Black Friday / Cyber Monday Alert: Due to increased traffic demand on mobile communication networks, we are expecting potential congestion for US carrier networks during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. Customers may experience intermittent SMS and MMS delivery delays. Please refer to our Black Friday / Cyber Monday FAQ page and our Twilio Status page for more information.

Not Receiving Incoming SMS and MMS Messages on Twilio Phone Number

Inbound SMS and MMS messages not hitting your Twilio number as expected? Here are some troubleshooting steps to check:

Do you have an SMS-enabled Twilio number with a valid configuration?

  1. Log into your Twilio project at www.twilio.com/console.
  2. Click Phone Numbers Icon_Numbers.png from the left-side navigation bar.
    NOTE: If Phone Numbers is not visible, you may first need to click All Products & Services.
  3. Check that your Twilio number has the SMS icon listed under "Capabilities". If your Twilio phone number does not have SMS capabilities, you will need to buy an SMS capable phone number to receive incoming SMS messages.
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  4. Click your number, and verify that you have a valid configuration for receiving messages.

Are you expecting to receive SMS from an international number (a different country than your Twilio number)?

Twilio promises support for receiving SMS within the same country as your Twilio SMS-enabled number. For example, a German mobile number can deliver SMS to a German Twilio mobile number. If you ever encounter delivery issues on in-country incoming SMS, please contact Twilio Support.

For non-domestic incoming SMS, some international carriers are unable to successfully pass off SMS into Twilio’s network. Because of this, Twilio cannot guarantee that incoming messages will be received. For example, a German mobile number may not be able to deliver SMS to a UK Twilio number.

For this reason, we recommend always using a Twilio number local to your recipients if you need to receive reply SMS from your end users.

In cases where non-domestic SMS are failing to reach Twilio, the sending party may choose to reach out to the sending carrier to troubleshoot. Please note, however, that receiving non-domestic SMS is not officially supported by Twilio and may not be successful.

Are you roaming off your network?

Twilio cannot guarantee the deliverability of SMS from wireless phones that are roaming. If an SMS message is sent to Twilio from a phone number roaming in an area outside of where it normally operates, the message may not arrive.

Twilio does not have the ability to determine whether or not the phone number you are sending SMS from is roaming at the time. In this scenario, we recommend having the sending party escalate to their wireless provider.

Are you expecting to receive SMS from a short code?

Twilio accounts can now be enabled to receive messages from short codes. This is an account-wide setting, which will apply to all long code numbers that belong to your Twilio account.

Your account must have a Twilio number from the same country as the short code from which you intend to receive messages. Short code numbers are always country-specific and can only communicate with numbers from the same country.

Please contact Twilio Support to have this option enabled on your account. It is important to note that even when this feature is enabled, we cannot always guarantee delivery of these incoming messages due to factors outside of Twilio's control.

Are you expecting to receive SMS from an Alphanumeric Sender ID?

At this time, Twilio does not support receiving incoming SMS from external Alphanumeric Sender IDs. An Alphanumeric Sender ID is not a phone number, but a string of letters and numbers, usually spelling the name of the business or entity sending the messages.

You can use Alphanumeric Sender IDs on Twilio to send SMS to mobile users (see Getting Started with Alphanumeric Sender ID), however receiving incoming messages from external Alpha Sender IDs is not supported.

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