I've been looking on the internet for an answer, to no avail. I have a phone mostly used in France, I recently brought to the US with a US sim card. Unfortunately, most contacts were added with the default French format (ten-digit number starting by "06" or "07").

Unfortunately, here in the US, one would need to have the country code in front of the number (+336 instead of 06) for the text to go through the US network. And this is where Android shows its weaknesses.

Indeed, even if you:

  1. delete a complete SMS conversation
  2. add the country code to the contact, and then change one digit at the end of the contact so the number associated to the conversation should be removed from the system
  3. reboot the phone
  4. wait 1 day for anything delayed to take effect
  5. change the digit back into the real number, this time with country code
  6. try to send a text by explicitly typing in the number (not the contact name) with +33

Then, it does not matter that you have done steps 1-5, Android will still "snap" your complete number with country code, to the default one he had (and still remembers somehow), which was without.

It now comes to the extent that I especially pay attention when writing a new contact, to always add the country code, since the first time the system sees the number, so that it can never dream of removing that country code by itself.

I have tried installing a third-party SMS app like Pulse SMS, but it uses Android's built in SMS contact book, so same "snap" problem.

What I would like instead, would be an SMS app that ignores the contact book, or recreates its own from the real contact book (not the image of the contact book stored in the SMS app), so that I can finally "force" the country code onto the SMS app (or more simply, that adding the country code in the address book would add it in the SMS app, which would be normal behavior), so the SMS can be sent, otherwise, it can't!

Does anyone know of such a low-level SMS app, or of a way to trick the built-in app to finally use the country code?


  • Aren't ISD codes not working? That's how we send international sms in India at least (like if you're in US, then add +91 to contacts to specify India). Jun 11, 2017 at 18:38
  • Well that's the thing, even if I try adding it, e.g. typing manually +336 X XX XX XX XX, if it corresponds to a contact I already have (or had), it will convert the +33 to 0 upon sending. The action of sending the text starts a processing that will convert the +33 to 0 and then send, no matter what I do!
    – MrBrody
    Jun 11, 2017 at 22:37
  • @MrBrody That will always happen. You must change the contact number by editing the contacts, and adding the ISD codes to each. Otherwise, messages will be sent to the number saved in contact, because while searching for contact by number, Android does not take into account ISD codes. Jun 12, 2017 at 7:29
  • Well, here again, did change the contacts beforehand and added +33. That was points 2-5 in my post. Contact book has +33, I manually type +33, but the messaging app probably has an anti-alias system (so that you don't end up with 2 threads, one with 06 and one with +336), so it has the following mechanism: number in +336 corresponding to a contact in the address field --> name of corresponding contact --> unique number associated, here 06 (even if the address book now has +336 for that contact) --> he converts to 06 and tries to send when "send" is pressed, and not before...
    – MrBrody
    Jun 12, 2017 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


I confirm that the problem persists on a pixel 3a. But, it is kind of reversed. In my case it is a US number and the SMS messages are linked to the number with the country code. But, within the US the messages must be sent without the country code. I find the same as the OP, there is nothing I can do to prevent the country code from being added. Delete the SMS messages, delete the phone book entries. Android is smart enough to always link the number I enter with the old entry that included the country code, recalling it from oblivion. But, it is too dumb to know that the message must be sent without the country code.

Also the answers given are missing the point. There is nothing we can do to control whether the country code is added. You can delete the contacts or edit them any way you like, the original form of the number will always be retrieved, with the result that you cannot text that number.

  • were you able to resolve this. I have the same issue as you. I have a US number, trying to text a US number, but somehow a country code got added, and now it generates an error. I have deleted the contact, edited the details, and no luck - android automatically adds the country code (which in turn, causes the error). This also suddenly happened, while I was in the US - and not sure how it came about (which is affecting only on one of my contact as well - albeit someone I text the most out of anyone else).
    – Homan T.
    Aug 14, 2021 at 1:01

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