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Google Messages is experiencing issues connecting to RCS for many users

RCS settings in Google Messages
RCS settings in Google Messages (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Users are complaining about RCS randomly losing connection in Google Messages.
  • Google Messages will reportedly fail to reestablish connection for many users.
  • The problem has been reported since at least June, with assurances that Google is reportedly working on it.

Google Messages is one of the best text messaging apps for Android thanks to its ability to use Rich Communication Services (RCS) for a better out-of-the-box texting experience across many Android devices. However, it's less than ideal when RCS features break and users are left unable to connect, which is apparently what's been happening lately.

Multiple users across Reddit and the Google Messages support forum have complained that the app will randomly stop connecting to RCS and won't reestablish a connection. Users find that their connection status is left on "Connecting..." or "Waiting to verify..." without the app actually completing either step.

Some users have been met with a notice that "Chat features unavailable for this device," despite the feature working previously on the same smartphone.

This leaves users on SMS texting as a fallback and without many of the features RCS is known for, such as typing indicators, high-resolution media, and reactions. Some messages also end up getting stuck in RCS limbo while the app attempts to reconnect.

We've reached out to Google to inquire as to whether or not a solution was being actively worked on. While we did not immediately receive a response by the time of publication, it appears Google is aware of the problem, and a spokesperson told Android Police that the company was working to minimize the frequency of the connection issues.

It may not be very reassuring, and there doesn't appear to be a timeline of when users can expect things to get better, however, some users have already identified possible solutions that have had mixed success. One community post highlights one method that involves turning off Chat features for 10 days before clearing app cache and data for Google Messages and Carrier Services, then restarting the phone before attempting to reconnect.

Users can also try unregistering their number to turn RCS off using this form before trying to enable RCS Chat features in Google Messages at another time.

That said, the various methods found in the community posts don't seem to work for everyone, but they may be worth trying out if you're desperate to get RCS working again.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

8 Comments
  • I've experienced some issues connecting at times. The problem is that I don't usually notice it until I look to see why the other person hasn't responded only to find my message wasn't sent. Simply rebooting seems to fix it for me every time but I shouldn't have to do that obviously.
  • I've been having this issue for at least 6 months. RCS will randomly say connecting, then says trying to verify. It usually takes a couple weeks before it works again.
  • In several months using Messages I have never successfully enabled 'chat feature'. it is always stuck at trying to verify. Google Play support sent me a long to some troubleshooting steps, none of which worked.
  • Yep. Pretty much the case until recently on my Android device. Now no more issues. I'm getting Status: Connected (highlighted in green), with the adage "Chat features are ready to use..". Honestly I'm still not sure what RCS does, LOL...but hey it's there...so that's good...I guess?!
  • I like RCS as a concept but in practice there are too many issues. Users should never be in a position where they cannot send/receive text messages.
  • LOL and this is why I stick with SMS, in all the years I have used SMS, I think I can count on one hand when I have had problems sending or receiving messages and most of them was due to the lack of signal. As for Google Messages is one of the best text messaging apps for Android, maybe, but I prefer Textra.
  • Using Google Messages I connected to RCS as soon as it was offered. Never had a problem since. Even got a new phone and as soon as I installed Messages the chat features took less than a minute to set up.
  • Moto OG Stylus still have issues with this........ This Thanksgiving weekend was not connected I have to force stop messages and clear cache then force stop carrier services clear data restart phone then hope for the best