I recently got a shock on my phone bill when it showed over a hundred texts received by the standard text messaging app. I had been receiving these solely through Google Voice, specifically to avoid such charges.

I checked the Google Voice settings, and somehow the 'Receive text messages' setting had been switched to 'Via the messaging app'. Ack! I switched it back. But: Is there a way (or a utility app) that will lock this setting in place?

[EDIT] All right, I was a bit vague in the original description of this problem. Let me walk through this step by step:

Last month, my phone bill was about $25 more than the month before. Comparing it to the previous bill, I found that the difference was due to over 100 texts having been received on the phone through the carrier.

I checked my phone settings, and found that in Google Voice, the setting under Sync and Notifications >> Receive Text Messages was set to Via the messaging app. All the recent text messages were listed in the standard messaging app. I changed the Google Voice setting to Via the Google Voice app, and had a friend send me a new text message. It appeared in Google Voice, but not in the standard messaging app.

What I seek is a way to lock down that Google Voice setting so that it cannot be changed. (I suspect that it was altered somehow by a recent Google Voice upgrade.) Does such an app exist, or is there a way of doing this that I am overlooking?



  • 2
    I'm not sure how viewing them in a different app would result in a charge, is it actually forwarding them to your number? Nov 8, 2012 at 16:59
  • Yes, I think we need more detail on your setup here. Are you using some kind of carrier integration, like the one from Sprint? Are you having Google Voice forward your SMS messages to your phone? Unless your phone and your GV number are the same (which would require carrier integration) they should be completely unrelated to one another. If someone texts your GV number your phone won't receive an actual SMS unless you have forwarding or integration configured, GV will just get the message. Nov 8, 2012 at 18:17
  • I would double check to see if the "Receive text messages on this phone" setting on the voice.google.com website is checked.
    – znewman
    Nov 9, 2012 at 19:49
  • I've updated the problem description with additional details. Please see above.
    – user127236
    Nov 14, 2012 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


If you don't want to receive text messages on your actual phone number and only receive them via your Google Voice number, just call your carrier and tell them to disable text messaging.

I used to do that, back when I had a plan that charged for messages. Just tell them to disable incoming and outgoing text messages, and you won't have to worry about any future charges.

The Google Voice app sends and receives text messages as standard data, and it doesn't use the carrier's texting abilities. So disabling texting through your carrier won't inhibit your ability to use Google Voice for texting.


Be sure that Google Voice isn't configured to also send text messages you receive to your mobile as a text message (SMS charges apply) in addition to showing up in the Google Voice app (SMS charges don't apply). From Google Voice help:

With Google Voice for Android, text messages are sent through your data plan, as opposed to your text messaging plan, so there won't be any text messaging charges for messages that you send to numbers in the US or Canada.

Note: If you have your mobile phone listed as one of your forwarding phones in your Google Voice account, replies will come to the Google Voice app, but will also be duplicated in the Android Messaging app. Depending on your carrier, you may be charged for your received text messages. To disable this and only have messages sent to the Google Voice app, sign in at voice.google.com, then go to Settings > Voice settings > Phones > (your mobile number) > Edit > Receive text messages on this phone > Uncheck and Save.

If it helps, I've drawn a flowchart for a previous answer that helps illustrate the difference.

  • I agree with this as being the most likely cause. And it is still likely causing extra charges. The dual display (in both apps) is in appearance only. The Google Voice app still receives the message and then sends out a broadcast to other apps that an sms was received. Those that have the correct permission (like messaging apps) will get the message. This is all handled on the phone after the message is received by the Google Voice app.
    – abqnm
    Feb 25, 2014 at 1:29

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