With my Galaxy S3, my girlfriend's Galaxy S4 and her mother's Galaxy Core, we cannot download MMS automatically. We have to turn on data before doing so.
This problem is not happening with her sister's Galaxy Ace: whenever they receive a MMS, data is automatically turned on, and then off once the MMS is downloaded.

Now, this isn't a real problem most of the time (more of an annoying one), but my girlfriend's mother has a very low data plan (100mb) and often forgets to switch off data once the MMS is received, so she often maxes out her data plan.

I have tried something I found here: copy the existing APN and setting only "mms" as APN type, but it doesn't work.

My girlfriend and I are Orange (France) and her mother is Bouygues.

Thanks for your help!

3 Answers 3


Android 10+

This option is now built into Android:

  1. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network
  2. Enable MMS messages (Send and receive when mobile data is off)

Android < 10: disable mobile data

  1. Settings > Mobile networks > Access Point Names

    • Lollipop: Settings > More > Cellular networks > Access Point Names
  2. Select the APN for your carrier by tapping the name > APN type

  3. Set the value to mms
    enter image description here

    • Delete anything else in APN type
    • mms must be lower-case
  4. Menu/hamburger icon > Save

  5. At this point it should return you to the list of APNs. The 3G/4G indicator should go away. If you have other APNs in the list, you need to delete them.

  6. Make sure your mobile data is enabled:

    Settings > Mobile networks > ON

    • Lollipop: swipe from the top with two fingers > tap your mobile network name > enable the Cellular data toggle near the top right

You should now be able to send/receive MMS messages. Data usage for accessing the internet however will be restricted.

If you ever want to undo this and change back to the default settings, just to go back to the Access Point Names menu > menu/hamburger icon > Reset to default

More information here:

Alternative: Use a different SMS app

If you want to do turn data on/off when sending/receiving MMS messages without completely disabling your mobile data for other uses, there are alternative SMS apps you can use that have this functionality built in, such as:

  • This is almost correct. There is one problem though, specifically with recommendations in step 5 (as of this writing). You must have only one APN profile which only has "mms". If you have other APN profiles with "default" or "*" or "supl" they will be used by the phone to access data even if they are not selected as the current profile.The APN type "default" is kind of a catch all for mms, data and supl. See: tamingthedroid.com/apn-type for information about the "APN type" setting.
    – moo
    Dec 25, 2020 at 23:35
  • Also its worth noting that your data does NOT "automatically turn on/off when sending/receiving MMS messages"; data is simply only allowed for MMS service without allowing data for all other usage such as internet.
    – moo
    Dec 25, 2020 at 23:40
  • @moo Thanks for the suggestions, I've updated my answer to reflect them, as well as to add a much better solution for Android 10+
    – bmaupin
    Dec 16, 2021 at 13:21

Again something is able to solve (and maybe one of its "free alternatives" such as as well – but as a Tasker user, I can better describe it for that):

Both apps can act on events, and execute tasks. So let me construct a fake-profile (use it as "guide", not literally):

  • Condition:
    • Received Text (Tasker does not differentiate between SMS and MMS here)
  • Task:
    • Mobile Data → On
    • Wait → 1 min (set a time frame sufficient to connect and download the MMS)
  • Exit-Task: (optional)
    • Mobile Data → Off

The Exit-Task is optional. By default, Tasker restores the "before-state" automatically.

So what would this do? Whenever a message (SMS or MMS) is received, it would turn on mobile data for a minute to download the text, and then automatically switch it off again.

As I'm not sure whether an incoming MMS would even be signaled with data off, let's have a "Plan B":

  • Condition:
    • State→Mobile Network is On
  • Task:
    • Wait → 10 min (adjust time frame to fit your needs)
  • Exit-Task:
    • Mobile Data → Off

This would be a kind of "don't forget me" timer: If your girlfriends mother turns on data to receive the MMS, and forgets to turn it off again, it would automatically be turned off after the configured time-frame. Here the exit-task is mandatory, so Tasker does not restore the "before-state".


None of the suggestions in the other answers worked for me. I downloaded a 3rd party messaging app called Textra SMS. It worked perfectly, it has the "automatically turn on data for MMS" option and a nice simple layout.

  • I used to use Textra specifically for that feature, but got a new phone and learned that apparently as of Lollipop, Android has removed the ability for any apps to turn mobile data on and off.
    – Avril
    Mar 13, 2020 at 19:51

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