Question

Disable MMS/Texting over WiFi


Badge

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

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

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?

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

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.

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. 

 

--

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.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

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.  

Badge

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!

Badge

I’ve discovered that my difficulties with MMS seem to have nothing to do with wifi calling. 

Disabling wifi calling in settings had no impact.  I still had the problem after I disabled wifi on the messaging app, plus I could not use the messaging.google.com site with wifi disabled on the messaging app. 

Moreover, when I enabled wifi calling in the settings and in the messaging app, I went for two days with no disruptions to MMS.

The only thing that seems to work for me is rebooting the phone when MMS messaging fails.  When that occurs, I get a “failed to send message” notification for a MMS message I tried to send or a “couldn’t download message” for an MMS message I’m supposed to receive.  Those are my triggers to reboot my phone.

Does anyone have other ideas about what’s causing what seems to be an intermittent MMS problem and how to fix it?

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

is your regular mobile data still turned on?

Badge

is your regular mobile data still turned on?

Yes.  Both regular and wifi turned on.  Problem occurs when the phone is in “wifi mode” or “mobile data mode”.  And, as I said, problem also occurs when wifi mode is “off”.

I’ve had to reboot my phone 5 times already today, and it’s just now 11 am.

Badge

I’m starting to think this problem is congestion-related.  I saw it on Thanksgiving.  I saw it again when we had severe thunderstorms rolling through our area, and again today as this “monster storm” begins to arrive.  My guess is that everyone and their dog is texting their friends and family in these cases.

Of course, I could be wrong.  But, as I tried to say earlier (post is being “moderated), my problem is not wifi calling related.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

I’m starting to think this problem is congestion-related.  I saw it on Thanksgiving.  I saw it again when we had severe thunderstorms rolling through our area, and again today as this “monster storm” begins to arrive.  My guess is that everyone and their dog is texting their friends and family in these cases.

Of course, I could be wrong.  But, as I tried to say earlier (post is being “moderated), my problem is not wifi calling related.

Holiday network congestion across all networks, even international ones is very common for this time of the year.  Hopefully that's all it is and isn't a bigger issue.  I haven't personally had any issues with texts with my OnePlus 8T+ 5G.

Badge

I’m late to this discussion but I just wanted to add that I just “discovered” this problem, i.e., sporadically cannot send or receive MMS with wifi calling active.  I have a OnePlus 10 Pro 5G that I purchased from T-Mobile.

I send and receive a lot of MMS messages, and I’m understanding the only “fix” for this issue is to disable wifi calling in the phone’s settings.  That’s a shame.

Is there any real fix for this issue?

Thanks.

Badge

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

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

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?

Badge

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?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

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 have never received a “fix” for this.  On my Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, I finally found under settings, connections, data usage, a place to choose certain apps to always use “mobile data only” even when connected to Wi-Fi.  It works much better and I’ve tested it in airplane mode with wifi turned back on.  We’ll see what happens over Christmas when I’m out of mobile range and only have wifi.

Badge

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.

Badge

Well, I thought if I disabled wifi calling, the problem would be solved, but it’s not, at least for me.  I disabled wifi calling about an hour ago and just discovered I wasn’t receiving or sending MMS messages.  I guess I’ll go back to the messaging app and disable wifi and see what happens.

The fun part is I’ve rarely had problems with MMS on T-Mobile with this phone.  It’s just started a couple weeks ago (I’ve had the phone for more than 6 months).  The only way I’ve found to restore MMS functionality is to reboot the phone.  I’ve already done that 3 times today.

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

is it both regular texts and mms having issues or just regular texts?

 

keep in mind that mms messages (group texts, pic texts and or super long winded texts) need a data connection to be sent/received. regular texts just the voice side

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

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.

Badge

is it both regular texts and mms having issues or just regular texts?

 

keep in mind that mms messages (group texts, pic texts and or super long winded texts) need a data connection to be sent/received. regular texts just the voice side

It’s just MMS for me.  If an MMS fails, I can send a regular text to one of the intended recipients without difficulty.  I will key an eye open for possible regular SMS issues now.

I understand the need for data to support MMS.  I’ve disabled wifi only for the messaging apps just now but left mobile data enabled.  In this thread, and others around the net, I’ve noticed that MMS failures are common when wifi calling is enabled.  It’s been that way for at least 5 years if I’m reading things correctly.

Edited to add:  This problem started occurring on Thanksgiving Day, and I attributed it to high volumes, but it has been happening intermittently since then.

Thanks for helping.

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

i use wifi calling quite a bit..only time i tend to see issues with texts and WFC is when the network im connecting to is a bit more miss than hit...like my work wifi..soon as i disconnect from it i’ll end up with a handful of texts kicking through..

 

another question..is this only happening with one locations wifi?

 

 

Same with me; just MMS failures when on WiFi only.  Regular texts work fine.  Enabling and disabling WiFi calling had no effect with me.  It wasn’t until I forced the text app to always use mobile data that the delay sending and failures stopped.  

Badge

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.

Badge

i use wifi calling quite a bit..only time i tend to see issues with texts and WFC is when the network im connecting to is a bit more miss than hit...like my work wifi..soon as i disconnect from it i’ll end up with a handful of texts kicking through..

 

another question..is this only happening with one locations wifi?

 

 

So far, I’ve only noticed it happening with my home wifi; I seldom connect to wifi at other locations, but I’ll keep my eyes open.  To reiterate, this problem has been rare for quite a long time on the same home wifi and router.  It’s gotten much worse since Thanksgiving.

Since I disabled wifi on the messaging app, I get a nag about it every time I open the messaging application.  That’s annoying!  But, so far, MMS is working with hit disabled.

Reply