What to do if your Google Pixel 3 cannot send and receive text messages

Sending and receiving text messages are very basic functions of a mobile phone so your Google Pixel 3 should be able to perform them without any problem. However, there are times when problems occur even to the most powerful of devices. That’s the reason why we publish troubleshooting articles based on the most commonly reported problems.

In this post, I will share with you the troubleshooting procedures we use in fixing text messaging issues and our subject will be the Pixel 3. I’ll only give you the most practical methods that you can use on your end because after all, it could be a network problem and your service provider will be able to help you better. So, after doing the procedures below and your phone is still not able to send or receive text messages, you should call your carrier.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to come across this post while trying to find a solution to a different problem, then visit our Pixel 3 Help Guides as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. We may have already published articles that tackle the kind of problem you currently have.

Now, going back to our troubleshooting, here’s what you need to do if your Pixel 3 can’t send and receive SMS…

  1. Reboot your phone or do Forced Restart – you must begin your troubleshooting with a simple reboot because there are times when services crash in the background and some of the basic functions or operations may fail. Or better yet, do the forced restart to thoroughly refresh Pixel 3’s memory as well as reload all its apps and services. Press and hold the Power key for 30 seconds and release it when the device reboots. After which, try to send a text message to your own number to know if it goes through and if you can receive it. If the problem persists, then move on to the next procedure.
  2. Check the signal indicator – you need to be properly connected to your provider’s network in order to transmit text messages and data. If you’re in an area wherein the coverage is weak, then that could be the reason why you’re having problems texting. You would know if this is the case if you can send and receive text messages intermittently. Aside from the signal indicator, you should also look out for the plane icon because if it’s visible, it means that Flight Mode is enabled and if it is, all wireless communications will fail. You must disable it at once to fix this problem.
  3. Run phone in safe mode – we are not trying to find out if a third-party app is causing the problem. This procedure makes better sense if you’re using a third-party text messaging app. By running in safe mode, you’re temporarily disabling all third party elements in your phone and once the phone has booted up into this mode, try sending a text message using the default messaging app called Messages. If the message goes through, then the problem is with the app you use but if not, then the problem could be with the firmware.
  4. Reset network settings – if your phone cannot send and receive text messages even in safe mode, the next thing you should do is reset all network settings. This will refresh your phone’s link to the tower where it’s getting signal from. Aside from that, the Message Center Number will also be reset to default. Don’t worry, none of your files and data will be touched if your reset network settings in your phone. You may go into Settings to do this.
  5. Reset your Pixel 3 – this is your last resort. If the problem started without apparent reason or cause, then a reset may be able to fix it. However, make sure to backup all your files and data as they will be deleted during the process. After the reset, send a test message to your own number to know if the problem is fixed. If still not, then you need help from your service provider.
  6. Call tech support – this will be the tech support of your service provider or carrier like Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc. Work with the representative to see if the problem is on their side, network-related or has something to do with your account. As I said earlier, your service provider can help you better when it comes to fixing texting problems. Your phone maybe re-provisioned to receive services from the network but it may take several minutes. If possible, just bring the phone to the store so that they can properly run tests.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!