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T-Mobile issues fix for IMS error that rendered many LG phones useless

LG V50
LG V50 (Image credit: Android Central)

Update (May 27, 12:25 pm ET): T-Mobile has provided customers with detailed instructions on how to apply the fix.

What you need to know

  • T-Mobile has addressed a software-related problem that rendered many LG phones unusable.
  • Owners of LG phones on the carrier's network were greeted with a persistent IMS error message, preventing them from using their devices.
  • T-Mobile may be to blame for the issue.

LG officially ended its smartphone business (opens in new tab) more than a year ago, but the company continues to push security updates to eligible phones and has even recently detailed its upcoming Android 12 update plans (opens in new tab) for selected devices. Unfortunately, a recent network update has rendered many old LG phones inoperable.

It appears T-Mobile inadvertently caused the issue, and the carrier has now fixed it. According to The T-Mo Report blog site (opens in new tab), T-Mobile has rolled out a fix for the error message that prevented many LG phone owners from using their handsets. If you are one of those affected, you should restart your device to apply the fix.

The bug affected the IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) service and persistently pushed pop-up alerts on screen with an error message stating "the LG IMS has stopped," making it impossible to use affected devices. For those who are unfamiliar, IMS is the framework in charge of handling text messages and phone calls over an IP network.

A considerable number of LG phone users who own many of the best LG phones (opens in new tab), including the LG G-series, V-series, and the LG Velvet (opens in new tab), were greeted with the IMS error message. Complaints poured in on sites like Reddit (opens in new tab) and Twitter (opens in new tab).

Neither closing the pop-up message nor resetting an affected phone did anything to banish the problem. Some users were able to find a temporary solution by removing the SIM card, but inserting it again resulted in the same error message.

T-Mobile's support team on Twitter told customers that it was aware of the issue and that it would release a fix soon. The problem has apparently been caused by a network-side system update rolled out by T-Mobile. The carrier discovered the bug only after the update was already deployed.

While the issue has now been fixed, it highlights the risk of continuing to use a smartphone that no longer receives support from the manufacturer.

Update

T-Mobile has officially acknowledged the recent IMS bug that occurred on many LG phones after it pushed a network settings update.

Below are the steps to apply the fix:

  1. From your list of apps, tap the "Settings" gear.
  2. Either select "System" or choose the "General" tab.
  3. Choose Update Center > App Updates.
  4. Select "Download for LG IMS Improved" and wait for the update to complete.
  5. Press and hold the power key, then choose to restart your device.

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.