Google Messages won't let RCS chats go through on rooted Android phones

Google Messages RCS chatting on a Pixel 4a.
(Image credit: Android Central)

Update (March 2, 4:26 am ET): Google confirms the move to block RCS on rooted devices is part of its efforts to combat spam.

What you need to know

  • Multiple users have reported issues with RCS on rooted Android phones, where they can't send or receive RCS messages even if a rooted phone passes checks.
  • Google seems to be implementing Play Integrity API attestation checks specifically on the Google Messages app.
  • Google Messages doesn't provide warnings despite claims of phone connectivity to RCS, leaving users unaware of chat issues.

Google is getting stricter with rooted Android phones, as it appears to be preventing people from using the RCS feature on Google Messages.

On a Reddit thread and Google Messages support page, many users complained that RCS is acting up on their rooted Android phones. Some have started griping about it as far back as late 2023. Even if the rooted phone manages to get past the checks, the user is unable to send or receive RCS messages.

Zeroing in on the details, it seems like Google is rolling out Play Integrity API "attestation checks" specifically on the Messages app, according to Mishaal Rahman.

In one instance, RCS messages would mysteriously disappear after being sent. Numerous accounts also point out that Google Messages didn't throw any signals that RCS chat had hit a snag, even though the app claimed the phone was connected to RCS.

On the flip side, tech-savvy users with know-how about rooting have come up with a pretty simple solution, which boils down to sidestepping the Play Integrity API.

Android Central reached out to Google for comment and will update this article once we receive a response.

In a statement to 9to5Google, a spokesperson from the company mentioned that the search giant is making sure devices sending or receiving messages adhere to the operational guidelines set by the RCS standard. This move is aimed at curbing spam and abuse on Google Messages.

If your rooted phone can't use RCS, it's supposed to switch over to SMS/MMS by default. But, according to some users, this backup plan didn't kick in for their ongoing chats, leaving them in the dark about texts from the other side.

Naturally, if you decide to root your phone, you're likely to encounter a bunch of problems. Apps like Google Wallet and banking applications might throw in the towel since your device will not pass the Play Integrity API test. Usually, Google sends you a warning message clarifying that your device isn't supported.

It's understandable for Google to shut the door on banking apps and payment features for safety reasons when it comes to rooted devices. However, cutting off crucial communication functions on your phone without a heads-up feels like a bit much for many users.


Google says blocking RCS features on phones with tweaked settings (rooted) is to fight spam.

"As we fight spammers and fraudsters, we take into account different indicators," a Google representative told Android Central. "A large volume of RCS spam comes from automation, which typically relies on modifications to the sending device."

Google says it keeps updating its spam-fighting tactics to stay ahead of spammers who keep changing their tricks. "We will continue to look for ways to prevent spam and fraud while minimizing the number of users affected," the spokesperson said.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • cribble2k
    Is there a reason to "Root" these days? I think the last time I rooted anything was with the Pixel 2xl.
  • mustang7757
    Back in the days rooting was fun but nothing I need it for now so no I don't root anymore.
  • Village_Idiot
    Same here. I had to root my Galaxy Nexus to use Google Wallet other features because Verizon locked them down. Verizon got kicked in the nuts for it. I haven't needed to root a phone for over 10 years.