm.
  12. Once done, highlight Reboot now then press the Power button

If the above method is way too complicated and difficult for you to carry out, then you can erase your device and restore factory defaults automatically through the settings menu. Just follow these steps instead:

  1. Access Settings from the Main menu
  2. Scroll down to and then select Backup & Reset.
  3. Tap on Factory Reset.
  4. Select Reset device.
  5. Select Erase everything to proceed.

After the reset, your phone should restart on its own and then loads up the default settings. Follow the setup wizard to set your phone up as new and ready for use.

ALSO READ: How to fix Google Pixel 3 XL that’s constantly restarting?

Still not receiving text messages on your Google Pixel 3 XL?

SMS or Text messaging feature is carrier dependent. If the issue still persists after applying all the above solutions, then you should now contact  your network service provider to check for any outage in your area that might have affected the text messaging services. You can also request them to walk you through a more advanced troubleshooting method that’s needed to address major SMS errors.

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