Moto G3 not always getting texts

I’ve read some of the older questions relating to this issue, but not finding the answer we need yet. Our Moto G3 phone is struggling with texts. This is true for group texts, SMS and MMS. It had been working fine, but it has started to go downhill in the last few months. Texts being sent stay in “sending” mode for a long time, and texts being received either don’t come through at all, or stay in “downloading” mode. This happens when on wifi AND when on cell. But it’s not consistent - sometimes texts will come in, but other times they won’t.

The Republic Wireless app is updated. The texting app is Google Messages. Older questions suggested using Republic Anywhere, but it looks like that app is no longer offered in the play store.

Cache has been cleared, extra text strands have been deleted, photos and audio have been moved off of the phone. We have restarted the phone several times.

Short of doing a factory reset, are there any other suggestions? Trying to see if this is a solve-able issue or if a new phone is required.
This phone is currently on the refund plan.

Thank you so much!

Thanks for documenting the approach to the problem you have taken and documented so well. Unfortunately you didn’t leave much left to try :frowning:

  • I would make sure that Google Messages is at the latest version, this can be done by the following
    • :settingsicon: Android Settings / Apps & Notifications/ :messages: Messages / :dots: Menu / Uninstall Updates/ re-boot the phone then Google Play and update Messages to the latest 4.7.058
  • If this doesn’t help, then boot up in Safe Mode and run for a period of time to test. (this will not disable Google Messages as it is a native app)

If you want to give Republic Anywhere a shot, here is a workaround to install it on your phone.


Hi @tanyar.shuz3w,

Any time the legacy phones start to act up, clearing the cache is a painless step that can solve a host of odd quirks.

How much available memory does the phone have?

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Thanks, @jben. We are updated to the latest version of Messages. We’ve done several reboots, but never in safe mode. I can try that. I’m guessing it would need to stay in that mode for several days to test?

Hi @southpaw. We’ve cleared out the cache from the storage section of settings. I will do the bigger cache wipe you are suggesting.
It’s only a 16GB phone, and there is 4.66GB left on it. But to be fair, it’s been that way since the beginning - we haven’t really changed that many apps and we periodically remove/back up photos anyway, so it’s always been about 11 and a half GB taken and about 4 and a half GB free.

Just until it fails, or if no failure … whenever your ready to reboot and then start the procedure of getting rid of apps.

Have you noticed a pattern in when they fall silent or when they suddenly start working again? For example, does it happen when you go from an area weaker to stronger cellular signal? Do you see 3G or LTE on top of your cellular signal? If you don’t mind sharing your zip code we can take a look at the cellular coverage in your area. Also, if you haven’t done it in a while…doing a PRL update might be worthwhile.

When you are on WiFi and you experience this issue…is the Republic Wireless notification arc fully filled in?

Also, if you can jog your memory about any recent changes to your Google settings? Any restriction of background data etc…which may seem benign but could have impact on text behavior.

We are in 91104
It says LTE
Wireless arc fully filled
I don’t THINK we’ve made any changes to settings.
I haven’t noticed it worse in poorer signal areas vs stronger areas. Seems to just do it randomly. IF there is a pattern, it happens most often with a group text.
PRL is updated

First, let me say that you have been very thorough in your initial analysis and responses.

Have you tried the suggestion of putting your phone in Safe Mode? Here’s a help article on apps that could potentially be an issue.

The android cache clear is also worth trying.

I doubt going the Anywhere route will help much. Usually that one works better for flaky coverage…but that doesn’t appear to be the issue in your case. The one advantage of trying Anywhere is you could test if you get different behavior on the phone relative to the companion desktop app.

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Here’s a link to the Anywhere download

Thank you for the list of 3rd party apps - that’s interesting. We don’t happen to have any of those, but I found some of those to be surprising.

I put it in safe mode and sent that phone a group text and a single text. Both texts came in, although after a minute or so delay (I was sitting right next to my modem at the computer). The group text did not show up in the G3’s group text chain, though. It showed up as a single SMS from me. The other phones in the group got it though (testing using the various phones in the family).

I took it off of safe mode and did the same thing. The group text showed up in the G3’s group text chain this time, and the single SMS went through, but still a little delay. (Still sitting next to the modem at the computer as I type to you).

So, although the phone seems to be getting texts at this moment (although that group text that didn’t go into the correct conversation chain was kind of weird), it also still has texts from people sitting in “download” mode for a couple of days that can’t seem to come out. I have a feeling that although they look like individual texts from people, they are probably part of that group text chain that hasn’t been coming in consistently.

I’ve done the android cache wipe that @southpaw recommended.

My daughter uses this phone and she’s getting sort of frustrated. The main reason we need the phone is for communication, and that’s the part that seems to be failing.

All the ones that are sitting as individual SMS outside the group conversation are messages that are not fully downloaded to the phone. Once they do they will move to the group text conversation. It is a bit a mystery why they are stuck in this state with a filled in arc and/or a cell signal with good data connectivity as indicated by the LTE on the cell signal.

I think, at this point installing Republic Anywhere using the instructions above is worth a shot. Once you install it and set it to default SMS app…there is a setting in there to re-sync messages from server…this option deletes all old messages and re-syncs the messages from the last 30 days which is what is saved on RW servers.

This might kick it out of the state that is stuck in with some stale messages that never fully downloaded.

If saving older SMS/MMS messages is important to you…you can create a backup using an app such as before you do the resync option from the Anywhere app

Some additional out of the box thinking

a) Try to limit your phone to WiFi only mode by placing the phone in airplane mode and then turn WiFi back on. This will keep the cellular signal off and help you check
if it works any better when it is purely in WiFi only mode.

b) Repeat the same for cellular only mode by switching off your WiFi and see if that makes a difference.

My daughter is not real happy with the idea of losing older texts. I think because of these tech issues, she doesn’t trust that the back up app will actually work!

I did download republic anywhere, and I made it the default app. But that showed fewer texts than Google did (they were there but in the form of boxes with x inside, probably because an emoticon was in the text). I haven’t done the re-sync.

On the same topic, but also changing slightly: why does a phone that behaved well suddenly stop behaving? In my world, it’s not that old (I know techie people would argue that it IS old). I don’t see why I would need to change out a phone every few years. Seems like they should last longer?

So… I feel a bit like I’m trying to keep something alive but losing the battle :worried:

Want to clarify, I’m not trying to whine or be critical. Sometimes the way things are written don’t come across as intended. Please forgive me if I sound negative. I don’t mean to be.

I don’t personally use that app…but several community members have claimed good success using that app for backup and restore of SMS/MMS messages. Perhaps some of them can chime in with their experience with the app if that helps.

Anywhere is able to display emoticons… so it is not clear what is causing this issue.
I just went back and forth between anywhere and messages and all the texts that include emoticons are displayed completely without any issues.

That issue notwithstanding…did you try to send and receive messages while Anywhere was your default app? Did you see any change in behavior for new messages? Anywhere also has a companion desktop app that you can install on a laptop or similar device and try to send and receive messages through that interface and see if you get any different behavior over there.

I think the key here is to find root cause which unfortunately is proving elusive in this case. Hardware failure is usually more dramatic…so I am still hopeful that this might be fixable.

Does data work ok for other applications? For example, emails,etc. Do you have any cellular data included in your plan…or is it the base plan with only talk and text?

No need to apologize! We are all members here trying to help each other out.

Sounds like you have done most of the steps in this…but sometimes it helps to go step by step through them…so you may want to re-visit this help document

Emails come through, although it seems a bit slow. Most of the apps work except that they do seem to be taking longer to load. A few apps were definitely glitching and those have been uninstalled. We have the refund plan on this phone.

I did not try and send any texts. I don’t think any new texts came in while we were using that app.

I noticed that motorola has the G6 on sale right now for $150ish. I’m wondering if that would be a good option since we don’t know what’s going on with the G3.

Thank you!! I really do appreciate the help that people give each other on this site! Thanks for the article on troubleshooting texts.

Thank you to everyone who worked and thought to help me with this problem.

I don’t want you all to think that I’m giving up, but part of me is giving up. My hubby and I were talking, and the main reason we have the phone is for reliable communication with my daughter. If she’s not getting texts consistently, that is problematic because that’s the main way we communicate with each other for transportation communication, etc. I know that we can continue to work on this issue, but because we don’t know when it’s going to work and when it isn’t, we don’t feel comfortable with the phone in the condition that it is. She babysits too, and those parents need to be able to get a hold of her consistently and vice versa.
So, we will take advantage of the sale at Motorola.

Thank you again. I do appreciate your time and efforts.

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I wouldn’t consider it giving up, just facing reality
I personally would do a Factory Reset at this point. The reference doc is very complete on what precautions to take. This would totally restore the phone to its base state as if you just unboxed it, (only 4+ years older).

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Fingers crossed that the coverage will be better and not worse! Coverage can be spotty at times in our area; considering how densely populated this area is I am surprised when this happens. But, we are happy with the price, and our phones usually do what we need them to do, so it works out. :slight_smile:
Thanks for the link in case we need it.

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