Question

Disable MMS/Texting over WiFi


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So I have the dreaded sporadic issues sending an receiving text message while connected to WiFi. Since there seems to be no solution, T-Mobile sent me a 4G hotspot for my house. While in theory that’s fine, I have better cell service in the house, I still want to use WiFi for my data. I have high speed internet for a reason. 

OK. To the point. I don’t want to turn WiFi off. That seems pointless. What I want to do is to Only Use Cellular Network for Texting, but I can’t find any way to do so. I turned off WiFi calling, but that was never an issue. It actually worked fine. What I want may not be possible. Just curious if there is perhaps a Setting I’m not aware of.

 

I have a Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra. Latest version of Android. I use the stock Samsung texting app (which could be the issue).

 

TIA


49 replies

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My problem disappeared for almost 8 months, but reappeared last week with a new wrinkle.  This time, I was able to send MMS messages but I couldn’t receive them.  Moreover, whereas I got a notification in my messaging app last time I had this problem, I got no notification this time.  I tried rebooting my phone to no avail.  Having no other choice, I decided to call T-Mobile support.

I spent a fair bit of time on the phone with a fairly knowledgeable rep, who took me through a series of steps to fix or at least diagnose the problem, but those steps failed.  He decided to open a ticket on my behalf with T-Mobile’s engineering group, and he agreed to get back to me within three business days with their findings.

(The phone started working correctly again later that day and it’s been working fine for over a week.)

Well, he never got back to me, so I called support again and asked them to look up the status of my ticket.  He looked up the ticket and told me the engineering team hadn’t done anything yet and forwarded me over to the engineering team.  At that point, I was talking to someone who knew what he was doing.  He told me they had made some changes on “their end” (not to my phone) that corrected the way it was connecting to T-Mo’s messaging infrastructure.  He didn’t tell me exactly what they did, but he did say that if the problem recurred, I’d need to go into a T-Mo store and either get a new phone or a new SIM card, referencing my ticket number.

I’d suggest that anyone with this problem contact T-Mo support and request that a ticket be opened, and then follow up on it until it gets resolved.  It seems like there is something wrong with the way T-Mo’s infrastructure is communicating with certain Android phones.  (This problem has never occurred on my wife’s iPhone.)  Mine is a OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, in case that matters.  (I’ll never have another OnePlus phone, but that’s a topic for another thread…)

Good luck getting this resolved!

Userlevel 7
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No issues using Pulse and Textra.  If the issue is confined to Samsung Messages a d Google Messages.  I am going to say those apps are the issue.  There is a known issue with the current Google Messages beta restricting MMS to 1.05MB regardless of what file attachment size you have selected in the apps settings.  That is the current beta as of 5 days ago though.  

I’m having the EXACT issues LawnMower described. It started a few days ago out of nowhere and now its 11/1/23.  The lack of group text is really difficult as we were in the process of coordinating funeral arrangements for a family member and I can’t communicate effectively. 

 

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Just a quick update, in case anyone is still watching this thread, to note that the problem returned yesterday for me.  I’ve had to reboot my phone about 10 times between yesterday afternoon and now (5:30 pm local time) in order to send and receive group (MMS) messages.  Until now, I’ve had no problems for about 6 weeks.

I’m concluding that this is an intermittent issue involving Android phones and some kind of capacity issue with T-Mobile.  Apple phones don’t have the problem, probably due to their proprietary way of handling messaging.  Also, this problem only affects MMS messages.  While I’m having problems with MMS, I can happily send and receive SMS messages without difficulty.  I can also make and receive phone calls with no problem.

Another symptom worth noting, perhaps, is when I’m experiencing this problem and someone in a group text sends a message, it comes to me as a text from that person only that can’t be downloaded.

 

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Just a quick update, in case anyone is still watching this thread, to note that the problem returned yesterday for me.  I’ve had to reboot my phone about 10 times between yesterday afternoon and now (5:30 pm local time) in order to send and receive group (MMS) messages.  Until now, I’ve had no problems for about 6 weeks.

I’m concluding that this is an intermittent issue involving Android phones and some kind of capacity issue with T-Mobile.  Apple phones don’t have the problem, probably due to their proprietary way of handling messaging.  Also, this problem only affects MMS messages.  While I’m having problems with MMS, I can happily send and receive SMS messages without difficulty.  I can also make and receive phone calls with no problem.

Another symptom worth noting, perhaps, is when I’m experiencing this problem and someone in a group text sends a message, it comes to me as a text from that person only that can’t be downloaded.

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Here's another update on my recent experiences.

I have not had any problems with MMS for over two weeks.  I switched from Textra back to the stock Android messaging app with no problems.  I'm currently using the stock app.

I'm increasingly thinking that my problems with MMS were due to TMo congestion issues involving Android devices.  My wife never experienced any problems with her iPhone.  I experienced the problem with both Textra and the Android app.  I did get a message from Textra that there were "no MMS connections available" once when the problem occurred. I deleted all but a couple text messages from my phone to no avail, so the problem is not caused by lack of available space for messages on my phone.  I disabled wifi calling and still had the problem.  I forced the texting app to use mobile data and that had no effect -- I still had the problem.

I did enable the developer option "mobile data always active" a couple weeks ago, about the time I stopped experiencing the problem, but I can't be sure that really had an impact; I mention it for completeness.

I'm not sure when the next "congestion event" might happen, but I'll be alert for the next time I have a failure to send/receive MMS and report it in a new thread.

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Another update.  After deleting all but a few text messages from my phone, I had no problems for the rest of the day yesterday.  But today, I’ve already had to reboot my phone 4 times to send/receive MMS messages.  So, too many messages taking up space is not the problem.

By the way, my wife is on the same T-Mobile plan as I am, but she has an iPhone.  She has experienced no problems sending or receiving MMS messages.

So, it seems like I have an Android/T-Mobile problem.  (It’s apparently not a OnePlus problem based on other posts in this thread.)  Switching to Textra has no impact.  When I can’t send or receive with the Android app, I can’t with Textra either.

You don’t suppose anyone at a T-Mobile store could help me, do you?  Any other suggestions are welcome.

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I’ll have a look at the lock option in a bit.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I do have a “pro” license for Textra.  I used to use it all the time and I like it, but a couple of the recent improvements to the Android app caused me to quit using it (iPhone emoji reactions and chat functionality).  But now apparently Textra does at least one thing that the Android app doesn’t (how many messages to keep), so I’ll use it for awhile.

I’ve installed “Phone Link” again and we’ll see how long it works.  I have not had good luck with it.

As far as memory is concerned, the system currently reports 5.43 GB average use out of 8.00 +3.00 GB.

When I backed up my SMS and MMS messages a couple hours ago, there were more than 64,000 of them backed up.  That seemed like a lot to me!

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download it..send yourself a pic and then some random texts after..say like 5 regular texts.. hold the pic and see if it gives you a lock option..if it does then go out of the app..back in and delete the whole text thread to yourself..if it all of a sudden jumps to the top and is still there then that one pic you locked is still there..if the whole text thread yeets then it didnt work lol.

 

 

how is your internal memory looking? texts and such eat up quite a bit of memory..as does call history (i cleared mine yesterday and was a bit shocked to see 380 of them were getting deleted lol).

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I just had a closer look at Textra, and it does have the ability to set the number of messages to “keep”, with separate setting for “text” and “media”.  I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I may give it a trial.  If I do that, I’ll see if I can also get Microsoft’s “My Phone” app working to use with my laptop.  I’ve tried it before with very limited success.

If my problem with MMS is really due to too many saved messages, then it’s really quite annoying that Google has taken away the ability to manage that number “automatically”.  I haven’t consciously managed text messages for years.

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see i could have sworn it was there as well..thinking with their last update bringing in all that “personal, business and all” categories stuff i think it was removed...or forgotten lol.. i went through every sub settings area i could find in there..nothing. wonder if its now something you must change through your Google account itself and not so much the physical app itself? which if thats the case..they need to throat punch whoever thought that one out...and whoever approved it lol.

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Pulse is not the default app for my device though.  Just my preferred choice.  It might be worth checking out if auto deleting messages after a certain period of time is needed.

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Pulse offers the function.  Google/Android Messages should also have the option, just under a different name.  

i dug through on my side and the only thing i found about auto deleting was for “Auto-delete OTPs after 24 hrs Current and future OTPs will be permanently deleted after 24 hrs” which does not sound like what we’re needing.  advanced was a dead end as well..could have sworn it was in there but they might have hidden it or yeeted it when they did their last update to Messages.

It used to be there a few years back.  Evidently Google, in their infinite wisdom, decided we didn’t need that functionality anymore.  Curiously, Apple still provides it.  I’ve been struggling to avoid Apple for years.  Is it time to switch?...

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you know..i have never tried Digits..which you can use the same way and use a computer or your device...but im wondering if there is a auto delete option in there?

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Pulse offers the function.  Google/Android Messages should also have the option, just under a different name.  

i dug through on my side and the only thing i found about auto deleting was for “Auto-delete OTPs after 24 hrs Current and future OTPs will be permanently deleted after 24 hrs” which does not sound like what we’re needing.  advanced was a dead end as well..could have sworn it was in there but they might have hidden it or yeeted it when they did their last update to Messages.

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Pulse offers the function.  Google/Android Messages should also have the option, just under a different name.  

I’ll have a look at Pulse.  One of the reasons I use the Android app is that I can pair it with messages.google.com and use my computer to send and receive messages.  I find that quite convenient.  That won’t work with Pulse.

And I can assure you that none of the messaging apps I’ve tried so far have the functionality to auto delete messages past a certain age.

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Well, I’m not the OP, but I do use Google’s messaging app.  I can confirm there’s no easy way to do what we used to be able to do including “auto delete” messages that are older than a specified age. 

If anyone here knows if there is an “app for that”, please advise.  Having to manually clean up old SMS and MMS messages is a pain.

I haven’t had any MMS problems for awhile now, but I’m not willing to declare my problem solved quite yet.

Again, thanks to all for he help.

OP in this case is your OnePlus and not the Original Poster

Ah, got it!  😀

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Well, I’m not the OP, but I do use Google’s messaging app.  I can confirm there’s no easy way to do what we used to be able to do including “auto delete” messages that are older than a specified age. 

If anyone here knows if there is an “app for that”, please advise.  Having to manually clean up old SMS and MMS messages is a pain.

I haven’t had any MMS problems for awhile now, but I’m not willing to declare my problem solved quite yet.

Again, thanks to all for he help.

OP in this case is your OnePlus and not the Original Poster

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Pulse offers the function.  Google/Android Messages should also have the option, just under a different name.  

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Most messaging apps have an archive or delete function that can be toggled on or off that purges messages after X amount of messages.  

I’m using the Android app and it does not have this functionality.  Neither Textra nor the T-Mobile app does.  I’ve been poking through Google searches and searches in the Play Store and I’ve not found anything.  Something changed a few years back; it used to be possible.  Evidently you can do this with an iPhone today.

 

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Most messaging apps have an archive or delete function that can be toggled on or off that purges messages after X amount of messages.  

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Well, I’m not the OP, but I do use Google’s messaging app.  I can confirm there’s no easy way to do what we used to be able to do including “auto delete” messages that are older than a specified age. 

If anyone here knows if there is an “app for that”, please advise.  Having to manually clean up old SMS and MMS messages is a pain.

I haven’t had any MMS problems for awhile now, but I’m not willing to declare my problem solved quite yet.

Again, thanks to all for he help.

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you cant just hold the text you want to delete to mark it then keep clicking your way down the list  to mark the next ones you want included to be deleted?

I suppose I could do that, but I’ve got a lot of text messages, and it would take a lot of time.  I will do that if I have to.  Some of my mms messages have pictures attached that I want to save.

Years ago, I had an app that I could configure to backup messages that were older than some specified age and it would back messages up to gmail and delete them from the phone.  I’ve lost track of that app and I’m trying to find it again.  The apps that I see popping up on the Play Store seem to have backup and restore capability but it doesn’t seem like they delete messages once they’ve been backed up.

Is there an app like that out there somewhere that I’m missing?

 

i know i had the ability to lock certain pics etc in a text back when i used to use the Handcent texting app..just attempted it with the Google Messages app and unless im missing something it doesnt have the ability..basically i was able to lock said pic and then delete the whole text convo and whatever i saved was all that stayed.

 

might check to see if this might be an option. i cant remember which texting app OP uses..if its Googles then i didnt see this as an option in there.

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Hey @LawnMower, Intermittent issues are the pits because temporary fixes make things seem fine and then they break again. One thing that I have seen with intermittent messaging issues for SMS or MMS is congestion in the “mailbox” rather than the network side. If the messaging app that you are using (messages on your phone or messages.google.com) has too many messages saved, new ones have a hard time finding a “place to sit.” Restarting the phone will usually free up enough temporary memory to allow the messages that are pending to come in, but new ones are stopped at the door. MMS are larger files by nature and are usually the first to be affected. Have you had a chance to go through your messaging apps and delete as many messages as possible?

Thanks for that suggestion, @HeavenM !  I used to have an app on my old phone to periodically delete messages but I no longer have it.  I’ll see if I can get one installed and delete some messages.  I have a lot of them

I don’t normally recommend downloading apps that manipulate your phone like that because it could unintentionally affect other things as well. If you have a ton of messages and don’t feel like you can do it manually, then do what is best for you. I just wanted to give you some caution. Let me know how it goes

I went ahead and downloaded an app that does backup to my Google drive.  It works well and I can access the backed up messages and attachments through it.  That way I can save any pictures I’d like to save.

After backing up and verifying that it worked, I went through the fairly laborious job of deleting all the texts, including spam and blocked, from my phone.  That took a few minutes but now it’s done.

The next step is to see if all that had any effect on my “failure to send” and “unable to download” problem.  I’ll report back here with anything I learn.

Thanks again to all for the help.

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Hey @LawnMower, Intermittent issues are the pits because temporary fixes make things seem fine and then they break again. One thing that I have seen with intermittent messaging issues for SMS or MMS is congestion in the “mailbox” rather than the network side. If the messaging app that you are using (messages on your phone or messages.google.com) has too many messages saved, new ones have a hard time finding a “place to sit.” Restarting the phone will usually free up enough temporary memory to allow the messages that are pending to come in, but new ones are stopped at the door. MMS are larger files by nature and are usually the first to be affected. Have you had a chance to go through your messaging apps and delete as many messages as possible?

Thanks for that suggestion, @HeavenM !  I used to have an app on my old phone to periodically delete messages but I no longer have it.  I’ll see if I can get one installed and delete some messages.  I have a lot of them

I don’t normally recommend downloading apps that manipulate your phone like that because it could unintentionally affect other things as well. If you have a ton of messages and don’t feel like you can do it manually, then do what is best for you. I just wanted to give you some caution. Let me know how it goes

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you cant just hold the text you want to delete to mark it then keep clicking your way down the list  to mark the next ones you want included to be deleted?

I suppose I could do that, but I’ve got a lot of text messages, and it would take a lot of time.  I will do that if I have to.  Some of my mms messages have pictures attached that I want to save.

Years ago, I had an app that I could configure to backup messages that were older than some specified age and it would back messages up to gmail and delete them from the phone.  I’ve lost track of that app and I’m trying to find it again.  The apps that I see popping up on the Play Store seem to have backup and restore capability but it doesn’t seem like they delete messages once they’ve been backed up.

Is there an app like that out there somewhere that I’m missing?

 

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