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Why Can’t I See My Text Messages? (Truth Revealed!)

Every smartphone feature is important- though some admittedly more so than others!

However, when it comes to communication functions, all of them are essential.

One such function that’s available in every smartphone is the humble text message.

Texting remains one of the fastest ways to send and receive messages between two or more parties.

However, you may have encountered instances when you can’t see your SMS messages.

“Why can’t I see my text messages?” You might wonder.

The text message has three core components that work together in unison. These are the messaging app, the network service provider, and the device itself.

If you can’t see your text messages, it’s most likely due to a fault of any of those three aspects.

For example, it’s possible that your device’s hardware may be worn out, or that its internal memory might be full.

Alternatively, the network service provider may be experiencing technical difficulties, or SIM card issues are creating delays in your incoming messages.

The messaging application software could also have a bug or glitch that is preventing you from seeing your text messages.

All that is to say that when you can’t see your text messages, the solution will lie anywhere within those three core components.

This article will detail those potential causes and provide simple DIY steps you can take to fix the problem ASAP!

So, Why Have My Text Messages Disappeared?

woman texting with her smartphone

There are several reasons as to why messages can disappear on your smartphone, but here are the most common culprits in general:

A Displaced SIM Card

On many phones, you have the choice of either saving your messages on the phone’s internal memory or on the SIM card.

If for any reason either of those storage options develops a problem, you’ll need to go through some troubleshooting to access your messages once more.

For instance: Anytime your smartphone is dropped on the ground, there exists the probability that the impact will knock the SIM card out of place.

The chances are even higher if this happens frequently (guilty)!

SIM displacement will result in your phone automatically losing connection with the network service provider.

In that instant, every network-related feature stops functioning- potentially including your call dialer and messaging app.


  1. Avoid dropping your phone, as much as possible; and
  2. Check your SIM is properly installed!

A Third-party App Is Malfunctioning

different iphone applications

Mobile applications work in an interrelated manner.

Anytime you install an app, it indirectly impacts how other apps function.

When you install numerous apps on your device, the risk of conflicts with crucial pre-installed applications rises as well.

If you’re unsure about whether you have been installing the wrong type of apps on your phone, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Have I installed an app from a suspicious source recently?
  • When did my messages start ghosting? Was it before or after I installed the app in question?

If you’ve installed any app from an untrustworthy source recently and the issue started shortly after the installation, it could be that the third-party app is malfunctioning!

As a result, this may in turn affect your message app’s functions.

Your Cached Data Is Corrupted

Smartphones are designed to provide maximum convenience to users. Certain in-built features ensure ease-of-use and smooth operation. One such feature is cached data.

Cached data collects a user’s activities, inputs, and details when they visit a website or use an app.

The idea is that it allows the user to avoid having to input the same things over and over in future uses.

As you use each app on your smartphone, they automatically collect certain bits of information. Subsequently, the next time you want to do the same task again, the load time will decrease.

Despite its general advantages, cached data may sometimes become corrupted and cause glitches that can then affect your messaging app.

These glitches can be the reason why you can no longer see your text messages!

Network Outage

close up of a person putting a sim card in a phone

Telecommunication systems are not perfect.

You’re bound to experience your fair share outages at one time or another!

Whenever this happens, every app and feature relying on the network becomes disabled until your carrier is able to resolve the issue.

If your internet connection is currently down, it could be the culprit behind your disappeared messages.

Your Cellphone Plan is Exhausted

No matter how careful you are, there are some oversights you sometimes just can’t sidestep as a smartphone user from time to time.

One of the most common examples is forgetting to renew your mobile phone’s subscription bill!

Even when you think you’ve got all loose ends tied- say, you’ve even enabled automatic payments- the system can still fail, resulting in your bill becoming overdue and services temporarily suspended.

You may not even be able to see your messages until your cell phone plan is restarted!

Phone System Crash

A system crash is another common reason behind applications and features malfunctioning.

When this happens, it could be a problem with the operating system or the hardware.

In many cases, users have reported that their messages reappeared after recovering from the crash.

How Do I Fix My Text Messages Not Showing Up?

businesswoman texting a friend

Now, let’s tie everything together with the ways in which you can fix this issue!

Every method listed below is relatively simple, so it really doesn’t matter if you’re not technically-inclined:

Check Your SIM Card

If you’ve dropped your device recently, or are sure the problem is with the network connection, the first thing to do is to confirm that your SIM card is securely in place.

On most phones, SIM card ports are either by the side or at the back where the battery is.

Once you locate it, remove the SIM card, clean it gently with a soft cloth or piece of wool, and then put it back into position.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try the other solutions below.

Reset Your Network

Sometimes, resetting your phone’s network settings can quickly solve the mystery of vanishing text messages.

The first step is to go to the Settings on your phone. Next, scroll through the options and select ‘Systems.’

Then, look for any option related to resetting. Finally, click on ‘Reset Network.’ This will set your carrier settings back to its original status.

Check For A Malfunctioning Third-Party App

uninstall button close up on an android phone

If you recently installed an app from a dodgy source, it might be best to uninstall it for the time being.

Untrustworthy apps can install malware in your device and shut down essential features such as the Messaging app.

The steps to take are straightforward. Go to ‘Settings,’ click on ‘Apps,’ select the app in question, and tap ‘Uninstall’!

You can take it a step further by running a virus check on your phone. Some viruses and malware can go undetected, resulting in further damage to your phone.

Clear Cached Data

The only viable solution to fixing corrupted cached data is to clear the storage.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing that:

To clear cache and storage, launch ‘Settings.’ Next, open ‘Apps’ and scroll through the list.

Select ‘Messages,’ and therein, click on ‘Storage and Cache.’ Finally, you will see an option that allows you to clear the cache!

Is Your Mobile Plan Active?

This one’s as simple as it sounds: Confirm that your mobile subscription is active! If it has expired, renew the plan.

Restart Your Phone

restarting android phone

A final option to fix software issues on your phone is to restart or reboot the device.

This can work well for all kinds of software glitches (especially when your phone crashes).

Turn the device off by pressing and holding the power button, wait for a few seconds, and then long-press the power button a second time.

Once the phone reboots, the applications will refresh themselves, and you will hopefully see your incoming messages again!

In Conclusion

Disappearing text messages is a surprisingly common smartphone issue.

It could result from a displaced SIM card, a fault with a third-party app, corrupted cached data, a network outage, an expired cell phone subscription, or even a system crash.

To fix this issue, the most important thing to do first is to identify the root cause.

This is simple enough- check your recent activities with the problems we’ve identified, and see which one ticks the box!

Afterwards, apply the appropriate solution from the list provided, and you should be good to go!

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