When there is an incoming SMS, my phone would show "Messages is processing an incoming message" in the notification drawer, but then that notification would disappear and... nothing! There is no notifications for the actual SMS. When I opened Messages, I couldn't see that incoming SMS. I checked the web interface for Messages, not there either. Couldn't find it in the "Spam & blocked" or Archived either.

Messages is processing an incoming message

I need to read this SMS for two factor authentication. I would wait for the SMS to appear, but most of the time it didn't appear until the authentication code expired. I had to request auth code 2 or 3 times before I got it in time.

Is there a way to get SMS quicker?

Android version 9. Device is Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Messages version 9.2.030.

  • I'm having the same issue (and coincidentally we're in the same country, perhaps a provider-dependent issue?). My current workaround is to open the web interface before requesting the OTP, and while it might not always succeed, I observed I often got the SMS a bit quicker (i.e. originally from more than 5-minute delay to more bearable 2-minute delay). Not yet found the cause and permanent fix...
    – Andrew T.
    Sep 4, 2021 at 11:01
  • @AndrewT. wah salam kenal! Don't think it is Indosat's problem, because that "Messages is processing an incoming message" popped up pretty quickly. Maybe google should add more servers for Messages. Thanks for the tip, I'll try it next time. Sep 4, 2021 at 11:13
  • Surprisingly, my provider is also Indosat :) but this only happens on my old Nexus 5 (Lineage OS 14, Android 7), not on a quite new Pixel 3a (Android 11). I haven't got a chance to test with other providers though, or re-flash my Nexus and see if there's any improvement...
    – Andrew T.
    Sep 4, 2021 at 11:20
  • It is possible that the received SMS was an MMS. As far as I remember an MMS is a special SMS containing a link where to fetch the MMS content. If fetching the MMS content fails then such a behavior as you have observed would be possible.
    – Robert
    Sep 4, 2021 at 11:53
  • 1
    @GlennMohammad I was using Google Messages, and it has the web interface. My Nexus 5 went dead already, but I didn't have any issues with a new budget phone.
    – Andrew T.
    Mar 28 at 3:34

4 Answers 4


Hardware Performance?

It could be that your phone is underpowered.

Your mention a Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, which is a mid-range phone from 2018. So I wouldn't think it's THAT slow, but I definitely see this message occur on underpowered devices (including one of mine, a Nokia 1 Plus), and depending on your setup it be the cause.

I'd recommend you try to "lighten" your phone a bit:

  • remove useless apps (to ensure enough available memory to run smoothly),
  • replace some apps with lighter versions (for instance, I use Android GO versions of Google Apps when possible, and I use Olauncher as a minimalist launcher),
  • disable background tasks where/when possible.

Network / Operator Performance?

I don't think it's related to the phone network operator.

I get these on different networks with that phone. And I have not issues when I use other phones on these networks.

  • Just a note, I bought a new phone and with this new phone the SMS appears quickly. So the solution is buy a new phone :D Mar 10, 2022 at 8:30
  • @EndyTjahjono: nah... ;)
    – haylem
    Mar 10, 2022 at 17:56
  • This happens to me on my new pixel 6 pro Jun 9, 2022 at 12:55

As of June 2023, here's how I managed to make this infamous "Messages is processing an incoming message" issue resolved on my Pixel 2 (running a rooted Android 11 🫚):

  1. Upgrade to the latest Messages app.
  2. Open https://messages.google.com/web in your Google Chrome on your Android device (yes, it's gotta be on the corresponding Android device where you got the issue, otherwise it won't do). Check on "Remember this computer", take the screenshot of the QR code.
  3. Quickly send this QR code screenshot to your own self on WhatsApp/Telegram/Signal or similar app (the idea here is to be able to open this QR code on another machine via WhatsApp/Telegram Web/Desktop so that you can scan it using your phone).
  4. Using your PC or Mac, open the chat-to-yourself containing the QR code screenshot from the previous step on e.g. WhatsApp Web. While leaving it open, open the Messages app on the problematic phone, go to "Device pairing" and scan the aforementioned QR code.
  5. Now that your Messages app and Chrome for Android are paired on the same phone, open again https://messages.google.com/web in your Chrome (on your phone) and verify that the Messages Web works correctly there.
  6. Lastly, click on the Chrome's menu while opening the Messages Web tab, and select "Add to Home screen" – this will add "Messages Web" to your phone's home screen.
  7. After this pairing act between your Messages app and Chrome for Android on your phone, you should be able to receive messages/SMS normally again within 2-3 seconds window! 📩⚡️🥳

I believe the pairing act forces the messages/SMS checking mechanics to be constantly executed somehow by the Messages app:

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I was able to get theses kinds of messages by simply downloading a new messaging app that carries over your current messages. I personally had access to Verizon's messenger+ which worked fine for me. Hope this helps

  • 1
    It's good to know that your issue was able to be solved only by changing a messaging app, though I have tried this before many times and it didn't change the result :')
    – Andrew T.
    May 23, 2022 at 4:20

I guess it's the phone problem. I recently change my phone and now it take years for the sms to came in. Previously with the old phone, I can receive sms normally


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