Why you’re receiving duplicate messages on Android

Lillie Spikes

Over the past few years, thousands of Android phone users have complained about receiving duplicate text messages or sending them.

Duplicate messages typically happen when either the sender or the recipient is in an area experiencing poor network connection or when there is a glitch in the system while delivering the message from one end to another.

After extensive research, it was found that this is a real problem, experienced mainly by users who own Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

So if you are reading this article, it is probably because you have been on the sending or receiving end of a duplicate message or two and are probably wondering how to fix duplicate messages on Android.

Why you are getting duplicate texts on your Android phone

These are the likely reasons why your Android sends duplicate texts.

1. You are in a low coverage area

This is probably the most common reason why text messages keep duplicating. It means either you or the recipient’s mobile phone is frequently disconnecting and reconnecting to the network due to low network coverage in the area.

In this situation, the text will re-deliver once the phone has connected to the network, even if the initial message was already delivered.

2. You could be using two messaging apps

Default SMS app on Samsung phones
You must choose between Google Messages and the native Messages app on Samsung phones.

As unbelievable as it sounds, it is still entirely possible. Every Android phone comes with a pre-installed messaging app by default.

However, there are many third-party messaging apps available on the Play Store that can you can easily install.

If you have any of these third-party apps installed on your Android phone, you might see two notifications for the same message from different apps.

One common example is if you are using Google Messages alongside the native Samsung messaging app.

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3. Problem with your messaging app

The default messaging app on your phone could have a bug or glitch that causes you to send or receive duplicate text messages.

You’ll have to wait it out for the bug to fix or for Samsung to release an update that fixes the issue.

4. Outdated messaging app or phone software

For your Android phone to function properly and to its optimal ability, it needs to be kept up to date with software updates, and the same applies to the apps on the phone.

For example, if your phone’s OS or messaging app is outdated, it might malfunction, and one of the consequences could be duplicate messages.

5. Issue with your phone

It is also very probable that your phone is why you are receiving or sending duplicate messages.

It could be that a corrupt or buggy software update is the cause or an entirely different and unrelated app installed on your phone.

6. Duplicate MMS?

Duplicate MMS could be related to the internet connection of either the recipient or the sender. For example, you might send or receive a duplicate MMS if either phone’s upload or download speed is too low.

Suppose you seem only to be receiving duplicate texts from one person and nobody else, and you don’t experience the problem when you send messages.

In that case, it is likely a problem on their end, and you should probably ask them to check it out and try out one of the following steps to fix it.

How do you fix duplicate messages on Android?

Once you have discovered the cause of your problem, you can try any of these solutions.

You may try a couple of them until your problem is solved.

1. Restart your phone

Restart an Android device

Many Android users who experience this issue say that they quickly resolve it by restarting their phones. However, if you can save yourself the hassle of trying the other methods and restart your phone, then by all means, try it first.

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If it doesn’t work, try any of the following solutions.

2. Uninstall the second messaging app

If you have a third-party messaging app, it is most likely the reason you are receiving duplicates, and you should most probably get rid of it.

To uninstall the app:

  • Open your home screen, press and hold the icon of the app you want to uninstall
  • An overlay menu will appear
  • Press ‘Uninstall’ or ‘Remove app.’

Alternatively, you can uninstall it by opening the Play Store, searching for the app, and clicking on ‘Uninstall’ beside the app’s name.

If you don’t want to uninstall the app, you can disable it by opening the settings on your phone, clicking on the apps option, scrolling down to the app you want to disable, and tapping on ‘Disable’ or ‘Force stop.’

3. Turn on/off airplane mode

If you suspect the issue is caused by poor network coverage, try turning the airplane mode on and then off so your phone can reconnect to the network again.

You can easily do this from the status bar on your phone.

4. Clear the messaging app’s cache or data

Clearing your cache removes any unused files the app might be keeping in your phone’s storage affecting its functionality.

However, if you clear the data, all data related to the app will be deleted, and none of your saved information will be available. In simpler terms, the app will be new.

To do this:

  • Open Settings on your phone
  • Tap on the ‘Device care’ option
  • At the bottom of the screen, tap on the ‘Storage’ option and then the ‘Apps’ option. A dropdown list of the apps will appear, and you can pick the app you want to clear.
  • Click on the ‘Clear cache or ‘Clear data’ option, depending on what action you want to take on the app.
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Remember that clearing data is permanent. You should, therefore, save any data that you wouldn’t want to lose.

5. Update your phone

Not only do manufacturers add new features with updates, but if the previous version had any issues or bugs, the updates also aim to fix them.

Hence, it is important to keep your phone up to date with the latest software to keep it functioning properly.

If you notice that duplicate messages only appeared after you updated your phone, wait a few days, as it is probably still not ready

6. Change your SIM card

A phone with a SIM card
Image by: Silvie

If your sim card is old, it could be experiencing challenges receiving the best network coverage.

Try replacing it with a new one.

7. Factory reset your phone

This should only be the last resort if you try all other solutions and none works. This is because when you factory reset your phone, all the data is lost, and it becomes brand new, as the name suggests.

If you choose to factory reset, back up all your important data so you can recover it after the process.

  • First, open the settings and tap on ‘General management.’
  • Scroll down to the ‘Backup and reset option
  • Tap on the ‘Factory data reset’ option, and confirm by tapping ‘Reset.’
  • You might be asked to enter your password. All your data will be erased, and your phone will automatically restart after the process is done. You can now set up your phone again.


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