How to Manually Enable RCS on Android Right Now

How to Manually Enable RCS on Android Right Now
Photo: Sharaf Maksumov, <a href="">Shutterstock</a>

It’s been a while since Google announced plans to push RCS adoption so that Android users could finally move on from the outdated SMS technology, but most users are stuck waiting for their mobile carriers to flip the switch at some point in 2020—that is, unless you decide to take matters into your own hands and flip those switches yourself.

If you’re not sure what RCS is or why you would want to enable it, our RCS primer has all the details, but the most important reason is that RCS text messages are better and support far more features than SMS does. You know how Apple’s iMessage lets you see when your friends are typing or carry on conversations across multiple devices? RCS lets Android users finally do both—plus tons more—in their core texting app.

Google updated the Android messages app with RCS support a while back, but it’s up to each mobile carrier to enable it on its network. However, Android Police recently reported that Reddit users have successfully enabled RCS features in their Android Messages app without needing carrier approval. The process might take a few tries before it sticks, but it seems to work for most Android devices running a variety of Android versions.

How to manually enable RCS messaging on Android

  1. You’ll need to shut off your device’s Wi-Fi during this process. Swipe down on your phone’s screen to show the quick settings and notifications menu, then find and tap the “Wi-Fi” shortcut to disable it.

  2. Next, open the Activity Launcher app and select “All Activities” from the drop-down menu.

  3. Tap “Messages” then scroll down and tap “Set RCS Flags.”

  4. Scroll down to “ACS Url” and select” from the drop-down menu.

  5. Next, in the “OTP Pattern” drop-down menu, select “Your\sMessenger\sverification\scode\sis\sG-(\d{6}).”

  6. Scroll down and tap “Apply.”

  7. Force close the Messages app, then re-open it. If there’s a banner asking you to “Upgrade Now” so you can see what your friends are typing, tap “Upgrade Now.” If not, refer to the steps above and double-check you didn’t miss anything.

After you have upgraded, you can tap “…” > Settings > Chat features in the Messages app to see which RCS features are available for you. If you are shown a warning message at the top of the screen, it may mean your phone number cannot be verified—don’t worry, though, this is fixable. First, make sure you followed the above steps correctly. If that doesn’t solve anything, try each of the following fixes until you find one that works

  • Force close Messages again, re-open it, then reboot your phone.

  • Install the “Carrier Services” app if you haven’t already, then go to Settings and search for “All Apps.” Find Carrier Services and clear its app data.

  • In the Messages app, go to “…” > Settings > Chat features > Status: Setting up then tap “Verify,” and type in your phone number.

This article has been updated since its original publication.


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