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Troubleshooting Group Messaging

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Last updated by Isabel M

If you're having trouble sending group text (SMS) messages, you may need to update your account and messaging app settings.

When you send a text message to multiple recipients, most smartphones will send it as one message rather than several individual messages. In order to send it as one group message though, the message has to be converted to a multimedia or MMS message, even though there is no picture or video attachment. Some phones make this very obvious by actually telling you it's converting the message to MMS as soon as it detects that there are multiple recipients.

When you send group messages as MMS, it keeps the replies in one thread on your phone. It also doesn't count towards your text messaging usage, so you won't see those messages reflected in the text messaging detail on your monthly bill.

Since the group message is sent as an MMS message, it incurs data usage and will show up on your monthly bill like the image below:

 

If you set your phone to send messages to multiple recipients as several individual messages, this will count as separate text messages and you'll see that reflected in your usage detail like this (depending on your messaging app):

1. Group messaging settings on your account

In order to send a group text as one message, you'll first need to ensure that you have both data and MMS messaging enabled on your account.

1. Group messaging settings on your account

2. Group messaging settings on your phone

Once you've got data and MMS messaging enabled on your account, you'll want to ensure that the group MMS option in your phone's messaging app is enabled.

Follow the directions below that apply to your phone.

Of course, if you want to want to send group messages as individual text messages on your phone, just follow these directions and disable the option instead.

While these directions are for the native messaging apps on these phones, they apply to similar messaging apps as well, including Google Hangouts.

Android
iOS
Windows

Android

  1. Go to the main screen of your messaging app and tap the menu icon or menu key (on the bottom of the phone); then tap Settings.
  2. If Group Messaging isn't in this first menu it may be in the SMS or MMS menus. In the example below, it's found in the MMS menu.
  3. Under Group Messaging, enable MMS.

Pictured:  HTC One M8 running KitKat 4.4.2



iOS

  1. Go to the phone's Settings
  2. Tap Messages
  3. Enable Group Messaging

Pictured:  iPhone 4 running iOS 7.1



Windows

  1. Go to the main screen of your messaging app and tap the menu icon; then tap Settings.
  2. Under Group text, enable MMS.

Pictured:  HTC 8XT running Windows 8.0

 

 

Feature phones and other messaging apps

If you have a feature phone, this shouldn't be an issue since feature phones will split group messages into individual messages by default. Additionally, if you're using a messaging app like What's App or any number of others, this should not be an issue.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Kathleen Vo

    With group messaging enabled is there a way to send a message to multiple recipients in a form that its not a group message? 

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hey Kathleen. Messages sent to multiple recipients will be sent as group messages.  To send the same message to multiple contacts individually, you would need to send them as individual messages to each of your contacts separately.

  • Avatar
    Lori Foraker

    My samsung galaxy s3 will not send the group text if the group text box is clicked.  It gives an error that message not send after a while.  If I uncheck the box,  the texts go through in individual texts to each recipients and back to me as same...it is strange bc my son has the exact same phone and his group texts get sent ok... any suggestions??

  • Avatar
    Ting Help

    Hi Lori!  I see you've opened up a help request - please keep an eye on your email as I've just replied to you there!

  • Avatar
    Carter Nelms

    Just checked my account and my phone for these settings. Everything was already enabled, but group texts still fail. What is next?

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi Carter, 

    I suggest running a profile update on your device. You can find the steps to do that by going here. If the issue persists, feel free to contact our support team for further assistance!

  • Avatar
    Joseph Shelley

    I see that currently this feild in my control panel just says "picture & video messaging" ( does not say "group" along with it ). I wanted to block receiving group texts by turning this field off. But doesn't seem to stop the incoming group texts (mms). Anything else i can do to disable them?

  • Avatar
    Brad W

    Hey Joseph,

    Are you logged into your account at ting.com or on the mobile application? If you are on the website you would go to device settings > click edit beside the device you want to turn the feature off for and then on the next screen scroll down to the "Megabytes" section and you'll see the feature "Can send/receive pictures, videos and group messages"

    Turning that off will stop any MMS messages from coming through (picture and group), normal SMS would still be able to come through to the phone.

    If you are using an iPhone MMS would still be able to come through the phone when you are connected to Wifi as iMessage sends everything out as an MMS.

  • Avatar
    Joseph Shelley

    Thanks Brad!

    I see the difference now between the mobile and web page. But now looking at the web page control panel I have the "Can send/receive pictures, videos and group messages" set to OFF for a particular phone in my account. But it is still receiving group texts. It apparently is blocking replying to a group text and sending a single text with a picture attached (which is right), but is still allowing the phone to receive them. It has been about 5 hours since I turned the setting off. Would it take more time to be effective? Btw, this is just android devices over cell signal.

    Edited by Joseph Shelley
  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hey Joseph,

    After making any changes to your device settings, it's a good idea to restart your device (you can also run a profile update (settings > system updates) on your phone to be safe as well) to make sure that the changes take into effect.

    Hope that helps!

  • Avatar
    anthony amers

    I am trying to enable group text and under messaging in my device setting there is no option to do so. I only have the option to enable send/receive text messages. Can anyone help?

    Edited by anthony amers
  • Avatar
    Jamie Duncan

    Hey Anthony.

    It sounds like your device is on the GSM network which means that you would just need to enter in your APN settings. Here are the instructions on how to set it up for all 3 potential devices it could be:

    https://help.ting.com/hc/en-us/articles/205428708-GSM-iOS-APN-Settings

    https://help.ting.com/hc/en-us/articles/205428698-GSM-Android-APN-Settings

    https://help.ting.com/hc/en-us/articles/205428678-GSM-Windows-APN-Settings

  • Avatar
    Rick McKay

    I checked with Ting support and was told that 10 recipients per group SMS/MMS message is the limit. Can I get a better explanation as to why? A lot of folks I message include more than 10 recipients, and because of this I can't reply to everyone on the text thread.

    Edited by Rick McKay
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