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Why am I not able to send/receive text (SMS) messages?

There could be various reasons why you cannot send or receive text (SMS) messages.

  1. Do you have texting set up on your Bell MTS cell plan? If you don't, texting service will not work.
  2. Verify that the number you are sending the message to is in the correct format with area code (i.e. 2049999999).
  3. Are you able to receive and make phone calls? The ability to text and make phone calls is related as they both work on the same network.
  4. Are you not able to send/receive text messages with one person? The problem could be related to the other person's device and they may need to contact their service provider.
  5. If the problem persists, try the device specific troubleshooting steps.
  1. If you only have a problem receiving text messages you should check your firewall settings to see if they are blocking incoming messages.
    1. Select Options from the Home screen.
    2. Select Security.
    3. Select Firewall.
    4. In the General section, if the Enable check box is not selected, select it.
    5. In the Block Incoming Messages section, if Text Messages is checked, uncheck it.
    6. Press the Menu key and select Save.
  2. If you are still having problems, try a battery pull.
    1. Remove the battery cover.
    2. Remove the battery.
    3. Wait one minute.
    4. Replace the battery.
    5. Replace the battery cover.
    6. Wait for your device to restart.
Apple iPhone
  1. Restart the device to reload the software and renew your connection to the network.
    1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds.
    2. When the red Slide to power off slide appears, slide to power off.
    3. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.
  2. Reset the network settings.
    1. Tap Settings.
    2. Tap General.
    3. Tap Reset.
    4. Scroll down and tap Reset Network Settings.

See reference


Power cycle the device by turning off for 30 seconds and then on again.

Windows Phone

Restart your device to reload the software and renew your connection to the network.

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. When prompted, slide down to power off.
  3. Wait 10 seconds.
  4. Press and hold the Power button to turn your smartphone on.
International Texting

If you are having problems sending or receiving an international text message ensure that you are entering the number correctly.

To send a text message outside of Canada and the U.S., please follow the instructions below:

  1. Enter 011
  2. Enter the International Dialing Code of the country to which you are sending the message.
  3. Enter the recipient's phone number.

011 + country code + routing code (sometimes referred to as city code) + number you are calling.

Example: In order to send a text message to a friend (phone number 2049999999) in India with country code 91 you would need to enter the number as 011912049999999.

Check our comprehensive list of International Dialing Codes (PDF 124 KB).


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