When I receive a large SMS and when I select "Forward" from options, it shows "Converting to multimedia message" and I'm getting charged more. Furthermore, if the person on receiving end doesn't have a multimedia phone he is not able to receive it.

I have un-rooted Samsung Galaxy 3 I5801

I don't want to convert it to Multimedia message.

4 Answers 4


This was fixed in Froyo. Anything over 3*160 (480 characters) will convert to an MMS prior to Froyo.

You do have a couple options.

  • Use a 3rd Party Messaging App, like Handcent, for example.
  • See if you are able to install this "Hack"
  • Root your phone and flash a Froyo Rom
  • Wait for a Froyo update from Samsung

Edit: Some additional information
Anything over 160 characters, technically, is no longer an SMS. The stock Messaging app, and others too, allow for "longer" messages but it is just splitting up the messages in to 160 characters. In Eclair (Android 2.1) a message will be converted to an MMS after it exceeds 480 characters. At that point, the default Messaging app will no longer split up the messages, instead it just sends it as one MMS. If you are using a 3rd party messaging application and find that you are still being charged the MMS rate, it may be that your carrier is grouping messages that come through "at the same time".

  • Thanks very much for the answer. I don't trust that hack. I'm waiting for upgrade from Samsung. I've installed Handcent, and I still had the problem. Currently uninstalled it. Is there any option in Handcent that I've to change?
    – IsmailS
    Feb 24, 2011 at 13:31
  • That is what I am stating, using a 3rd party messaging app, like handcent, will prevent the "Converting to Multimedia Message" bug that was in android prior to froyo. Feb 24, 2011 at 14:37
  • No, but I had also tried to send it through Handcent when I had it installed and it didn't showed me that message, but when I sent it, I got charged for MMS. And the reciever didn't recieved it as her phone was not supporting it.
    – IsmailS
    Feb 24, 2011 at 14:57
  • I've flashed to Froyo. Very happy with it.
    – IsmailS
    Mar 1, 2011 at 6:50

Use Handcent and change the default settings:

  1. Settings -> Send message settings
  2. Auto-convert to MMS - Uncheck this
  3. Split 160 - Set this to one of the Split options (I recommend Split by word & add counter but you may prefer a different one - I don't fully understand the differences between them all).

Rather than using Handcent, which is quite bulky, slow and doesn't really add any new features to the stock SMS application provided by Android, I recommend BigSMS.

It's a free application that provides you with a simple, yet powerful interface that allows you to send unlimited length SMS. It doesn't claim to be big or clever, it is simply a solution to this problem which the developer also appears to have encountered.

I've been using it for a couple of days and it seems to do exactly what it says. Running perfect on Xperia Arc S running 2.3

  • i like bigsms but it doesnt seem to save the messages anywhere. or am i missing something?!
    – user9340
    Nov 3, 2011 at 15:24
  • not sure. I just downloaded BigSMS off android and it appears to save all my sent sms in my sent box as used by Android. I don't really know. It's a great app though. It solves the problem it says its going to solve without including any frilly crap. Nov 13, 2011 at 1:57
  • BigSMS doesn't exist anymore? Tried Android Messages, but this also automatically converts to MMS.
    – ZygD
    Jul 9, 2021 at 10:43

As of 2019, Samsung and Google Messaging apps convert SMS into MMS if the SMS is greater than 10 fragments. But Play Store has an open-source app called QKSMS by Moez Bhatti, which I have tested will still send as SMS even at hundreds of fragments.

But then you must check the limit of your network, and the limit of the receiving phone. For example, in my tests I could send a 127-fragment SMS over Vodafone UK's network but 128 failed, and an old Samsung Galaxy S2 phone (using its default messaging app) could receive a 120-fragment message but consistently failed with a 121-fragment message (the message is never shown). When the receiving phone was on the UK's "EE" network, I had trouble making it receive texts longer than 17 fragments, and when the sending phone was on the "O2" network I had trouble sending SMS longer than 2 fragments.

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