Is there a limit within Android, or possibly set by OEMs (heard this from a friend who is a technician), of the total amount of SMS messages you can have? As in, messages within a thread and/or all threads combined? Not just the limit within conversations which you can manually set. I mean a limit android has coded into it, or one that OEMs set, that actually would "limit" (whether by slowing down or stopping) the number of SMS you can have?

And I'm not talking about a couple thousand, but even in the hundreds of thousands in a thread?

1 Answer 1


I cannot provide a definitive answer, but some folks have had over 20,000 messages, based on this Reddit discussion. So if there are any limits, it may have been set by the OEM (or their custom app). Using 3rd-party SMS apps might provide a workaround to the limit.

I would bet that if are hundreds of thousands of messages, there could be a significant performance issue, although that may depend on how the app processes the records. Go SMS Pro, for example, does not load the messages all at once. But if it reaches the point where it has loaded already a lot of messages, the app slows down.

UPDATE #1: To paraphrase Izzy, the storage limit will also trigger the "insufficient memory" error, usually when there's less than ~25 MB free space on internal storage. This would also prevent the SMS from being stored (plus the possibility to send some on your own).

  • Well, I have ALMOST 100,000 SMS in one thread. I currently use Hangouts with the new SMS integration, but previously had to use GoSMS. GoSMS would be a little sluggish, and annoying. But, in the stock SMS app, I could load it one time, tap the big thread, and it wouldn't load. Then when I went back to the thread view, it wouldn't load. I don't want to delete them, and I won't. Just wondering why that happens, and if there is a limit in Android/OEMs. Also: I am rooted running a CM 10.1.
    – David
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 11:06
  • @David I would assume this would be more of a hardware issue. On a PC, just try opening a really large text file (maybe 2-5GB) on Notepad, on an average PC. I think it would crash.
    – geffchang
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 11:08
  • I thought of that as well. Is there an app, that you know of, that would, cache x amount of the messages, only loading them if specifically called upon? Like if I kept scrolling up in the conversation, and hit a "load more" option? That seems like a simple enough fix for large SMS threads, no?
    – David
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 11:25
  • @David I have no idea. You'd have to check the play store for that. 100K seems overkill to me though. I normally delete my conversations after some time, or back-up those that are important to me.
    – geffchang
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 12:50
  • well yeah I could always backup and store somewhere. But I haven't found a solution for that which I like, yet. I just think, that even how absurd the message count is, the app should be able to handle it. Every message already sent or received won't change, so there is no need to load the first x amount of messages after a thread hits x length.
    – David
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 13:52

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