I have been unable to figure this out. I have seen multiple instructions online but none of them describe what I see on my phone. I am running the latest KitKat and Hangouts and I want to create a new SMS and add multiple recipients from my address book.

I start by typing a name, for example "Bob", and then choose Bobs number from the list that pops up as I'm typing. It then jumps to the current SMS conversation I am having with Bob. There is literally no where for me add another person to send the text to. I don't seem to be able to start a fresh SMS conversation with multiple people.

So basically how can I send a text message to several people?

EDITED: Added some screen grabs below to show y'all what I'm seeing. Yellow marks are me tapping that area and the next image is what happens after the tap.

Selecting a contact Selecting their mobile number Getting sent to current conversation

  • 1
    Same problem here! How can this not be intuitive?
    – ullstrm
    Sep 29, 2014 at 9:10
  • 2
    I see that some of my friends have this option in their hangouts. It's not showing up for me, but the question is why?
    – ullstrm
    Sep 29, 2014 at 10:29
  • What's available if you open the action menu (3 dots, top right) on your third screenshot? I think I've seen a menu item there at times that's named something like "Group MMS". Sep 30, 2014 at 15:41
  • People & options - Archive - Delete - Un-Merge SMS(this isn't always here, depends on the contact) - Help & Feedback.... "People & Options" Just lets me set the ringtone, message tone, remove from circles etc... The others do what thier title suggests Sep 30, 2014 at 16:00
  • 1
    I can't answer due to rep so I'll comment. So, this happens because of your SIM card. When you go to Settings -> about phone -> status, you'll see that your phone number is undefined or wrong. Because of this, the hangout app can't send group MMS/SMS (yeah, that's STUPID). You have to edit the phone number on your sim. To do this, you either have to root your Nexus 5 and use an app to edit the sim, or use another phone with the ability to edit the sim (like the iPhone 4S or older android phones). Once your phone number is good, the group MMS/SMS options will appear in hangout. Oct 16, 2014 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


According to Google, this functionality is no longer available unless you enable group MMS. Unfortunately, MMSs are much more expensive for me and aren't displayed correctly on some older feature phones.

Once again, Google doesn't care about non-Google communication protocols, possibly in an attempt to force people onto Google products or out of sheer ignorance. They did the same with the mail client in Kitkat which is unusable to me because of severe IMAP bugs, so I switched to K9. Seems like I have to find an alternative SMS app as well.

Edit: Google now offers an SMS app called Messenger (yeah, like the Facebook app) that supports group SMS. It looks similar to Textra which I used before, but now this is my default SMS app.

Edit: This feature has been reintroduced in Hangouts version 3.

  • 3
    Thanks for the link, just read the whole thread. This makes no sense, sending a single SMS to multiple numbers is like the 3rd most basic thing to do with a mobile phone, just behind calling people and sending individual SMS's. Plus the feature was there on the very last version of hangouts, why go to the trouble of removing it!?! Guess I'll start reading the reviews of 3rd party SMS apps... Oct 1, 2014 at 21:48

I just looked at my version of Hangouts. It's not the exact same situation as you, as I'm running CM 11S on my OnePlus, but I am running hangouts 2.3 so it should be the same.

  1. In the left tab, choose a text number. Alternatively, in the right tab, hit the plus button in the top right of the screen.
  2. Choose one of the individuals you would like to text.

  3. At the top of the screen, there should be a gray "Anyone Else?" box. Touch that.

  4. The screen's title will no be "New group MMS". Add the next contact.

  5. Repeat.

There have been situations where the option to add members to a group MMS has not shown up. I'd try adding an individual both ways I mentioned. Let me know how your device is behaving and I'll try to help further.

  • 1
    Thanks for this, unfortunately these are the same instructions I have seen elsewhere. I do not see a grey "Anyone Else?" box. When I choose an individual to text it simply goes straight to the current SMS conversation I am having with that individual. I'll take some screen grabs and add to my question. Sep 29, 2014 at 15:51
  • @superphonic Do you have a Google Voice number set up on Hangouts, by chance? Sep 29, 2014 at 20:08
  • @eldarerathis No. Sep 29, 2014 at 21:58
  • Updated question with screen grabs... Sep 30, 2014 at 10:49
  • 1
    The important thing is, the contact you start with has to be a Google+ profile.
    – jthill
    Nov 4, 2014 at 2:43

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