What Does Sent as SMS Via Server Mean?

What is RCS messaging

If you’re an Android user who relies on the messaging app a lot, you may have encountered a perplexing notification. Yes, it’s the Sent as SMS via Server notification. So, what does it mean, and why does it happen?

Sent as SMS via Server on Android indicates that a message was initially sent through RCS but has been fallbacked to a standard SMS. It happens due to an unstable connection.

But is that all there’s to it? Not really! This article will unravel everything behind this notification. It will also explore the role of RCS (Rich Communication Services). You will get tips on managing this feature too. So, keep on reading!

Understanding the Sent as SMS via Server Notification

First of all, the Sent as SMS via server notification doesn’t mean that there’s an issue with your messages. Instead, it’s a mechanism employed by Google’s RCS. It happens when it encounters unstable connections.

Google Messages RCS

For those unaware, RCS, short for Rich Communication Services, is an advanced messaging protocol. It enhances your texting experience with features akin to popular messaging apps.

In situations where the RCS connection falters due to instability, Google intervenes by converting your RCS message into a regular SMS. This transition ensures seamless messaging. It allows your message to reach its destination without undue delays.

So, in short, the Sent as SMS via server notification serves as a transparency feature. It informs the users of the automatic switch from RCS to SMS.

Why Does the Notification Pop Up?

When the ‘Sent as SMS via server’ message appears, it is usually due to the following reasons:

  • You or the recipient isn’t connected to the internet.
  • The recipient is using an iPhone.
  • You are sending the message to a recipient with an old Android smartphone.
  • The recipient has RCS chats turned off.

SMS Messaging app

How RCS Works and its Benefits

RCS, or Rich Communication Services, serves as a modernized alternative to traditional SMS and MMS. Unlike conventional texting, RCS operates over an internet connection. It offers a spectrum of features such as:

  • Improved multimedia messages.
  • Extended character limits.
  • Read receipts.
  • Location sharing.

While mobile carriers are gradually adopting RCS, tech giants like Google have already integrated this technology into platforms like Google Messages. You can learn more about RCS messaging through our in-depth explainer found in this link.

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Google Messages

Does iMessage Have RCS?Ā 

A common inquiry is whether iMessage utilizes RCS. The answer is no. However, Apple has confirmed that there will be support for RCS in the future. When that happens, you may start to see the Sent as SMS Via Server notification on iPhones too.

Apple iMessage

Nonetheless, the integration of RCS into iMessage will eventually resolve compatibility issues between Android and iMessage. It will address problems like:

  • Low-quality media sharing between the devices.
  • Encryption in group chats between iOS and Android.
  • Read receipts between iMessage and Android.
  • Typing indicators between Android and iOS.
  • Location sharing across the devices.

How Do You Turn the Sent as SMS via Server Notification Off?

Curious about turning off the Sent as SMS via server notification? Yes, you can. However, it’s better not to turn it off. We will get to it later.

Now, since RCS is exclusive to Google Messages, that’s where you need to make the adjustment. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Messages.
  2. Navigate to the conversation view.
  3. Tap your profile picture.
  4. Select Messages settings.
  5. Access RCS chats.
  6. Toggle off the ‘Automatically resend as text (SMS/MMS)’ setting.

Google Messages SMS App

While this eliminates the notification, you need to consider one thing. With the feature disabled, in the event of an RCS connection failure, your messages won’t be sent. It will be stuck until the connection is restored. It’s a trade-off between seamless communication and avoiding the notification.


See? The Sent as SMS via server notification may initially seem puzzling; it’s actually a simple notification. It serves the purpose of ensuring uninterrupted communication on Android devices. So, you don’t need to panic when it pops up.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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