two phones, one with RCS

RCS is the upgraded version of SMS that’s available on many Android devices today. However, it’s still not universal, and that can cause some issues. If you’re switching phones, you may want to turn off RCS first.

Like many things that have to do with Android, the RCS situation is a little messy. First, to take advantage of RCS features, you have to use a first-party app. There are tons of great third-party text messaging apps in the Play Store, but only official apps from Google, your carrier, and phone maker support RCS.

Google’s Messages app works for all Android devices, but your carrier can still get in the way of RCS. Google is working hard to get around that, but it’s still an obstacle for some devices.

The last messy bit doesn’t have anything to do with Android, but it does prevent RCS from being a truly universal standard. iPhones don’t support RCS at all. They use their own standard called iMessage.

Speaking of iMessage, you may have heard of iPhone users having problems receiving text messages after switching to Android devices. What happens is that messages keep being sent to the old iMessage account instead of going to the new phone. A similar thing can happen with RCS.

RELATED: How to Disable and Deactivate iMessage on iPhone or iPad

If you are using RCS, and you switch to a device that doesn’t support it (such as an iPhone), you might not receive text messages on your new phone. Thankfully, Google says that this will only happen for up to eight days, but that’s still a long time. There are a couple of ways that you can prevent this from happening.

First, you can check to see if you’re even using RCS to begin with. For this guide, we’ll be using Google’s Messages app. From there, open the Settings menu and look for “Chat Features.”

select chat features

If you see “Chat Features,” that means that your device supports RCS. Open the “Chat Features” menu and check to see if it’s enabled.

RCS is enabled
If this toggle is on, you were using RCS.

Simply turn the toggle off to disable RCS. You can now switch to the new device without any worries. If you’ve already switched devices, Google has a web tool that can deregister your number. It’s an easy process that we outlined in a separate guide.

RELATED: How to Disconnect Your Phone Number from RCS on Android

Of course, if you know that your new phone supports RCS and you plan on using the Messages app, there’s no need to bother with any of this. But keep the RCS feature in mind if you ever plan to switch from Android to iPhone, or any device you’re not sure about.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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