Hangouts SMS option

Don't want your text messages going to Google Hangouts? There's an easy way to go back to your old Messaging app

As of version 2.0, the Google Hangouts app for Android can handle SMS messages as well as regular instant messages. When you start it up for the first time you'll be asked if you want to use Hangouts for SMS or not. Tap yes and your existing messages are imported into the app, and you'll receive future SMS notifications through Hangouts instead of your preloaded SMS app. Tap "Maybe later" and you'll continue using your preloaded Messaging app.

But what if you've tried it and want out? Well, turns out there's a simple way to disable SMS in Hangouts and go back to using the built-in app.


To disable SMS in Hangouts after you've enabled it — or enable it after you've chosen not to — head to:

  1. Menu (press the menu button on some phones, use the three dots in the top right corner on others)
  2. Settings > SMS
  3. Under "General," toggle "Turn on SMS" to enable or disable this feature.

After disabling Hangouts your built-in SMS app (usually "Messages" or "Messaging" in the app drawer) will handle text messages.

Note: If you're using a "stock" Android device like the Nexus 5, with Android 4.4 KitKat, you'll see an "SMS Enabled" button instead of the option above. Tap that to go to "Wireless & networks" menu where you can select a default SMS app — choose between Hangouts and any third-party SMS app you might have downloaded from the Play Store.


Reader comments

How to disable SMS messages in Hangouts


But for how long can we do it before it becomes mandatory and we have no choice anymore? (As seems to be the case on many platforms with updates)

That was a really interesting article. I didn't, however, see anywhere information in there that would lead me to believe that Google would block the use of third party app substitutes. For me, the draw of android is that if you don't like the way Google's version of something works you can find an android compliant third party version that offers different interfaces or methods of use. If Google put a stop to that then, well, I would heavily consider not using their platform.

Have they done that with ant of their other first party apps/services? AFAIK we've always been able to (and still can) choose our default maps app, gallery app, browser, mail client, keyboard, etc etc.

Haha of course one of the only few people who use Linux here would be paranoid about an operating system being locked down and choices being restricted!!!! Pleaaaase you guys....All I see from that ridiculous article from arstechnica is the guy blabbing on about open source and how Google dropped the open sourced projects to make a proprietary, closed-source product! Who cares??? Companies do this all of the time, it does NOT mean whatsoever that we won't have freedom to choose different apps on our phones. This is Google....Not Microsoft.

I like the new hangouts but I've grown fond of the messaging app built into my G2. I'm glad it can easily be turned off and on.

Posted via G2 Android Central App

I think there is a bug in the tablet version of hangouts.

In the phone version, If I'm in a hangout with one person, and decide to send a message to another person, (without adding them to make a group chat), I can just hit the Back arrow at the top of left of the chat.

That back arrow never appears on the tablet version, and the only way to get out of a conversation to start another, is to close the app.

What Am I missing?

Yeah, the tablet app acts a little differently than the phone app I've noticed. You can always swipe the conversation to the right and then it gives you the list of open conversations you have and if you click the + you can start a new hangout.

I just got my Nexus 5 yesterday and noticed that if I didn't want to use hangouts, I would have to download a third party app. So I figured I would give hangouts a chance and see if I can get used to it handling SMS. Really isn't bad at all so thinking I'll just stick with it.

My only beef so far is the fact that stock Android uses the same volume for both ringer and notifications, but THAT is a simple fix with third party apps.

Long live Nexus! lol

Posted via Android Central App

My friend you don't even need a third party app for that. Just go into any app settings menu, and customize your ringer for that app!

Posted via Android Central App

I personally would rather have them linked because I usually would have them both the same volume anyways. That being said, I love that you can almost always get that third party app solution!

This is wierd I dont see the option to send text iether. I could do it in the leaked version I dont understand its says new update but nithing changes .. rooted note 2

Posted via Android Central App

If you have a hangout open, you can only send by what ever means that hangout was started with.

But when starting a new hangout from your contacts, after you select the person, but before you send any text, tap the pull down containing the person's name. It will offer hangouts or sms.

I'm still adjusting to texting with hangouts but I think I'm going to like it, clearly needs some work though

I don't mind using Hangouts for SMS and MMS on my Nexus 5. I was using it on my Nexus 4 after the apk was leaked.

Posted via Android Central App

updated the app but no SMS options, i don't understand how everyone else is doing it it says version 2.0 but it looks and acts exactly the same with no SMS options.

It did the same for me on my note 3. Got the update but nothing changed in the app itself haha

Posted from my Galaxy Note 3

Updates are being pushed to different devices at different times. It might say 2.0 in the play store but if you open hangouts, hit the overflow, settings, then about hangouts it will say what version it is. My play store says 2.0 but my app says 1.2something.

For some reason, I can't get the notifications to work. When I try to verify my phone number, it says that the number is verified. When I go to do it again, it still has my phone number with a question mark asking if I would like to verify. I will get a new text message but the will not be anything there in the notification bar. Please help. Thanks in advance.

Do you have another SMS app installed? Handcent and Go SMS steals the system's notifications for some reason.

Anyone notice that Hangouts for some reason has lower resolution images for MMS than other apps? If you save the images they also don't contain EXIF data. If you use another SMS app the saved images will be in full resolution received and contain any EXIF data received.

How do I do this? I can tap the photo and press the three dots and say save. I don't see anything else. If I hold the message there's no get higher quality. If I press View Details it says 394 KB. When I tap it the photo is not very high quality and if I save it it only saves at 84 KB. If I use 8SMS to view the picture it's high quality and saving it, it's 384KB.

I'm having equally strange results.

Hangouts seems to upconvert all pictures to 1080x810 when it saves them - the two I tested were were 640x480 and 1024x768 originally (as confirmed with the same message from 8sms and even another device).

In addition, the higher-resolution versions produced by Hangouts has smaller file sizes.

Think I'll pass on Hangouts until they sort out the kinks.

here's what i had to do, give it a try, although mine was also an LG G2 from verizon

1) click on your settings wherever you may have put it.
2)scroll down to application manager
3)click on application manager
4)page over right twice to get to the all page
5)scroll down to hangouts and click on it
6)disable hangouts and be back with your old messaging which you know and love

What about the opposite? Is there any way to force enable SMS on the LTE Nexus 7? The stock SMS apk sideloads and runs just fine, but the upgrade would be nice.

hangouts still need to improve to make it a viable sms app. essential features like blocking numbers is missing. another thing that that i've experienced is that unless the phone number is listed in its international format, hangouts will not recognise it and display the number instead of the person who is sending the sms in the header. so no, i went back to stock sms for now.

my LG G2 VS980 gave me a hard time too this is what i had to do

1) click on your settings wherever you may have put it.
2)scroll down to application mannager
3)click on application mannager
4)page over right twice to get to the all page
5)scroll down to hangouts and click on it
6)disable hangouts and be back with your old messaging which you know and love

Also, when you send a mms picture, the other person gets the picture sideways. Also, you can't attach voice memos..? I really like the concept but they need to get this all figured out before they replace the current sms app. Jiff's alone are not enough to make me change over.

I don't have those options available in my settings in the app. Where do I go to find them.

Posted via Android Central App

I have a Nexus 5 and like Ninja SMS, which works great but the messages still go to hangouts. When I go into the Default SMS area, Ninja isn't listed even though it's installed and running. Only Hangouts is listed.

Nice tips! It seems that Android 4.4 Kitkat allow user to use the 3rd-party sms apps instead of the official one. I think it is awesome!! BTW, I don't know how to recover deleted sms from Android phone without backup, I just found a program which announces it can recover deleted sms here:, however, it just can get back deleted sms on rooted phone. My phone(Sony Xperia Z) haven't, can you give me some guides?

Tried it, but it wouldn't show the messages. Got the notifications, but just couldn't ever see the actual messages. Samsung Galaxy S3

Okay, well I tried it, but was dumb and didn't back up my sms messages first. Now none of my old conversations are in my standard phone messager. They all still show up in my hangouts page. Why did Hangouts clear all of my conversations? Can I save them to my computer somehow, at least?

I, quite simply and very seriously, am too old to be using an app called "hangouts". You are, too, if your age begins with the number number 2 or larger...

I want to control what name and picture appears on an SMS. I do not want to use my standard google phone info and picture when texting strangers. Is there a way to change what goes out with an SMS as sender? I have a nexus 5

Here's a dilema: When I want to send a text to a contact it won't allow me unless I enable sms in Hangouts. Anyone know a fix for this?