I've been using Google Messages since it released a year or two ago on the same phone.

Suddenly, three days ago the app popped up a message and said, "Your phone number isn't available in the settings for this app. Do you want to add it?"

I added the number (see snapshots below for how to get to settings in Google Messages).

App Forgets Phone Number

However, (even though I've added the number) each time I turn my phone off (for example, at the end of each day) the data seems to be lost because when I turn my phone on again and Google Messages app starts again then the number shows as UNKNOWN again.

Doesn't Know Who I Am

When the app starts and doesn't have the phone number filled out, it sends the messages I send to myself also.

Is this setting a new feature? What are some reasons this might be occurring?

Getting To The Settings In Google Messages

Getting to Settings In Google Messages

Select Advanced...


Phone Number UNKNOWN You can see (at the bottom) the phone number is unknown.

phone number unknown

MMS Messages Are Affected

This affects my MMS messages (specifically when I'm in a group message). The thing that happens is that the phone doesn't know my number so when I send a message to the group it believes there is another receiver and that receiver has my phone number so I receive my own message.

Phone Settings

My phone settings have not changed and when I look under the main phone settings I can see that my phone number is correct. Also, if I type in the phone number then the group messages work fine but I have to remember to do that every day.

  • 1
    What do you mean with "cycled" - may be a reboot? If it is a reboot do you properly shut down your device via menu or is it an abnormal reboot (running out of battery, device crash, forced reboot)? Please edit your question and add this information.
    – Robert
    Dec 12, 2018 at 14:12
  • @Robert Thanks, I updated that part to make it more clear.
    – raddevus
    Dec 13, 2018 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Try the following process:

  1. Uninstall the app.
  2. restart the phone.
  3. obtain the app from Google Play
  4. Install the app again


Today, after turning my phone on (after uninstalling and installing Messages yesterday), Google Messages asked me for my phone number.

add phone number

I'm assuming this is because I re-installed the app yesterday.

However, it did not show this message yesterday after restarting.

I remember seeing this message long ago when the problem started and I believe that time I chose Don't Ask Again. This time I'm leaving that option unselected to see if it helps solve the problem.

I added my number and clicked OK and it seemed to save the number to the app the same way as when I manually add it. Let's see if retains the data now??

Update 2

I turned my phone off and allowed it to restart.

I get the following message but only when I start Google Messages and then click a Group Message (MMS). I will see this little warning at the bottom of the group. It shows up as :

Messages needs your phone number - FIX

If you click the FIX message then it proceeds to the other screen where you can enter your number. If you don't click that message in about 3 seconds it disappears.

If I add the phone number and say don't ask again then it saves my number while the phone is on but doesn't save the data permanently.

If I add the phone number and allow it to ask again then it saves my number while the phone is on but still doesn't save the number permanently. Messages needs your phone number


Device Displays Phone Number

My phone number shows up perfectly fine on my device under:

Settings => About phone => Status => My phone number

So, I figured I should test the Android API call and see if that works on my phone.

Retrieve Phone Number Via Android API

I added some code to retrieve my phone's number using the Android API. I added the code to another program I had previously created and added the command to the menu and ran the code and it successfully retrieved my phone number.

If I Can Write That Code, Google Messages Devs Should Be Able To Also

I've blotted out my phone number but you can see the first two digits and that the app is able to retrieve the phone number so Google Messages should be able to do that automatically too.

Here's the basic code I used to do that:

// 1. use TelephonyManager API
TelephonyManager tMgr = (TelephonyManager) getSystemService(Context.TELEPHONY_SERVICE);

// 2. insure that the app has the correct permissions to allow it to read phone number
if (ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(this, Manifest.permission.READ_SMS) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED && ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(this, Manifest.permission.READ_PHONE_NUMBERS) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED && ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(this, Manifest.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
    // 3. handle perms failure here.
// 4. get the phone number
String mPhoneNumber = tMgr.getLine1Number();
// 5. display the phone number in the main text control (outText)

Android API retrieves phone number

Update 4

I added a few more API calls to get more information about my phone:

phone state details

I figured maybe this only occurs on GSM devices or something (versus CDMA)?? I wanted to show that the SIM card is in a good state. I was curious about the MMS agent that is being used.

NOTE: The "Device Software Version" is actually the telephony driver and not the Android API level. This phone is running Nougat API level 25.

Here are the extra calls I made to the API (they're all TelephonyManager calls):

tMgr.getPhoneType() // GSM, CDMA, SIP or NONE
tMgr.getSimState() // numerous states (see docs*)


  • Doesn't solve the problem.
    – raddevus
    Jan 18, 2019 at 12:32
  • I don't understand. Why post a self-answer which you know doesn't work?
    – Firelord
    Jan 18, 2019 at 13:05
  • 1
    @Firelord I've researched this a bit and this is the way the SE (StackExchange) sites work. You can ask questions you know the answer to and then answer them yourself. In this case, I figure this way someone can see possible solutions and know what has been tried. This helps eliminate answers so maybe others can provide another idea about other possible solutions.
    – raddevus
    Jan 18, 2019 at 13:32

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