Fix: Sprint Error 104

You may fail to send a text message through your phone to a person because of Sprint (now T-Mobile) Error 104. This error happens because of a buggy update of the stock messaging app. It can also occur due to wrongly configured network settings and a corrupted address book entry of the contact.

The Sprint Error 104 means that the user cannot send a text to a particular one contact stating that “Can’t send a message with Sprint, Error 104. Not sent. Tap to try again”. In some cases, the user can send a text to the problematic contact only in group messages. In some cases, the user can receive text messages from problematic contact.

There are two main cases of hardware in which you might experience the problem:

A. The smartphone is associated with the Sprint network.

B. The smartphone is factory unlocked and can be used with any cellular network.

The solutions listed below cater to both situations.

Solution 1: Power Cycle the Device

Before moving on with more detailed and technical solutions, we should start by restarting the device as it will clear any temporary issues with the device.

  1. Press and hold the power button.
  2. Release the power button when power options are shown.
  3. Then tap on Power Off.
    Clicking on the Power Off button
  4. After the device is shut down, wait for 30 seconds and then power on the device.
  5. When the device is powered on, check if the texting is working fine now.

Solution 2: Unblock the Contact

If you have accidentally blocked the number by using any of the blocking options, then you will not be able to send a text to that number and may experience the Error 104.

  1. Unblock the contact. To understand the complete process, have a detailed look at blocking texts on android.
  2. Also, if you are using any of the security programs like Kaspersky which gives you the option to blacklist the contacts, then whitelist the contact there.
  3. After unblocking/whitelisting the contact, check if the texting is working normally.
  4. If not, then block the contact.
  5. Restart your device.
  6. Now unblock the contact and launch the messaging app to check if texting is working fine now.

Solution 3: Text After Turning Off Your Wi-Fi

You may suffer Sprint error 104 if you try to text when Wi-Fi is enabled because RCS enabled devices will try to use your Wi-Fi to deliver the text and thus cause the problem. It is weird but it happens. To rule that out, switch off your Wi-Fi and then try to text.

  1. Open the Settings of your mobile.
  2. Switch off Wi-Fi and wait for the LTE signal is shown.
    Switch off Wi-Fi
  3. Then try to send the text message to check if it is working fine.
  4. When done with texting, do not forget to switch on your Wi-Fi.

Solution 4: Change the Contact Type to Mobile

Can you send SMS to a landline? Fax number? The same will be the “thought” of your messaging app if the type of problematic contact is set as Voice or Fax etc. and it will throw the annoying error 104. In that case, changing the type of contact to mobile may solve the problem.

  1. Open the Contacts on your mobile phone.
  2. Now find and tap on the contact you are having issues with.
  3. Then tap on Edit.
  4. Now tap on the label of contact (Voice, Fax, etc.)
    Tap on Label of the Contact
  5. Now in the list of labels, select Mobile.
    Change Label of Contact as Mobile
  6. Then save your changes and exit Contacts.
  7. Now restart your device.
  8. When your device has powered on, launch the Messaging app and check if you can text the contact.

Solution 5: Chat with the Phone Number (Not the Contact)

Due to a software glitch, sometimes 2 threads are created for the same contact; one for the contact and the other for the number. In that case, use the number of the contact for texting in place of the contact may solve the problem.

  1. Open the messaging app of your phone.
  2. Now click on Start Chat.
  3. Then type the number of the contact in the number field (do not click on the contact name if shown in suggestion).
  4. Now type a test message in the text field and send it to the number (you may see your regular chat with the contact) and check if the problem is solved.

Solution 6: Enable ‘Only send SMS and MMS Messages’ Option

There is a setting on your phone which allows sending only SMS and MMS messages for a particular conversation and ignores other mediums like RCS. If this setting is disabled, then Chat may try to use data to deliver the SMS message and thus cause the issue. In that case, enabling the said setting may solve the problem.

  1. Open the messaging app of your device.
  2. Then open the conversation/chat of the contact you are having issues with.
  3. Near the top right corner, tap on the action menu (3 dots) and then tap on Details.
  4. Now toggle the switch of “Only send SMS and MMS Messages” option to on position.
    Enable Only Send SMS and MMS Messages
  5. Then try to send the text to the problematic contact to check if your device is clear of the error 104.

Solution 7: Recreate the Problematic Contact with Area Code of 1

The cause of the Error 104 could be due to a corrupt address book entry of the problematic contact. This corruption could be in extra non-printing characters (these characters are not visible to you). And the problem occurs when your phone sends these extra invisible characters with the phone number of the contact, and the cell company’s tower cannot decode these characters and thus the text message will fail to send. But that leads to an interesting question of why you can call the contact? It is because these characters do not have a DTMF tone and thus ignored by the tower when setting up a call. In that case, deleting the contact and then recreating its new entry from the scratch may solve the problem.

  1. Delete the failed conversation with the problematic contact.
  2. Delete the call history of the contact.
  3. Then launch the Contacts on your mobile phone.
  4. Now find and tap on the problematic contact.
  5. Then write down the details of the contact.
  6. Now tap on More and then tap on Delete Contact.
    Delete the Contact
  7. Then confirm to delete the contact.
  8. Restart your device.
  9. Now open Dialer and type the number of the contact.
  10. Then tap on New Contact.
  11. Now fill up the details of your Contact. Do not forget to add 1 in the area code i.e. instead of 555-555-5555 add a “1” so that it’s 1-555-555-5555.
    Create New Contact
  12. Save your changes and exit Contacts.
  13. Restart your device.
  14. When your device has powered on, launch the messaging app and check if texting is working normally.

If not, then delete the SMS history of the problematic contact, reset network settings and repeat the steps mentioned above once again. Also, this time add the contact without area code of 1.

Solution 8: Turn Off RCS Enhanced/Advanced Messaging

Companies have developed and deployed RCS Enhanced/advanced messaging to support its users in sending pictures and videos with normal text. But sometimes this new messaging technique starts creating problems for the user and they cannot send the text message to a single contact or sometimes can send messages but with a long delay. In that case, disabling the RCS Enhanced/Advanced Messaging may solve the problem.

  1. Open Messages Settings.
  2. Now tap on Chat Settings.
  3. Then toggle the switch of “Rich Communications setting” to off.
    Turn off RCS
  4. For the default message type, set “Text/Multimedia messages” as default.
  5. Then open the messaging app and check if your texts are back to normal.

Solution 9: Update Data Profile of Your Sprint Phone

The outdated/corrupted data profile of your sprint phone can result in the issue under discussion. In that case, updating the data profile may solve the problem.

  1. Open Settings of your phone.
  2. Then find and tap on About phone.
  3. Now tap on System and then tap on Update Profile.
    Update Profile
  4. Now restart your device.
  5. After your device is powered on, launch the messaging app and check if texting is back to normal.

Solution 10: Perform a PRL Update

Preferred Roaming List (PRL) is a database used in CDMA phones. The list is provided by the carrier and helps when your phone is connecting to the tower. It consists of which radio bands, sub-bands, and service provider IDs will be used and then allows the phone to connect to the correct tower. In absence of the correct and valid PRL, the phone will not roam outside your home network, and may not connect at all inside the network. In that case, updating the PRL may solve your problem.

  1. Open the Settings of your mobile.
  2. Then find and tap on System Update.
  3. Now tap on Update on PRL.
    Update PRL
  4. Now follow the screen prompts to complete the process.
  5. Then restart your device.
  6. When your device is powered on, launch the messaging app and check if texting is back to normal.

Solution 11: Clear the Cache/Data and Force Stop the Stock Messaging App

The cache is used by applications to boost up speed and performance. If the cache of your messaging app has corrupted, then it can lead to the issue under discussion. In that case, clearing the cache and force stopping the app may solve the problem.

  1. Open the Settings of your mobile phone.
  2. Now find and tap on Application Manager or Apps.
    Opening the Apps settings in your phone
  3. Then find and tap on your stock messaging app (Android Messages, Messaging, or Messages).
  4. Now tap on Storage.
    Tap on Storage of the Messaging App
  5. Then tap on clear cache.
    Tap on Clear Cache
  6. Now tap on the back button to open up settings of your stock messaging app.
  7. Then tap on Force Stop.
    Force Stop the Messaging App
  8. Now open your messaging app and check if it is clear of the error 104.

If not, then the current issue could be the result of corrupted data of your messaging app. In that case, clearing the data may solve the problem.

  1. Follow the above-mentioned steps 1 to 3 to open Storage.
  2. Then in the storage, once again tap on Clear Cache
  3. Now tap on Clear Data.
    Clear Data of the Messaging App
  4. Then tap on the back button and in the settings of your messaging app, tap on Force Stop.
  5. Restart your device.
  6. When your device has powered on, open your messaging app to check if it is working fine.

Solution 12: Reset Network Settings

You may suffer Error 104 if your network settings are not properly configured. Luckily, you can reset network settings without much of a hassle, which can solve the current issue. This resetting will affect your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular settings like network selection modes and preferred mobile network type (2G, 3G, 4G, or LTE). Your data will be safe.

  1. Open settings of your Mobile phone.
  2. Then tap on More Settings or System (depending on your version of Android and manufacturer).
    Open More Settings
  3. Now find and tap on Backup and Reset.
    Tap on Backup and Reset
  4. Then find and tap on Reset Network Settings.
    Tap on Reset Network Settings
  5. Now confirm to Reset Settings.
    Tap on Reset Settings
  6. Then restart your device.
  7. After your device has powered on, launch the messaging app to check if the texting is clear of the error 104.

Solution 13: Uninstall the Updates of the Stock Messaging App

Updates are released to improve performance and patch known issues, but buggy updates can do more harm than good. The same could be the case with the latest updates of your stock messaging app. leading to error 104. In that case, uninstalling the updates of the messaging app may solve the problem.

  1. Open Settings of your mobile device.
  2. Now find and tap on Apps or Applications Manager.
  3. Now find and tap on your stock messaging app (Android Messages, Messaging or Messages).
  4. Then tap on More and tap on Uninstall Updates.
    Uninstall Updates of the Messaging App
  5. Then restart your device.
  6. When your device has powered on, check if the texting is working fine now.

Solution 14: Use Another Messaging App

Error 104 could be caused by a bug in the stock messaging app. In that case, switching to another messaging app may solve the problem.

  1. Download and install another messaging app (For our list, have a look at the article Most Used Android Messaging Apps).
  2. After completion of the installation process, launch and set up the app.
  3. Now check if your device is clear of the error 104.

Solution 15: Disable iMessage

If you or the problematic contact is using a number on the Android phone which was previously used on iPhone, then this can be the reason for the issue under discussion as the iPhone uses the iMessage network. In that case, disabling iMessage online may solve the problem. Also, you may have to perform the undermentioned steps for the problematic contact if the contact’s number was used with the iPhone.

Keep in mind that following the undermentioned steps will remove access to the AppStore, although you can reactivate the device to gain access when required.

  1. Open the Apple Support Profile website.
  2. Log in using your Apple ID.
  3. Then choose the iPhone device.
  4. Now click on “Unregister “, and then confirm to “Unregister”.
  5. You will get the deregistration successfully message.
    Deregistered iMessage Successfully
  6. Now restart your mobile phone.
  7. After your device has powered on, launch the messaging app and check if texting is working fine.

Solution 16: Perform an SCRTN

If nothing has helped you so far, then you may need to reset the network by using Special Code To Reset the Network (SCRTN). This is one of the most recommended steps when you are having issues with call, text or data connection issues.

  1. Turn on your Wi-Fi.
  2. Open the dialer of your phone.
  3. In the dial pad, enter # # 72786 #. Do not press the call or connect button.
  4. If prompted, enter your lock code (MSL code).
  5. Then confirm to reset network.
    Perform  An SCRTN
  6. Restart your phone and follow the activation process.
  7. After activation, launch the messaging app and check if texting is back to normal.

Note: If you could not perform the SCRTN, then disable your Wi-Fi, enable mobile data, and repeat steps 2 to 7.

Solution 17: Reset your phone

If nothing has worked for you so far, then it is time to reset your phone to factory settings. All your data will be erased so do not forget to backup essentials items.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Sprint Error 104

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