Android - MMS Without Data

Noah Petherbridge
Posted by Noah Petherbridge on Monday, September 19 2011 @ 10:35:44 PM
Today I finally decided to break up with T-Mobile and take my number and Nexus One phone to AT&T, as a prepaid phone (tl;dr - I'm tired of cell phone ISPs locking people in to contracts and then they can't do anything about it when the ISP changes their plans around).

My Nexus One was originally for T-Mobile's network, so it doesn't work with the 3G on AT&T's... but that's fine because my AT&T plan doesn't include data. But, my phone can still use AT&T's Edge network.

I don't want any random background apps using the Edge network and costing me usage fees when I'm out and about. But, if I disable Mobile Data altogether, picture messaging (MMS) stops working too. So after a lot of searching around I seem to have found a way to disable the mobile network for all apps, but still allow MMS to be sent/received using it.

On my Nexus One, from the home screen:

  1. Push the menu button and pick Settings
  2. Pick "Wireless & networks"
  3. Pick "Mobile networks"
  4. Make sure "Data enabled" is checked (MMS won't work either if you disable it here!)
  5. Go to "Access Point Names"
    • On my phone, the only APN here was named "ATT (wap.cingular)"
  6. Scroll down to the "APN type" setting.
    • On my phone, the original value for this setting was "default,supl,mms"
  7. Change its value to be only "mms".
  8. Push the menu button and pick "Save."
After this, I tested it. I was able to send and receive MMS messages (which turned on the Edge network notification), but apps like Facebook, Google+, and the mobile web browser all complained that I didn't have an Internet connection.



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There are 16 comments on this page.

Posted on Tuesday, February 28 2012 @ 11:47:06 AM by rucov.

Thanks for sharing. Helped me a lot.

Posted on Saturday, March 03 2012 @ 04:09:46 PM by Bimo.

Thanks, you helped me.

Posted on Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 07:46:17 AM by justin.

Thank's I was looking for how to do this.

Posted on Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 08:13:11 AM by justin.

These are the settings i have in my apn just in case anyone needs them.

Name: AT&T
APN: wap.cingular
Proxy: leave blank
Port: leave blank
Password:CINGULAR1 (yes this is in CAPS)
Server: leave blank
MMS Proxy:
MMS Port: 80
APN Type: mms

Posted on Sunday, August 26 2012 @ 07:22:00 PM by tom.

thanks for sharing, helped a lot :)

Posted on Tuesday, September 04 2012 @ 08:02:33 PM by anonamouse.

I have been trying to figure this out for the last five years. Thank you so much. Much appreciated.

Posted on Thursday, November 01 2012 @ 08:25:06 PM by mag.

when I checked data enabled it said, ' significant roaming charges may apply'. I didn't dare take the chance to continue.

Posted on Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 06:00:46 PM by holdenrs.

This may be a really old thread, i have no clue, but after doing what you told me, neither data or mms work.

Posted on Tuesday, March 25 2014 @ 07:26:03 AM by jozi.

Just to create a new dummy profile for Internet connection as the MMS will be there ..

Switch to that profile and activate mobile data.
Internet will not work but mms you will get :)


Posted on Saturday, July 19 2014 @ 07:44:11 PM by Heather .

How do you do this on the LG 3. I don't see that option

Posted on Monday, August 11 2014 @ 09:42:23 AM by andrew.

this is clearly an old post but i wanted to thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

i have no data plan but want to use mms. in android 4.4 i'm unable to directly change these settings, but i exported the .db file where all this data gets stored, and edited the appropriate field to only say "default,mms" and now i get mms and nothing else!


Posted on Saturday, August 23 2014 @ 08:06:28 PM by Jay.

how to I do this for the Galaxy s4.

Posted on Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:54:22 AM by payney.

gday, we have been having trouble with the same issue on Samsung s2 and s6, data and wifi off no MMS can be sent or retrieved just wifi on no go either, but I have a ASPERA tough phone that if data and wifi are off I can still send and receive MMS, my ASPERA is only a new phone so it may depend on phone or settings I'm with telstra and all good and VODAPHONE say there network wont do MMS without data connection

Posted on Tuesday, December 27 2016 @ 11:39:49 AM by Dave.

Seeing has how the question is specifically about how to do this WITHOUT data...the "make sure data is enabled " point in your solution is ridiculous and stupid. Try answering the question without enabling data and then maybe you will answer the correct question

Posted on Wednesday, December 28 2016 @ 12:41:05 PM by Noah Petherbridge.

Those reading comprehension skills, though...

Make sure "Data enabled" is checked (MMS won't work either if you disable it here!)

If you use that option to disable data usage, then you can not send or receive MMS text messages: so no sending or receiving pictures via text.

My solution has you leave data enabled so that MMS will work (it's the title of this blog post, after all!), and then goes on to further tweak how the data is allowed to be used, so that MMS does work and normal data usage does not.

At any rate, enough things in Android have probably changed since I wrote this post that these steps don't even work today anyway.

Posted on Thursday, December 29 2016 @ 03:12:28 PM by George.

I came across this entry while trying to solve my own "how to MMS without a data plan". Finally solved it today!
T-Mobile plan: Legacy Pay As You Go: 10 cents per minute, 10 cents per SMS, 25 cents per MMS. (no data)
Phone: Moto G4 Play Android 6.0.1
1. Settings>Cellular networks>Data roaming (enabled)
2. Settings>Cellular networks>Enhanced 4G LTE Mode (enabled)
3. Settings>Cellular networks>Access Point Names>T-Mobile US 260 LTE (selected)
4. T-Mobile US 260 LTE settings:
Proxy: Not set
Port: Not set
Username: none
Password: Not set
Server: Not set
MMS proxy: Not set
MMS port: not set
MMC: 310
MNC: 260
Authentication type: Not set
APN type: Not set
APN protocol: IPv4/IPv6
APN roaming protocol: IPv4
Bearer: Unspecified
MVNO type: None
5. Settings>Data usage>Cellular data (enabled)
6. Settings>Data usage>Set cellular data limit (disabled)
7. Settings>Apps>Messenger(default messaging app for my phone)>Data usage>Restrict app background data (disabled)
I can receive MMS using the settings above. Enabling Cellular data was the key. However, my other problem was sending a picture via MMS. The default messaging app did not have an option to attach a photo from stored photos. The key to sending a photo was to select the photo within the "Photo" app, and then "share" the photo with "Messenger". Once I shared the photo with the "Messenger" app, then I had the option to send a message with that photo as an MMS message. Hopefully my solution might help someone else.

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