Windows Phone: Cannot send text messages (SMS) to some people?

Maybe you've noticed in Windows Phone that sometimes, you can't send text messages to some of your contacts, when you use the Messaging app. When you search for them in the To field, the search doesn't return their names and/or their phone numbers. But, when you double check the People app, you see them listed with their phone number and everything. What's going on? Why is the Messaging app not listing them as contacts you can send text messages to? We did a bit of research and found out why this is happening.

Why doesn't the Windows Phone Messaging app find certain contacts?

One reason you can't send text messages to certain people is the fact that the entry is not listed when you search for it. For example, in the People app there are two contacts that share the same surname: Smith.

One of them is Jenny, and her contact contains a lot of details including her cell phone number and several email addresses.

Now, when you try to send her a text message and search for her family name, her entry doesn't show up - only the other contact with the same surname.

This is happening because her mobile phone is listed as a work number. That number is provided by her company, but it is essentially a mobile phone that can receive and send text messages.

Unfortunately, Windows Phone doesn't allow you to text people on their work phone, even if that phone is a smartphone and not a traditional phone. The same thing happens with phone numbers set as home or company numbers.

How to set a phone number as mobile

One way to send a text message (SMS) to a person is to set his or her phone number as mobile. To do this, open the People app, find the contact and open it.

Next, tap the edit button from the lower menu.

Now, tap phone in the editing screen.

A list containing all types of phone numbers will open. Select mobile from the list.

A new field for the mobile number will be created. All you have to do is start typing the same number listed as the work number and press the save button from the lower menu.

You will now be able to send a text to Jenny Smith, as her contact will be listed when you search for it.

Another way to do this, much more simple, is to create a new message thread, and instead of searching the contact name, press the "+" button placed near the search box.

Now, scroll down to find the contact and tap on it.

The second way we presented is faster and you don't have to edit the contact before texting. You can use any of the methods we presented, as both ways are easy and solve this issue quite fast.


We find this to be a weird limitation of Windows Phone. If you don't pay attention to how the phone number of a person is classified, you will waste time figuring things out when trying to send a text message. If you are looking for other useful tips and tricks about working with Windows Phone, don't hesitate to check the recommendations below.