Is there a way to force a message to be sent as an MMS?

There are multiple reasons that MMS may be preferred. SMS and MMS may have different fee structures dependent on plan, carrier, and country. Additionally, some messaging software may allow for more delivery notification options for MMS than SMS.

  • May I ask why you want to do this? I am just curious.
    – Flow
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 19:11
  • 1
    @Flow In my tariff mms sending through the country is free whereas sms is not free Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 12:50
  • 2
    If you add a Subject to the message you're making, it gets converted to MMS format. Even if the Subject is empty, at least, that's what I know.
    – Propeller
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 16:14
  • Promote that comment to an answer - a subject forces MMS. It's a silly workaround, but it could be done automatically with a replacement messaging application.
    – Broam
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 19:26
  • Another reason to do this is to ensure that the recipient receives a long message as one message, rather than several broken bits. This only applies for accounts with unlimited texting, of course.
    – Joe Sewell
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 21:52

5 Answers 5


As per Broam's suggestion above, I'm posting my comment as an answer. Hopefully some people finds it useful.

If you add a Subject to the message you're making, it gets converted to MMS format. Even if the Subject is empty, at least, that's what I know


Force the MMS

I've saw this comment you provided on your question:

@Flow In my tariff mms sending through the country is free whereas sms is not free

If this is the case, you can have a .jpg as a signature file, and attach it to every SMS you send. Since the image is a media component, your SMS will become an MMS, thus saving you some $$.

Original Answer

As far as I know, you can't.

An MMS message is a plain old text message with contents attached.

If you attach a media file, it will be send as a MMS message. Otherwise it will follow as an SMS.

What is MMS? Wikipedia

Multimedia Messaging Service, or MMS, is a standard way to send messages that include multimedia content to and from mobile phones. It extends the core SMS (Short Message Service) capability that allowed exchange of text messages only up to 160 characters in length.

  • I think there is no restriction in MMS protocol which forbids using it for text only even for less than 160 chars Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 12:08
  • @krvladislav The issue here is that if it is < 160 chars, it will be recognized by your phone and the network as an SMS, and will be sent as such.
    – Zuul
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 12:19
  • @krvladislav The essence of an MMS is the multimedia component, that is, a file (picture, video, etc...). Without it, is just an SMS (text message).
    – Zuul
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 12:30
  • Which is not technically correct. As SMS is inherently limited to 160 characters and MMS is not. Most modern phones will convert a long text into MMS or at least split the message into multiple SMS. However, some phones refuse to put the SMS pieces back together especially when crossing provders. Forcing MMS is needed to send long coherent texts. Not to mention that the written word is a form of Media. Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 13:33

I've found that another option, on phones or text messaging apps that support group texting but that don't force MMS when you add a Subject, is to create an artificial 'group' consisting of the person you're texting to .... AND yourself. In other words, send the text to the target person AND yourself. If you've got group texting support, doing so will force an MMS, and thereby bypass Google Voice. Hence, your emoji will get transmitted in spite of Voice. Once you send the group text, you will receive a redundant copy of your text. At that point, just delete it. This approach can become a little messy if you don't know what you're doing, but it works for me.:-)


Usually, messaging software determines the appropriate protocol literally for each message sent, based on its content. To force the choice, you have the following options:

  • Attach a picture.
  • Attach a signature.
  • Add a subject.
  • If the messaging software allows it, manually switch the message to MMS.

An example of messaging software that allows you to add a subject/signature/switch protocol: Android Messages.


Actually with some cell phone providers it is wise to use MMS because then you can use your home WiFi, if you are at home of course or at a WiFi location outside of home. That's because with some services you pay for every message but not for anything that goes over WiFi. The test is simple, first check how many messages you have sent so far or how many you have remaining, then just turn WiFi on, then write a new message and include a small picture or something and send it to a friend or yourself. If you send it to a friend it will normally take one message and if you send it to yourself it will take two messages (one ot send and one to receive) but if it really went over WiFi it will take zero messages so the original message count will stay the same. Good luck to you.

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