We frequently can't send text messages

  • 22 October 2018
  • 23 replies

I have multiple phones on my account, and all of them frequently can't send text messages. Failures are most common when sending between these phones. Sometime one message will be stuck "Sending", and a new message to the same recipient, with the phone in the same physical location (and 3+ bars of service) will go through.

Tapping on "Not sent. Tap to try again." never works.


Best answer by tmo_mike_c 29 October 2018, 17:10

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23 replies

Userlevel 3

Let's see if we can figure out why this is happening, @magenta6574639​!

  • what type of phones are being used (make and model)?
  • what zip code does this generally occur in?
  • how long has this been going on?
  • is this a regular text, group text, or mms that doesn't go through?
Userlevel 6
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Amanda asked some really good questions that'll help us give you more insight on how to get this fixed. Please take a look and let us know. You should also take a peek at our Text message troubleshooting page and follow those steps to see if they help.

Phone: Motorola Z2

Most common zip code: 98011; however, it happened while we were travelling in California also

It has been happening for months.

Regular text messages between 2 T-Mobile customers are the most frequent (between members of my family). We send text to others less frequently, so I can’t tell if the failure rate is similar.

Following the steps in the FAQ:

1. No, we don’t get that error. We (eventually) get “Not sent. Tap to try again.” Trying again never works. Other message from the same sender, to the same recipient, both in the same locations, do work within minutes of the failure.

2. Generally, 3+ bars of service.

3. I’m the primary account holder. I don’t have Message blocking or Family Allowances set for any of the phones.

4. I don’t have a prepaid account

5. We tested with WiFi off

6. Restarting the device sometimes helps, but so does just sending another message (the original still doesn’t get delivered). Restarting every time I want to send a text is not a practical suggestion.

7. We do not have any devices on the Device Block or Spam List. And as I mentioned, message from the same sender to the same recipient do get through.

8. The date and time are auto-updating, and correct.

9. I have no other messaging apps installed. I did find in the past that Facebook messaging makes the problem MUCH worse, and removed it.

10. This did not help. The “Manage Messages” page doesn’t show an SMSC setting and I was unable to find one on the device.

11. I don’t use an iPhone

12. I don’t use an iPhone

13. The device is up-to-date. The problem has persisted through multiple updates.

14. There is considerably more than 15% free on all of the phones.

15. The issue is intermittent. I can send a text to my own number, but as I don’t do that very often I don’t know if it is any more reliable.

16. We’ve done this, but the problem persists.

17. This won’t help. The issue affects multiple devices (each with it’s own sim). I followed advice at the store and purchased brand new Moto Z2’s to replace the ones I ported from AT&T (at great expense) and the service isn’t any more reliable

18. Well, this email thread is in response to attempting to contact you, so…

Userlevel 6
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I appreciate you being so thorough with your response. With intermittent issues like this, we'll need to collect examples of the messages failing and have our Team of Experts or T-Force folks file a Trouble Ticket. That'll give our engineers a bit more to work with when they work on getting this resolved.

I have been having this exact same problem for the past 6-12 months and find it incredibly frustrating to constantly have to be restarting my phone in order to SOMETIMES get my text messages to go out.... otherwise they stay hostage in my inbox with an orange "Not sent. Tap to try again" error message.  Oddly, sometimes (despite that message being there) people reply to my messages... which seems to indicate that they've actually been sent -- despite the "Not sent..." error message being there.  My phone is a Moto Z2 Force edition phone using the native "Messages" app that came with the phone. 

Please let me know what I need to do in order to fix this since I'm missing important messages from clients and also our teen daughter who is waiting to be picked up from school.  Thanks, Bryan

Userlevel 6
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I agree that's frustrating but I have some ideas that may help. Most times if the phone stays on an error, but the message actually sends, we're looking at something software related. Do you clear out your messages regularly? This could be a memory issue.

Thanks for your reply and I'm REALLY hoping that one of your ideas can

finally help to get this resolved or, alternatively, help me identify a

third party texting app that won't have these same issues.


Unfortunately, the issues with my text messages don't seem to be confined

to only error messages incorrectly showing what has/hasn't actually been

sent. It also appears that some text messages in group conversations are

being received by others but NOT BY ME?!?

Per the attached screenshot of an ongoing thread, my sister apparently sent

a message about a death in the family this morning that I DID NOT receive. I

only became aware of it when others in the conversation started replying

and I then texted those people separately to find out what they were

talking about.

This is a great example of how challenging this can be when others believe

I'm ignoring something as significant as a death in the family.


In terms of DELETING MESSAGES, I am happy to delete every single message if

that will fix the problem. HOWEVER, I'm unaure how that will fix the

problem long term?

Moving forward, would this mean I can't save any messages or can't rely on

a feature/setting that automatically deletes messages that are older than a

certain date -- which is generally how I've handled this kind of stuff in

the past.

I'm VERY OPEN to any solution, but just want to make sure it's realistic

and sustainable moving forward.

Would it make sense to setup a phone call to discuss and try to

troubleshoot some solutions?

Let me know.

Thanks, Bryan


Sorry, forgot to attach the screenshot showing the missing message. Here

you go....

BTS SMS Missing Group Message.png


Userlevel 6
Badge +15

I'm terribly sorry you didn't get that message. Every message is important but that hurts missing ones from the family. Deleting the messages are tied to common memory issues. Sometimes too many messages on the device's memory can cause problems with sending/receiving messages. So, clearing some can help.

Testing the SIM in another phone is a good way to narrow down if this is a possible phone issue or not. If it's continuing in another phone, we'd be looking at something network connection related. In the instance it's happening on just the one phone, we'd need to look at resetting it as a last resort as this means there's something a little off with the software.

Those are a few things to consider testing to help us figure this out. Also, these errors and issues don't happen with any specific set of numbers? Do you know if this is happening a specific area or areas?

I just went through and deleted any messages that I didn't need, so

hopefully that will help.

IDEALLY I'd want to setup some sort of auto-delete rule where messages

older than a certain date would be removed automatically so I don't have to

spend too much time continually reviewing and deleting my SMS messages --

which seems more realistic and sustainable.

HOWEVER, while an auto-delete seems like a fairly common feature/function

in most messaging systems, I'm not readily finding that option in/on the

native "Messages" application that came with my Moto Z2 Force Edition phone

I purchased from T-Mobile.

Could you clarify if that's a feature I should be able to activate or

should I consider a different SMS/texting app that would allow this and

might also help with the over all issue of text messages not consistently

being sent/received on my phone.

Please let me know.

Thanks, Bryan

PS: will try to SIM card switch suggestion this weekend, but was curious if

I should be doing it on a similar type of phone (my partner has a MotoZ2

Force Play) or should it be on an entirely different style/type of phone?

Userlevel 6
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You're right. Most phones do have an auto deletion option but it can be tricky finding it. I can't find any settings specifically for your phone. I'm using an LG V30. In my phone, I have to tap the 3 dots in the messaging app, tap settings, more, storage, then change the messaging limit that's stored on the phone. You can give those steps a shot, but there's a chance it may be different.

For the SIM test, you should be able to use another phone. At this point, we're just testing to see if the individual phone may be causing the issue so that test phone should be fine.

Please add me to this list, I haven't been able to send a text using digits for a week now.  Too hard, and time consuming to try (unsuccessfully) to find a fix.  This coupled with the repeatedly being required to re-log in with 2 factor authentication is making Digits useless to me.

     1. please fix the text sending failures and sync problems, I think you have enough data.

     2. Give us an Opt Out on 2 factor when using our own devices (we don't need it when using integrated messing, why do you require it for Digits?

Google hangouts has it's own issues, however they are not as frustrating as these, Guess I'll be moving back to Hangouts.

Seems to me that T-Mobile is no longer committed to making Digits work.

I, too, have this issue.  Many of my simple texts go thru, then suddenly they do not. I can send 5 texts to a friend, but then the 6th one circles and circles, eventually giving me the “failed to send” message.  This problem is on T-Mobile’s end, so I won’t go on with endless details. It is not a setting in my phone (Galaxy A-51) and they happen while I am seated at my table where endless texts transmit flawlessly.


I am having the same thing going on with my personal phones as well, I can send text to my family and they do receive my text but i do not receive there's. Thinking along that line I when out and I got a Zfold3 phone needles to say I am upset that it did not change anything, still cant get text . Took the phones to T-Mobile Tec , They did a hard reset and as you know it set it back to a factory setting ( was not happy about that) just to have the same thing going on. T-MOBILE needs to do something about this.

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

and which phones do they have?

I have been having this issue for 6+ months, multiple phones, have tried every fix T-mobile has suggested and I get this message not delivered at least 5 times a day.


i have an iPhone 13, I had an Ip12 promax before this that I transferred from att, never once did I get this error.


at this point I’m giving up, the service just does not function properly, period.

This is issue is NOT solved. I’m experiencing the same problem. It is obviously a T-Mobile problem, and you’re just blowing smoke.

Userlevel 7
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obviously its their fault..i mean look at how many pages this specific issue has gotten to...i mean in the 4 years that this thread alone has been up its been smashed apart by the 12 posts in here...over a 4 year span..way to blow that smoke TMO..way to go…


if youre not grasping the sarcasm on this...this isnt a carrier wide ordeal..nor are there an onslaught of people running into you can probably see..probably...the issues are more of an individual person/device/possibly account thing and not an entire town, city, state or country deal.

It’s still ‘busted’. We have two Samsung’s that can’t text a T-Mobile Revvl V+ and a Revvl than can’t text a Samsung. I’ve heard from other they see the same issue.


A temporary workaround that *MIGHT* work is call the person you are texting and have them text you first. You miight get the text as a;user=phone… this is the device to reply to. T-mobile called me back that engineering says “THIS IS FINE”. [And not able to text is ‘fine’, calls dropping ‘fine’, very poor call quality ‘fine’, oh and 43-98.7% packet loss on a tower that is less than a mile away line of site ‘fine, no problems’. Right.


I have a Motorola Moto G Power 5G 2023.

I sporadically cannot send text messages to anyone, including people in my contact list. This happens regardless of the text message app I’m using (Google, Verizon Message+, etc.). This has been happening since I switched my service to T-Mobile in October 2023, and I’m getting ready to find another carrier if this cannot be resolved.

I attempt to send the message, and see an icon at the side that reads “Failed”. I’m given the option to try again, cancel, or delete the message.

This issue will pop up every couple of weeks, and last for sometimes two or three days. Usually, it’s a problem for 12-24 hours.

I’m beyond frustrated with this problem. I have cleared the app cache, restarted the phone to no avail.

How is T-Mobile going to fix this?

Same problem here. We have 2 Revvl 6 5g phones but use different message apps.  But we have the exact same problem

 Restarting sometimes helps but this is happening every day. Truly annoying and now I see its been going on for years so it appears we need to switch carriers.  Too bad, otherwise we have neen happy with T Mobile

I have the same problem with text periodically not going through for some time, sometimes hours on my MOTO G 2022. I was using the same phone when I was with MetroPCS but never had a problem then. I don’t understand why the problem started when I switched to T-Mobile even though I understand it is the same cell network.