I have two copies of Xiaomi Redmi 11S. On both phones I have a weird problems with sending captured screenshots when mobile data is off. And with the system in general.

In Redmi when I capture a screenshot, it appears for approx. 10-15 seconds as a small overlay in one of the corners with "Send" and "Scroll" buttons below. Second one allows capturing a screenshot bigger than the current screen / viewport. First one does what it says it does.

  1. On one of these phones, when I press "Send" nothing happens. No share / compose message, no nothing happens. To send any screenshot I must open up any file browsing app, locate the screenshot and send it from there. Second phone has no problems with this.

  2. On both phones I cannot send screenshot (nor any MMS) when mobile data is turned off. I have a constant, stable and fast Wi-Fi connection in parallel, able to stream even 4K videos efficiently, but I can't send and MMS. This is as weird as it can be for me.

  3. On both phones I have a completely empty list of applications. I can change any application settings (i.e. enable, disable system app, uninstall some 3rd party app) only if I manage to find it through settings' search. Because all the tabs in ApplicationsManage Applications are all the time empty.

Both phones are guarded by Google Family Link, but the described behaviour appears all the time, irrespectively of the fact whether Family Link is active or I disable it using Parental Access option.

enter image description here

Note that:

  1. Enabled state of the "Scroll" button is misleading. The button is enabled, but tapping it on one of the phones does nothing.

  2. Error message given by Messages app is also misleading. I have found not option in the settings that would correspond to using mobile data for sending MMS messages (or actually no mobile data-related option at all).

I was 100% sure that my phone simply gets wako and I must do the factory reset + clean install. But then I found this question and also beeshyams has provided this fabulous answer to my other question. All these information put together suggests me that nothing is wrong with my phones and that Redmi 11S can be unpleasantly surprising to its end user.

So, my question is, if this is normal (and can be observed on other phones) that the app list is all the time completely empty and that sending an MMS requires mobile data even if device has Wi-Fi connection to the Internet?

  • 2
    MMS (multimedia) is an extension of SMS (text-only); thus, it uses the mobile network, not Wi-Fi (AFAIK, unless I missed the news about related technology).
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 12:09
  • See if installing this app help in locating apps
    – beeshyams
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 14:17
  • Not really related but this came to my mind since I answered it yesterday
    – beeshyams
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 14:20
  • My first comment was actually an answer here //pm commands at the end of the answer may be useful too
    – beeshyams
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 14:24
  • @AndrewT. See my comment under answer for more info.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


Part answer

(Does) MMS requires mobile data even if device has Wi-Fi connection to the Internet?

Quoting from SE Software Engineering Why do MMS require "mobile data" to be sent/received?

  • Yes, by way of explanation see IMSoP's answer (as also other answers)

MMS was conceived as a way of adding multimedia capabilities to SMS, not as an internet messaging platform. It uses a set of technologies which made sense in the mobile ecosystem of the time, but are definitely not how you'd design it today

In particular, it is built entirely on top of WAP, an internet connection protocol that has otherwise been completely superseded. Every part of the process is standardised around handsets connecting directly to their carrier's servers over WAP, not via any other internet connection.

While it would be possible to build an "MMS over TCP/IP" protocol, there would be little motivation to do so: the expense for the carriers is maintaining the complicated services which store, forward, and re-encode the messages, and the original protocol would still need to be supported for older handsets.

There have been attempts to replace both SMS and MMS with a more modern protocol, notably RCS, but it is hard to compete with services like WhatsApp which don't need the investment from carriers to implement.

MMS does require a data connection. It always has.

If your carrier supports Wifi calling and it is enabled on your phone, MMS may use that connection instead of mobile data.

So my conclusion is that you need mobile data to send MMS unless carrier permits to send it over Wi-FI calling. On my Pixel 6a, I have RCS feature available (which can be sent over Wi-FI or data) but it doesn't work maybe because of Google limitations or carrier or both,

  • 1
    I accept your answer, because it is comprehensive and backed by many sources. Though, I still don't understand how (from SMS/MMS app perspective) sending data through mobile channel and through Wi-Fi can differ. In perfect world, any app shouldn't even know (be interested in) from which source it has Internet access, as long as it has it. Data transfer is a data transfer and at this (application) layer it should be no different whether you use mobile, Wi-Fi, USB etc.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 13:25
  • I would totally understand, if it would need mobile network to be enabled (which I has enabled in this scenario). I.e., if it would require some non-data, celluar-network-based protocol. But... data is a data. I am not disputing with you, just expressing my very high surprise here.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 13:26
  • 2
    @trejder the details is explained thoroughly in the Wikipedia that MMS depends solely on the mobile carrier. Not sure I can't explain it better than Wikipedia, except to add that WiFi is going through an ISP, not a mobile carrier (different protocols).
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 13:38
  • 1
    @trejder thanks for accepting. This was news for me as well! Another answer covers what AndrewT said
    – beeshyams
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 14:05

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