Error 96 Encoding Problem in Messages App [Easy Fix]

Have you encountered error 96 while attempting to send a text on the Messages app of your Android phone? This issue commonly occurs on Android phones, but its causes are varied which means there are a number of potential methods to resolving this issue. This article will expand on the causes of error 96 and outline a few simple troubleshooting methods to resolve the issue.

What is Error 96?

Error 96 is an error in the messaging service built into Android phones. It creates a failure in the messaging service, rendering your phone unable to send messages to another person’s phone through the messaging app. However, it does not affect your ability to receive messages through the messaging app. While this error is exclusive to Android phones, it is not exclusive to any particular network, meaning that the cause of this error is most likely an issue with your phone’s software. 

Causes of Error 96

As mentioned in the preceding section, the cause of this error is most commonly an issue with your phone’s software. However, it is important not to rule out any network-related issues that might also be the cause of this error. There are issues related to a phone’s network operator that has been reported to have caused this error.

If you are attempting to send a text to a premium text number or shortcode, then the issue might have been caused by an automatic setting in your Messages app’s settings. These are all of the most commonly reported causes for error 96.

How to Fix Error 96

There is a troubleshooting method for each of the issues detailed in the preceding section. Before listing off these troubleshooting methods, it is important to note that the specificities of the methods may depend on your specific Android phone.

The troubleshooting methods listed below will cover the general steps to resolve your issue and will denote when there may be discrepancies between phone specificities. Now, with that out of the way, here are a few simple troubleshooting methods to resolve issues on your Android phone related to error 96.

1. Download A New SMS App

If you believe the error stems from an issue with your phone’s Messages app, then you may be able to resolve the issue by switching over to a new SMS app. There are many potential SMS apps to choose from so be sure to do research before picking the right SMS app for your phone. To switch over to a new SMS app on your Android phone, follow these three steps.

  1. Go to the ‘Google Play Store’ (or whichever Android-compatible app store corresponds to your phone) and search for a new SMS app. The Chomp SMS Pro APK messaging app is a highly touted messaging app available for Android devices.
  2. Install whichever SMS app you choose and set it as your default SMS app in your phone’s settings.
  3. Try and send an SMS through this app to see if the issue has been resolved.

2. Update Your Network Operator SMS Number

If you believe the error stems from an issue with your network operator, then updating you network operator’s SMS number should resolve the issue in no time. There are a couple methods to do this that appear rather similar but have distinct discrepancies, both will be listed below. Firstly, to update your network operator’s SMS number, follow these four steps.

  1. Navigate to your dialer and enter ‘*#*#4636#*#*’ to enter Engineer/Service mode.
  2. Navigate to ‘phone information’.
  3. Scroll down until you find a setting labeled ‘SMSC’. Refresh this setting, it is most likely to retrieve the message center number from your operator.
  4. Update your operator SMSC number (you can either Google it or get customer care). Enter the new number with a ‘+’ sign preceding the numbers and double quotation marks bookending it all.

Secondly, to update your network operator’s SMS number, follow these four steps.

  1. Navigate to your dialer and enter ‘*#*#4636#*#*’ to enter Engineer/Service mode.
  2. Navigate to ‘phone information’.
  3. Scroll down until you find the icon reading ‘turn on SMS over IMS’. Tap this icon to turn on SMS.
  4. Tap the ‘refresh’ button and then tap the ‘update’ button to update your new settings.

After performing either of these troubleshooting methods, you may have to clear the data and cache of your SMS app to resolve the issue. If the steps listed above do not resolve the issue, try clearing the data and cache of your SMS app before moving on to another troubleshooting method.

3. Change Premium Text Settings in Messages App

If you are attempting to text a premium text number or short code the issue might derive from an automatic setting in your SMS app. This is a fairly simple fix that applies to any Android phone. To change the premium text settings in your phone’s SMS app, follow these steps.

  1. Open up Settings.
  2. Scroll down to ‘Applications’ or ‘Application Manager’ depending on your phone.
  3. Go to ‘All’ and scroll down until you find your SMS app.
  4. Tap on the SMS app and scroll down until you find a section labeled ‘Permissions’.
  5. Underneath ‘Permissions’ will be a sub-header ‘Send premium text message’ and a corresponding icon that will most likely be set to ‘Never Allow’.
  6. Tap the icon and change it from ‘Never Allow’ to either ‘Ask’ or ‘Always Allow’.

Try to send the text to the premium text number or short code again to see if the issue is resolved.

In Conclusion

Error 96 is a fairly common occurrence in Android phones so there is no need to be alarmed when this error pops up. This error is typically caused by simple software or settings issues that can be easily resolved. Simply follow any of the troubleshooting methods listed in the preceding section and the error should be resolved in no time. 

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