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How to turn RCS messaging on or off on Android

You can choose to improve your texting experience, or get rid of the noise and turn off RCS.
By
December 4, 2023

Text messaging was starting to feel outdated until recently. Other messaging apps offer a variety of features that bring messaging to the modern era. RCS brought SMS and MMS messaging to the modern age, including capabilities like read receipts, media transfers, improved group chats, and much more. You might need to enable RCS first, though. Today, we’ll show you how to turn RCS messaging on or off on Android.

QUICK ANSWER

To turn RCS messaging on or off on Android, launch the Google Messages app and tap on your profile icon. Then, go into Message Settings >RCS chats and toggle the Turn on RCS chats option on or off.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7a running Android 14 to come up with these instructions. Some steps may differ, depending on your device and its software version.

How to enable or disable RCS messaging on an Android phone

RCS needs to be available on your text messaging app for you to take advantage of all these benefits. Plenty of SMS apps support RCS, but we can’t give you instructions for all of them. Instead, we will focus on the texting app most Android owners use, which is Google Messages. It comes pre-installed on most Android phones.

  1. Launch the Google Messages app.
  2. Tap on your profile icon, in the top-right corner.
  3. Go into Messages settings.
  4. Select RCS chats.
  5. Toggle Turn on RCS chats on or off.

How to enable or disable RCS messaging on a Samsung phone

The second most popular messaging app is likely Samsung’s, as one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers out there. We know many of you are rocking its phones, so let’s help you get the most out of your messaging.

  1. Launch the Samsung Messages app.
  2. Tap on the three-dot menu button.
  3. Go into the Settings.
  4. Hit Chat features.
  5. Tap on Enable chat features. This menu may look different to you. You might have to tap Start.
  6. Follow the instructions to enable RCS.

FAQs

RCS messaging uses data to enrich the traditional texting experience. It adds a set of enhancements SMS and MMS traditionally don’t have, such as read receipts, media transfers, improved group chats, and more. You can learn more about RCS messages here.

RCS stands for Rich Communication Services.

RCS is pretty much the evolution of SMS. It acts as a layer over the traditional communication method. SMS messages will still work as they should, but RCS will provide the added functionality on top of it. RCS features are transmitted over data, while the actual messages go over the SMS and MMS standards, using the mobile network.

The great thing about Android is that you have options. Even if your default SMS app has no RCS support, you can simply install one that does. You could just get the official Google Messages app from the Google Play Store, too.

Here’s one tricky part. RCS needs to be supported by your carrier in order for it to work. That said, most carriers in major markets are already catching up to this. For example, all three major carriers in the USA support RCS, as do many smaller MVNO carriers.