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What does ‘message not sent invalid destination address’ mean?

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  • 4 min read
Photo: Yuriy Golub /

Photo: Yuriy Golub /

Telecom carriers have come a long way in terms of customer service. However, basic functionality like calling and SMS still takes the forefront at times. This also means that telecom carriers need to have these essential services running at all times.

That of course isn’t possible and telecom outages aren’t rare to see. That said, sometimes random bugs and glitches can affect your ability to make calls and send messages, even if the carrier is working as expected. 

In this article, we’re looking at the “message not sent invalid destination address” error, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.

What causes this error?

Several reasons can trigger the error. Some of the most common causes include:

  • The recipient’s number is incorrect. 
  • Poor service coverage. 
  • Your account doesn’t enough credit to send the message.

Also read: What does Sent as SMS via Server mean?

How to fix this?

Here are eight fixes you can try out. 

Restart your phone

The first step of troubleshooting any device is restarting, which stands for our smartphones. If something is acting up, chances are rebooting your phone can fix that.  

Toggle the Airplane mode

Toggling the Airplane mode on and back again has roughly the same effect on your device as restarting, except it affects the network more than the device. 

If you’re having trouble with SMSs, pull down the notification shade to access the Airplane mode setting. Toggle it on, wait for all the connectivity to drop dead, and then turn it back on again. 

Reinsert the SIM Card

Sometimes the issue can be as simple as the SIM card not being inserted properly. It could also be dusty and not make proper contact with the terminals on the SIM slot. 

Try switching off your phone, removing the SIM card and then inserting it again. If you can make phone calls or are getting network coverage now, an improperly inserted SIM card was causing your issues. 

Reset your phone’s network settings

Incorrect network settings can cause all sorts of problems, including SIM cards not being detected or malfunctioning. Doing this resets your WiFi networks, Bluetooth connections, cellular and even VPN settings.

What are Cyber-Physical Systems and the technologies that enable it
Check out our detailed guide on how to reset network settings what doing so can do here

Also read: Why is PS5 controller blinking blue? 7 Fixes

Update your phone

At times, an update to the phone software can also help get rid of network-related issues. If there’s a bug in the OS or an issue with the current software version installed on your phone, updating it can eliminate any such issues at once. 

Try a replacement SIM

Sometimes, a damaged or old SIM card can stop working without external intervention. This means that even if you might be able to connect to the carrier’s network and make calls, some functionality might not work. 

In such cases, getting in touch with your carrier and getting a replacement SIM is best. Using a newer card should fix any such problems. Do remember that in some cases, carriers like Jio, Airtel or Vi block incoming messages for up to 24 hours when you issue a duplicate SIM. 

Check your account balance

Another important thing to keep in mind is your account balance or credit. Sending SMS/MMS, calling, and using mobile data all at a cost which is taken out of your cell plan. Unless you have a specific SMS/MMS pack, any messages you send will be charged directly to your account’s credit. In case you don’t have enough, this can stop outgoing (and, in some cases, even incoming) services. 

Contact the carrier

If nothing else works, your best bet is to get in touch with your carrier’s customer support and have them sort the issue out for you. Not only will they be able to figure out the exact cause of the issue, but they’ll also be able to offer proper solutions. 

Also read: TCL TV won’t turn on: 8 Fixes

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: