Fix for delayed text messages (SMS and MMS) on Android

Recently, my mobile device manufacturer (OnePlus) decided to roll out updates to a new version of their Android-based operating system (OxygenOS) to use Android 11. After this particular update, I noticed a big delay in sending and receiving text messages (both SMS and MMS). At first I thought it was simply a temporary problem, but it didn’t go away. Doing some troubleshooting, I figured that it had to be related to one of three things:

  • A problem with my carrier (Deutsche Telekom)
  • A problem with the version of the Android 11 ‘Messages’ app
  • A problem with a setting that was silently changed during the update to Android 11

I tried installing a different messaging app called Textra (which, by the way, I liked so much that I have continued using it), but that didn’t fix the problem. I confirmed that it wasn’t a carrier problem by asking some friends who also use the same provider, and their messaging was immediate as it should be. That left option #3 as the likely culprit.

After modifying several settings without finding a fix, I started delving a little more deeply into potential problems. That’s when I remembered that there are “secret codes” that you can enter using your dialler that can help with troubleshooting (see this article for a listing of some of them). The one that I wanted was for testing the carrier settings, and it can be accessed by going to your dialler and entering:

*#*#4636#*#*

On the resulting screen, tap “Phone information” and scroll to the bottom to tap the “Trigger Operator Provisioning” button (note that your screen may look a little different):

Android carrier settings screen
Click to enlarge

After doing so, my text messaging (both SMS and MMS) started working again without any delay.

Cheers,

Zach

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