How to Fix Error 38 When Sending SMS? Complete Guide

How to Fix Error 38 When Sending SMS? Text messages have become second nature to most of us in a world dominated by instant communication.

You need to be able to send SMS (Short Message Service) when sharing important information, making plans, or simply keeping in touch with loved ones.

Nevertheless, SMS can sometimes throw a wrench into our plans with error messages. “Error 38” is a particularly frustrating error message.

We’re here to help you if you’ve ever encountered Error 38 when sending SMS and wondered what it meant or how to fix it.

Throughout this blog post, we will explore the causes and symptoms of Error 38 and provide you with effective solutions to get your messages flowing again.

This guide will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to troubleshoot and resolve Error 38, ensuring your SMS communication remains uninterrupted.

What Is Error 38 When Sending SMS?

In the case of Error 38, a generic error message can occur on some mobile phones and networks.

It is not specific to a particular cause but rather a catch-all message that indicates problems with sending SMS messages.

Here are some possible causes:

Network Issues: 

The cause of Error 38 is usually a network issue, such as poor signal strength, network congestion, or issues with the infrastructure of your mobile service provider.

Recipient Issues: 

When sending a message, you might encounter Error 38 if your recipient’s phone is turned off or out of service.

Message Content:

 There are times when the content of your message may trigger Error 38. This may happen if you attempt to send a message that contains special characters or formatting that the recipient’s phone or network cannot process.

Account Issues: 

In addition, Error 38 may occur if there are problems with your mobile account, such as billing issues or outgoing message restrictions.

Software Glitches: 

You may encounter Error 38 if your phone has a glitch or software bug that interferes with message sending.

Blocked Contacts:

 Sending a message to the recipient might result in this error if they have blocked your number.

Out of Service Area: 

You won’t be able to send SMS messages if you don’t have coverage from your mobile provider.

SIM Card Issues:

 Messaging problems can also be caused by damaged or improperly inserted SIM cards.

The cause of Error 38 can vary depending on your mobile phone, network, and the circumstances surrounding the message you’re trying to send, since it is a general error message.

The problem may be resolved if you troubleshoot the potential causes mentioned above or contact your mobile service provider for assistance.

How to Fix Error 38 When Sending SMS?

This error can be caused by a variety of factors, including network problems, account problems, or even problems with your phone.

The steps below will help you troubleshoot and fix this error.

Ensure Your SIM Card Is Not Damaged

In addition, you may face this issue if your SIM card is damaged. If you are facing this issue, make sure there is no damage to the SIM card.

Insert the SIM card into another phone and see if the issue continues to occur.

In case of a problem with the SIM card, you may have to change it. For that, you can go to the Vodafone store or contact customer care.

Set SMSC Manually

You may try manually setting SMSC if you are still experiencing Error 38 when sending SMS. Your network provider will usually do this, but if you are experiencing this issue you will have to do it yourself.

It is necessary to obtain the Vodafone SMS number for your region in order to continue with this process.

Click on this link to get your network operator’s SMSC number for your region by contacting them.

To set the SMSC after receiving the number, follow the steps below:

  • Your phone’s Phone/Dialer app should be open.
  • In this case, dial ##4636#*#*
  • SMSC can be found on the Phone Information screen.
  • In order to see the SMSC number that is currently in use, tap on Refresh.
  • Tap on Update and replace the old SMSC number with the one you received from your network operator. 

Reset Network Settings

Trying to reset your phone’s network settings may help you resolve the issue. By doing so, you’ll reset your cellular network, Wi-Fi network, and Bluetooth.

To reset your network settings, follow the steps below.

On Android

You can reset the network settings of an Android phone by following the steps below:

  • Go to the Settings app on your phone.
  • Go to the Settings app and tap General Management.
  • Reset your network settings by tapping Reset and then Reset Network Settings. 
  • When you tap Reset Settings, you will be asked to enter your PIN.
  • You will be prompted to reset your network settings once you have done so.

On iPhone

You can reset network settings on your iPhone by following the steps below:

  • The Settings app is located in the App Store on your iPhone.
  • You can then select Transfer or Reset [Device] from here. 
  • Select Reset from the menu.
  • You can reset your network settings under this section by tapping on Reset Network Settings.
Error 38 When Sending SMS

Select Vodafone Network

This should most likely fix the connectivity problem resulting in Error 38 while sending SMS. You can also try manually selecting the Vodafone Network.

The following steps will guide you through the process:

On iPhone

Here are the steps you can follow to manually select the Vodafone network on your iPhone:

  • You can access iPhone settings by opening the Settings app.
  • Tap on the Cellular option here.
  • Turn off the toggle for Automatic Network Selection by tapping the Network Selection option. 
  • Tap on Vodafone to see all the available network operators. 

On Android

In order to manually switch to Vodafone on your Android, follow the steps listed below:

  • You can open the Settings app by tapping on the Settings icon in the App Drawer.
  • To access Network Operators, tap on Connections.
  • If Select Automatically is toggled on, turn it off.
  • To switch to Vodafone, select it from the list of available operators. 

Update the Messages App

Messages may also cause this problem if they are outdated. To resolve this issue, update the Messages app to the latest version following these steps:

  • Install the application from the Play Store (in case of Android) or App Store (in case of iOS).
  • Choose the very first option that shows up when you search for Messages here.
  • Tap on the Update button if an update is available for the app.
  • After that, you should no longer encounter Error 38 when sending SMS messages.

What are some other common SMS errors and their solutions?

These are some of the other common SMS errors and how to resolve them:

– Error 1: Message blocked. 

A message that is blocked by the recipient’s carrier or device may be due to spam, content, or other reasons.

It is important to follow SMS marketing best practices, such as getting consent from your recipients, using a clear sender ID, and avoiding spammy words.

How to Fix Boost Mobile Phone Not Receiving Calls?

– Error 8: Unknown subscriber. 

It means the recipient’s number is either not recognized or no longer active.

To avoid this error, you should regularly update your contact list and unsubscribe from any inactive or invalid numbers.

– Error 21: Short message transfer rejected. 

If you receive this error, it means the network rejected your message due to congestion, capacity, or other factors.

To avoid this error, limit the number of messages you send at once, avoid peak hours, and use a reputable SMS provider.

– Error 28: Unidentified subscriber. 

If this error occurs, the recipient’s number may not be registered on the network or may be roaming outside of the coverage area.

To avoid this error, you should verify the recipient’s number and country code, and confirm network availability.

– Error 29: Facility rejected. 

The network rejected your message because of an unsupported feature, such as an attachment, a long message, or a special character.

If you want to avoid this error, keep your message short and simple, use plain text format, and do not send any media files.


Experiencing Error 38 when sending SMS messages can be frustrating and inconvenient. However, these solutions will assist you with overcoming this obstacle and ensuring your text messages reach their intended recipients.

In order to resolve such errors, you need to make sure you are using both software and network-related fixes. The best way to resolve the issue is to remain patient and persistent in your efforts to do so.

You can check your signal strength, adjust your message settings, or contact your service provider for assistance.

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