Android MMS Troubleshooting
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How to Troubleshoot MMS Problems on Android

Have you ever had Android MMS problems over Wi-Fi, 4G, or a mix between the two? What about pictures just not loading on your home network? Do your message previews show nothing but just “(no subject)” whenever you’re sent a picture? If any of this sounds like something happening to your phone, or you have other problems, please keep reading.

MMS on pretty much all version of Android get buggy without warning. There are more different bugs than I can list in a few sentences, but I’ll cover every major MMS problem on Android, and how you’re supposed to fix it. a bug filled message is always frustrating, but with a little time and troubleshooting, it doesn’t have to be.

Before I get into MMS problems, I didn’t answer a pretty important question. What is Android MMS?


What is Android MMS?

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service and acts like a platform for users to send pictures, videos, and voice clips to other devices. On the other hand, SMS stands for Short Message Service, which is for text messages that are just that, text only.

MMS icon

Almost anyone now can send and receive MMS, or at least you can if everything works like it should. That’s where troubleshooting comes in handy. If you have any problems with Android MMS, I’ve listed all of the biggest problems down below, and at the end is a list of steps to take to fix each and every problem.

Most of these steps apply to all of the problems listed, but if the problem has a specific fix, I’ll mention it directly under the problem being discussed.


I Can’t Send or Recieve Picture/Video Messages

Whether you can’t send a picture/video message, or you can’t receive one, both problems are equally frustrating and have similar solutions. Does your phone fail to send a picture or video after you select it, or does it not even let you start the MMS? This problem can even mean you can’t download any MMS that you see, or they don’t send in group chats.

Group Chat android mms troubleshooting

I’ll cover how to fix this in the checklist, but until then, there are more problems to cover.


My MMS Won’t Work With Android Group Messaging

This is similar to the case above but has to do with group messages. This includes:

  • MMS meant for group messages appearing in other places.
  • MMS not sending in group messages.
  • MMS not downloading in group messages.
  • MMS not viewable in group messages.
  • MMS displays multiple times, even though it was only sent once.
  • MMS functions are unavailable in group messages.

All of these problems are fixable by going through the checklist at the end of the article. If you have any other MMS problems in Android group messages, please leave a detailed comment with the problem.

Related: How to Send Group Texts From Android Devices to Shut Up iPhone Users


I Think I Might Have a MMS Virus

If you think you’ve come down with a virus, the only way to get rid of it without wiping your phone is with an Anti-virus. One big indicator that a virus is causing the problem is if normal troubleshooting methods don’t fix the issue. You can see all of the normal troubleshooting methods at the end of the page in the checklist.

AVG Android

If you really think a virus is a problem scanning your Android with an Anti-virus takes priority.

Must Read: Make Your Choice for the Best Antivirus App for Android to Keep Your Personal Data Safe


Why Do I Have a Mmsycache Folder/File? Is it Causing the Problem?

If you’ve ever dug around in your files, you probably have a folder, or maybe just a file called mmsycache. This isn’t a bug or a rootkit, but where data for all your deleted files go so you can restore them at a later date. Whenever you delete something, you don’t remove all of it. What’s leftover ends up in your mmsycache.

mmsycache

The folder or file doesn’t have anything malicious inside, so it doesn’t tamper with your MMS, even though it has MMS in the name. You can ignore this folder/file without causing any problems.


Why is “com.android.mms” Showing In My Activity? Is This Anything Bad?

If you ever see com.android.mms somewhere in your activity, don’t panic. This isn’t a foreign message, something malicious, or an alien code; it’s just a package name, which is pretty much a byproduct of any Android message services. If you send and receive MMS, you’ll probably see com.android.mms in your activity somewhere along the line.

If you see this, it’s actually a sign that everything is working as it’s intended to; so it’s the exact opposite of a problem.

Error android mms troubleshooting

If you get this message while sending an SMS or MMS, and you get a blank message in response, or you end up sending a blank message; delete the message. Deleting the message will fix the problem, at least temporarily until you get to the troubleshooting checklist at the bottom.


I Can’t Find My MMS Pictures and Videos on My Android

So let’s say you can send and receive MMS just fine, but whenever you try and find it elsewhere on your Android, it’s nowhere to be found. This is either a problem with downloading MMS properly or a memory issue if you’re absolutely sure your saved MMS files aren’t on your phone.

Please make sure to check the default folder where pictures and videos fall into, on both your Android device and on a PC via USB cable to confirm if they’re actually being saved. If you still can’t find them, go through the troubleshooting checklist to fix the issue.


MMS Always Shows as “(no subject)” in Message Previews

If you’ve ever sent a picture or video through MMS, and had a subject line with “(no subject)” attached to it, you’re probably as frustrated as I am. The way this problem happens varies from phone to phone, and carrier to carrier. Most of the time, it’s because of your messaging client.

If you’re using a stock messenger, it’s time to make a switch if you keep getting “(no subject)” messages.

Must Read: How to Share and Send Any File on Android via WhatsApp and SMS

Alternatively, if you still have Google Hangouts, try clearing its cache, and then see if the “(no subject)” problem keeps happening.


I Can’t Send MMS Between Android and iPhone

It’s surprising that this is still a problem in today’s day and age, but MMS still can’t transfer flawlessly between iPhone and Android. This isn’t always the case, and the specifics of the problem change between users, but the root of the problem is the iMessage system. This problem happens mostly with previous iPhone users that make the switch to Android.

iMessage

The disconnect happens when another iPhone tries to send an iMessage to you, thinking that it’s still trying to talk with an iPhone. Since your Android doesn’t use iMessages, what you end up getting in your inbox is a bunch of space.

There are two ways to fix this. First, if you still have your iPhone on hand:

  • Boot up your iPhone.
  • Go to your iPhone Settings.
  • Scroll down to Messages, and select it.
  • At the top, or somewhere else on the menu is an iMessage toggle switch. Switch this to OFF.

For this to work, your iPhone will need to be connected to a working network. If you just flip a switch that isn’t connected to anything, all you’re getting is peace of mind.

If you don’t have your iPhone anymore, but still know your Apple ID; you need to call Apple support directly. Once you have your Apple ID, just ask Apple support as nicely as you can to remove your ID from the iMessage system servers. This will clear up any problems your Android phone has sending and receiving messages from iPhone users.


I Can’t Send MMS over Wi-Fi / Mobile Data

This is one of the most common MMS problems but is luckily one of the easiest to fix. Just below this section is my troubleshooting checklist, and if you follow each step, you’ll be able to send and receive MMS over Wi-Fi and your own mobile data just like intended.

Troubleshooting Checklist

Every question or problem that didn’t have its own answer is answered here. Please, go through each step until the problem is fixed, starting from the first. By the end of the final step, you’ll be free from all of your MMS problems.

Step 1: A Quick Reset

The first step in every troubleshooting process is to turn whatever device you’re troubleshooting off, and then on again. After you finish that, try to see if you can repeat the problem you’re having. If you still have the issue, try the next step.

Step 2: Network Reset

Next, it’s time to reset your networks, whether this is your Wi-Fi network or your mobile data. The easiest way to do this is to switch your Android over to airplane mode quickly, and then back out of it again.

Airplane Mode

Once you’ve done this, and you’ve reconnected to all of your appropriate networks, check to see if your MMS capabilities are working.

Step 3: Router Refresh

If you can’t send or receive MMS on your home Wi-Fi network, reset your router as soon as possible. There’s a slim chance this will work if resetting your network on your device didn’t, but it’s worth a try as much as anything.

Step 4: A Battery Pull

If you’re still here, you’re past all of the “Did you try turning it off and on again?” stages. This next step is like an advanced version of that method. It’s called a Soft Reset, sometimes called a Battery Pull.

Removable Battery

If your phone has a removable battery, this is easy enough to try. All you need to do is:

  • Power down your Android device.
  • Remove the battery from the back.
  • Wait at least sixty seconds or more.
  • Reinsert the battery.
  • Power the device back up.

If your device doesn’t have a removable battery, you have to simulate a battery pull. The best you can manage is to hold down the Power and Volume Down buttons until the screen shuts off. From that point on, just wait for sixty seconds, and then turn the phone back on.

Step 5: Clear Your Cache

We’re all out of things to reset and turn off, but something else you can do is clear your cache partition. This is something that you should regularly make a habit of, and not just do when you have a problem. This is, however, the perfect excuse to start making it a habit.

Step 6: Clear Out Old Messages

It’s not something I like doing but try clearing your old messages if you’re having trouble sending and receiving MMS. The problem is sometimes linked to your messenger, which brings me to another troubleshooting method.

Step 7: Use a New Messenger

If your current messenger, is giving you trouble, give a new one a try. This is a step that will take some experimentation, and effort on your part to use a new messaging system.

Other Messenger

What messenger you pick, besides your stock one, is entirely up to you.

Step 8: Call Carrier Support

There are only two options left, and one of them is to give your phone carrier a call. Occasionally, a MMS problem is carrier specific, so your carrier will have the solution. Just be prepared to be put on hold for a good chunk of time.

Step 9: A Factory Reset

This is the final troubleshooting step that is the end all, be all for fixing software problems. If your device hasn’t always had this problem, a factory reset is sure to be the thing that sets your phone right.

The only trade off is it wipes your phone completely clean. I don’t mean it just polishes your screen for you; it deletes everything except for stock apps and information. It’s called a factory reset because it puts your phone back to a factory fresh state. It’s heavily recommended that you backup everything important before evening thinking about this.

Please Read: Using Titanium Backup, the Easy Way

The method differs slightly from phone to phone, but we’ve covered the process in full. This is the absolute last option you want to try, so please don’t attempt a factory reset until you’re sure there’s no other way to fix the problem.

Conclusion

Android MMS isn’t as finicky as it used to be on a newer version of the OS, but it still has problems no matter how much the operating system advances. There are a lot of factors at work that makes troubleshooting difficult, but with enough time and patience, any MMS problem will be solved.

If you’re still having any MMS problems, leave your problem down below, and we’ll help you as soon as possible.

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17 Comments

  1. when i send an mms message on my S8+, the time stamp for the person receiving it is 6 hrs earlier. this causes the message on their end to move up in the middle of messages and basically get lost. regular text messages are fine. can NOT figure this out….

    1. Hi, Glen. This occurs because the time set on your phone is out of sync with the carrier’s time. Just go into your phone’s time settings and ensure that your device is getting the time from your carrier.

  2. I have been having the same issue with both my Galaxy s5 & my new s8. If someone sends me a message that is too long from an iPhone, it comes in blank. I am on the Sprint network.

  3. I can send MMS and receive from some people but, majority of them who send me MMS I don’t receive. They all have received mine.

  4. My moto g4 Play has never opened a group message. I have done everything on your checklist except hard reset many times. Am not sure if the sender has an iPhone. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  5. I can not send pictures, I have tried the airplane mode on and off,factor reset,soft reset and son settings however my son settings will not save a new son. I have straight talk and a TracFone I spoke with customer service they sent me a new SIM card it did nothing,one guy told me my apn was wrong I tried to add a new one would not save another guy said my apn was fine since I am able to use the internet please help I don’t know what else to try and straight talk is no help at all I have two phone lines through straight talk and neither will send pics I need at least one to send pics I am using a ZTE all-star

  6. I have all the settings for sending MMS group messages set correctly but people are telling me to not send them anymore. The reason is all recipients phone numbers are showing up. I don’t know what I may have done wrong. Please let me know so I can correct it.

    1. I am using my third phone in 6 months. This problem started with the first on a Sony Xperia, continued on second Sony Xperia 10( returned it)) and now I’m trying a Samsung A50. All there have had this problem: I am able to send mms and often receive them but sometimes receive only blue “download buttons” that NEVER download. In all my years as a mobile user I haven’t experienced this until the last 6 months. It is driving me crazy. I’ve called service provider, contacted Sony and read blogs.

  7. I can get all the way to sending the mms.
    Then the whole thing r=just sits the and spends. I need to send this message now so important. Why now. Please help me.

  8. So, Here we are. I’ve done ALL of the above.
    Details: I use Straight Talk. Bought an unlocked phone off Amazon. Samsung A50.
    In Feb 2020 I just switched the SIM from my J7 (TMobile) to my A50, Didn’t reactivate a new sim or anything. Every worked, no problem. Except I couldn;t get updates. So I bought a new BYOP Sim from Straight Talk (My provider) and activated the AT&T Sim. I chose that one because my husband has the same exact phone, tried the TMobile SIM when he did the same thing, and that one didn’t work, but the AT&T one did.
    I activated the SIM, and all was well, for about 4 days. Maybe 5. Then oddly, I wasn’t receiving texts at all. I could send, no errors… just couldn’t receive.
    Since realizing the problem I have done all of the above. Spent 8+ hours on the phone with Straight Talk who had me run the gammet again, 3x to be exact. And still no change. They also had AT&T on the phone and they reset the network etc. EVERYONE says my SIM card is fine. At one point they just said OK, sorry it just isn’t going to work because you have an unlocked (ie: not Straight Talk) phone. I cried BS because hubs has the same phone purchased from the same seller on Amazon on the same date. so… AND!! It WORKED FOR 4 DAYS!!!
    Lastnight they told me it was a tower issue and the tower I connected to must be having issues so they escalated it but I won’t have an answer for 24-48 hrs. I feel like this is a cop out. I even activated a new SIM AGAIN.
    My next thought is to have STraight Talk see if I should switch to the TMobile or Verizon SIM. But that will deactivate my AT&T Sim, I think. WHich means if that doesn’t work or fix the problem I have to spend ANOTHER $5 for a new SIM/Airtime AGAIN. I mean, I’ll spend the money eventually and it’s cheaper then a new device. But if none of that fixes it… I may have to go that route… unless y’all have other suggestions?

    1. Hi Kristal, no it won’t deactivate your AT&T SIM. Can you ask your seller if the phone you’re using is from the same region you are? It can either be because of a hardware problem, or because your phone is from another country. The reason for the latter is because SIM cards and devices are dependent on your service provider and region. You’ll encounter problems if they’re not from the same region.

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