Message not sent service not activated on network
How-Tos & Tutorials

Message Not Sent Service Not Activated on Network Error – Solved


Mobile devices are paramount in keeping us connected in this contemporary era of digital communications. However, encountering issues like “Message not sent service not activated on the network” or MMS failures is frustrating and disruptive to everyday communication.

To address these challenges, this article offers various insights and solutions to rectify common problems experienced by Android and iOS users. Such as,

  • Addressing the “Message not sent service not activated on network” error and MMS failures.
  • Providing step-by-step guidance to resolve MMS issues, covering causes, MMS settings, network concerns, and software glitches for effective problem-solving.
  • Explaining the essential aspects of MMS functionality, such as the need for an internet connection, differences between MMS and SMS, and clarifying misconceptions regarding MMS and Wi-Fi connections for a smoother messaging experience.

Furthermore, the article clarifies whether MMS transmission is possible over Wi-Fi, addressing a common misconception about the functionality of this service with a Wi-Fi connection.

This article provides an essential resource for users encountering “Message not sent” errors and MMS-related issues on their smartphones with a detailed breakdown of steps and an explanation of necessary mobile messaging functionalities.

Sounds intriguing? Let’s get straight into it.

What causes the “Message not sent service not activated on network” error?

Various causes lead to the “message not sent: service not activated on the network” error.

The “Message not sent service not activated on the network” error typically occurs when a mobile phone lacks active network services, faces issues with the SIM card, encounters network outages, or experiences software glitches.

Moreover, this error may arise when you send an MMS with a large file that exceeds network limitations.

Furthermore, third-party apps can sometimes interfere with messaging functionality. To check if they are causing this error, restart your phone in Safe Mode. If the error does not occur in Safe Mode, uninstall recently installed apps to identify the problematic one.

Recommended Read: SMS vs MMS: A Detailed Review

8 Solutions for “Message Not Sent: Service Not Activated on Network” Issue

Having discussed the causes of this error, let’s now delve into solutions.

Configure MMS Setting

The ‘Message Not Sent: Service Not Activated on Network’ error can be eradicated by configuring MMS settings. The steps to configure MMS on Android and iOS devices are enumerated below.

On Android

  1. Choose “Apps.”
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Scroll and pick “Mobile networks.”
  4. Choose “Access Point Names.”
  5. Then, tap “MORE.”
  6. Select “Reset to default.”
  7. Press “RESET.” Your phone will reset its default Internet and MMS settings. This should solve most MMS problems. If issues persist, proceed with the guide.
  8. Tap “ADD.”
  9. Enter MMS details.
  10. Continue by scrolling down to fill in MMS information.
  11. Tap “MORE.”
  12. Select “Save.”
  13. Your phone is now set up for MMS.

On Apple

  1. Open Settings: Tap the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  2. Find Safari: Scroll down and tap on “Safari.”
  3. Clear Browsing Data: Choose “Clear History and Website Data.”
  4. Confirm: Tap “Clear History and Data” to confirm and clear the cache.

Refresh Your SMSC

SMSC stands for “Short Message Service Center.” Messages do not go directly to the recipient. They route through the SMSC. Refreshing SMSC can be effective in addressing the MMS issues.

You can refresh your SMSC by following the steps listed below:

  • Dial ##4636## on your phone (not calling).
  • In the new screen, find the SMSC option and select ‘Refresh.’

Set Up SIM Card

To rectify the ‘Message Not Sent: Service Not Activated on Network’ error, it is crucial to set up your SIM card properly. It is particularly crucial for prepaid cards with limited MMS capabilities.

Follow these steps for setting up your SIM card, which is especially important for prepaid cards with limited MMS capabilities.

To activate, follow these steps:

  • Insert the SIM card and turn off your phone.
  • Turn it back on to ensure network bars are visible.
  • Disable Wi-Fi and check web access.
  • If needed, configure APN settings under Mobile Networks.

For a deeper understanding of this topic, explore our article: MMS APN Settings Guide

Recharge for Prepaid Phones

Check your plan’s MMS inclusion. Recharge or change plans to enable MMS if necessary.

Restart Your Smartphone

Restarting your smartphone can often resolve the “Message Not Sent: Service Not Activated on Network” problem.

Follow these steps to restart your Android or iOS device and potentially fix the issue with message sending.


  • A simple restart might resolve the issue. Power off for 5-10 seconds, then power on and retry sending the text message.
  • Hold down the side and volume down keys until the power off menu displays on the screen.
  • Then, choose ‘Power off’ to begin the shutdown process.


  • Press and hold either the volume button or the side button simultaneously until the power-off slider appears.
  • Drag the slider to turn off your device and wait 30 seconds.
  • To power your device back on, press and hold the side button (located on the right side of your iPhone) until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Clear Message App Cache

Clearing the message app’s cache can be a helpful step to troubleshoot the “Message Not Sent: Service Not Activated on Network” issue.

The steps to clear the cache for Android and iOS devices are below.

On Android

  • Open Settings: Tap on the “Settings” icon on your device.
  • Scroll down and select “Apps and Notifications” or a similar option, depending on your device’s settings layout.
  • Tap on “App Info” or a similar option that lists all your installed applications.
  • Locate the Messaging App: Scroll down or search for the “Messages” or “Messaging” app from the list of apps.
  • Tap on “Storage” within the Messaging app settings.
  • Look for the option that says “Clear Cache” and tap on it. Confirm any prompts if asked.


  • Access the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down the settings menu and locate the “Safari” option.
  • Tap on “Safari.” Inside the Safari settings, you will find an option named “Clear History and Website Data.” Select this option.
  • Confirm the prompt that appears next to initiate the clearing process.

Ensure You Are in a Coverage Area

An important aspect often overlooked is ensuring you are within a network coverage area to send messages. Here’s how you can verify and confirm your location:

  • Verify that your device shows network signal bars. If the signal strength is weak or absent, consider moving to an area with better network coverage.
  • If you are indoors or in an area where the network signals are usually weak, move closer to a window or an open space to improve connectivity.
  • Turn on and then off airplane mode on your device. This action can prompt your phone to reconnect to the nearest network tower, potentially resolving coverage issues.

If you are curious to learn more, we have written extensively about this in our article on Picture Message (MMS) Not Working: How to Fix it?

Contact Network Provider

If all other troubleshooting steps fail, it might be necessary to contact your network service provider for further assistance.

Here is what you can do.

Contact your network provider’s customer support. This can typically be done via phone or online chat.

Follow the instructions provided by the customer support representative to rectify the issue. They might perform troubleshooting steps from their end or offer specific advice tailored to your situation.

Contact Talk Home Mobile’s Customer Service for professional guidance or swift resolution. They are equipped to offer tailored assistance for their services.

Wrap Up

Mobile messaging glitches, such as the “Message not sent: service not activated on network” error and MMS issues, can be frustrating. This article explains practical solutions for Android and iOS users, aiming to tackle this common hiccup.

This article offers insights to resolve issues efficiently by addressing the causes behind these errors and providing step-by-step solutions. Moreover, knowing the importance of MMS settings, the role of the SMSC, and the need for an internet connection in multimedia messaging enhances users’ understanding of these features.

With clear instructions to adjust settings, refresh the SMSC, and rectify potential SIM card or prepaid service concerns, users can regain smooth messaging functionality.


Why is my SMSC disabled?

The SMSC (Short Message Service Center) on your device might be disabled due to distinct reasons. It could be mistakeably misconfigured or erased while making changes to telephony settings, such as downloading apps that change mobile settings without clear knowledge of their functions.

Modifications made to the default SMS app or disabling it might lead to the SMSC becoming inactive, as the default app usually can manage SMSC settings. This could render the device incapable of sending SMS messages.

Does MMS Need Internet Connection?

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) does require an internet connection for media transmission, unlike SMS (Short Message Service), which can be sent without an internet connection.

As MMS involves sending multimedia content such as images, videos, or audio, a data connection is necessary for transmitting these media files.

Generally, MMS messages are more expensive to send than traditional SMS messages due to the data used for transmitting media.

Why is my MMS not working on Android?”

MMS may stop working on your Android due to restricted data access, poor network connectivity, incorrect MMS settings, or an Android OS glitch.

To resolve this, ensure mobile data is enabled, reset network settings, check auto-download MMS settings, clear messaging app data, and reset APN settings.

If the issue persists, consider using tools to repair the Android operating system.

Can I Use MMS over WiFi?
No, MMS requires an enabled data connection to function. Unlike Wi-Fi calling, the data in MMS does not usually transmit over Wi-Fi.

However, some Android devices could send or receive MMS over a data connection earlier, even when Wi-Fi was enabled.


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