How to Fix Slow Messaging on Your Pixel

How to Fix Slow Messaging on Your Pixel
Photo: Tada Images, Shutterstock

Messaging is supposed to be instant: You send a message, and the recipient reads it in seconds. They send you a reply, you know what’s up moments later. But if your messages send and receive as if by horseback, things start to get frustrating. That’s what’s plaguing some Pixel users lately, as MMS messages with attachments, and even group chats, take forever to get to where they’re supposed to be.

This issue doesn’t seem to be a new one. It first came to my attention from this Reddit thread from Thursday, May 12, but there’s also this thread from four months ago which similarly bemoans slow attachments using a Pixel 6 Pro in Canada. Users across both threads expressed frustrations with slow messaging on their Pixels, ranging anywhere from 15 minutes to multiple hours. One user even complained their Galaxy S21 on T-Mobile suffered the same problem, so while the majority of cases seem to come from Pixels, the issue could extend beyond Google’s phones.

While it’s never fun to experience software issues like this one, especially when there’s no clear fix from Google in the pipeline, there are some workarounds you can try to speed up attachments and group chats.

Clear your messaging app’s cache

The first thing you should try to do is clear your messaging cache. It’s possible there’s too much messaging data stored on your phone that’s keeping attachments from receiving properly. To do so, force close your messaging app, go to Settings > Apps, choose your particular messaging app, then Storage & cache. Try clearing the cache first by tapping “Clear cache.” If it doesn’t work, you can try “Clear storage.” (This option won’t erase your messages, but it will reset the app, so you’ll need to log back in if necessary.)

Switch between 5G and LTE to force the messages to move

If clearing cache and data doesn’t solve your problem, you might want to try switching between 5G and 4G to get the messages to send or receive. This trick has been effective, but it certainly isn’t convenient. To swap, go to Settings > Network & internet > SIMs > Preferred network type, then tap “LTE.” When your messages send, switch back to 5G (until the problem appears again, of course).

Temporarily swap out your Pixel’s default messaging app

If things are still wonky, try swapping out your default messaging app, even for a short period of time. Like the last step, this one can be a pain in the arse, but it might be worth a shot. You can change your default messaging app from Settings > Apps > Default apps > SMS app. Now, choose the app you’d like to switch to.

Reset your Pixel to factory settings

You can try swapping your SIM out, but none of the commenters who tried that method reported success, so it might not be worth your time and effort. If all else fails, your best bet might be resetting your phone to factory settings. We’ve talked about why a reset can be good for your tech, and it could root out whatever issue is causing these messaging delays.

You could always try a traditional reset from Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset). But if you really want to make sure your Pixel gets a fresh version of Android to work with, you could follow user FRDFRDFRH’s advice and flash a factory image to your Pixel. Going this route is much more technical than a simple factory reset, so if you choose to do so, make sure to read through Google’s instructions carefully. This may be the step that solves your problem, however. At least it did for FRDFRDFRH.

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