Windows Phone: Cannot Send Text Messages (SMS) To Some People?

I discovered a weird issue on my Windows Phone: sometimes, when I use the Messaging app, I cannot send text messages to a few people. When I search for them in the To field, the search doesn’t return their name and phone number. But, when I double check the People app, I see them listed with their phone number and everything. What’s going on? Why is the Messaging app is not listing them as contacts I can send text messages to? I did a bit of research and found out why this is happening.

The Problem: The Messaging App Doesn’t Find Certain Contacts

Let’s take an example: in the People app, I have two contacts that share the same surname: Constantinescu. A very common family name in Romania.

One of them is Alexandru and his contact entry has plenty of details, including his cell phone and several e-mail addresses.

Windows Phone - People Profile

When I try to send him a text and search for his family name, his entry doesn’t show up - only the one of the other contact with the same surname.

Windows Phone - SMS

Why is this happening? Because his mobile number is listed as a work number. That number is provided by his 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 mobile and not a traditional phone. The same with phone numbers set as home phones.

The Solution: Edit that Contact and Set His Phone Number as Mobile

The only way you will be able to send a person a text message (SMS) is to set his phone number as mobile. To do this, open the People app and find that person’s entry. Open it and then tap Edit.

Windows Phone - Edit Profile

Tap the phone entry (work or home).

Windows Phone - Edit Profile

This opens the Edit phone number window. Tap the Phone number type field.

Windows Phone - Edit Profile

In the list of possible phone types, select mobile.

Windows Phone - Edit Profile

Tap the Save button to apply the change.

Windows Phone - Edit Profile

From now on, you will be able to text the person whose contact number you just edited.


I find this to be a weird limitation. If you don’t pay attention to how the phone number of a person is classified, you will waste some 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.