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Why Is My Vodafone Not Receiving Texts Abroad? 5 Reasons + Fixes

Why Is My Vodafone Not Receiving Texts Abroad? 5 Reasons + Fixes

If your Vodafone phone is not receiving texts while you’re abroad, it will be down to one of the following reasons:

  1. Roaming services might not be available in that country (fix – check if this is the case)
  2. Your phone might not be set up to receive texts abroad (fix – change this in settings)
  3. Your phone might be in airplane mode (fix – turn airplane mode off!)
  4. Your phone’s roaming service might not be turned on (fix – turn it on)
  5. There may be issues with your SIM card (fix – you may need a new SIM card)

In this post, I’ll go through each of these issues, so you can troubleshoot which may be happening to you. There is a simple fix for each issue.

woman on phone

Why Is My Vodafone Not Receiving Texts Abroad?

If you’re not receiving texts while you’re abroad, there are a few things that could be happening.

1. Check To See If There Are Vodafone Roaming Services In The Country

First, check to see whether there are Vodafone roaming services in the country you are in.

Not all countries have Vodafone roaming services available.

2. Check Your Phone Is Set Up To Receive Texts Abroad

If there are Vodafone roaming services in the country you’re visiting, the next thing to do is check whether your phone is set up to receive texts while abroad.

If your phone is set to the correct network mode. If it’s set to “global” or “worldwide,” it should work in most countries.

If it’s set to “automatic” or “select network,” it may not work in some countries. You can also try to manually select the network mode for the country you’re visiting.

3. Check That Your Phone Is Not in Airplane Mode

You should also check whether your phone is on Airplane Mode. This can sometimes happen accidentally, and it will prevent your phone from receiving texts.

Most people tend to put their phones on Airplane Mode when traveling then forget to disable it.

Quick fixes for Vodafone Error 21

4. Is Your Phone’s Roaming Service Turned On?

Another possibility is that your phone’s roaming service isn’t turned on.

To turn it on, open your phone’s settings and look for the “roaming” option. If it’s off, turn it on and select the country you’re visiting.

5. Resolve Issues With Your SIM Card

Finally, if your phone is still not receiving texts, there may be a problem with its SIM card. To troubleshoot this, try removing the SIM card and restarting your phone.

When you restart your phone, re-insert the SIM card and see if that solves the problem.

6. Last Chance Saloon – Phone Vodafone Customer Service

If you’re still having trouble receiving texts while abroad, contact Vodafone customer service for more help.

They will be able to help troubleshoot the issue and provide additional support.

How Does Vodafone Send And Receive Texts Abroad?

If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve been in a situation where you’ve needed to send or receive a text while abroad.

Whether it’s for work or personal reasons, being able to stay connected is important. So how does Vodafone make sure you can stay in touch while abroad?

It is made possible through roaming.

Vodafone has agreements with other mobile networks all around the world.

When you’re in a country that Vodafone doesn’t have an agreement with, your phone will automatically connect to another network that does. This means you can continue using your phone as normal, even when you’re abroad.

To make sure you’re always connected, Vodafone has a few things in place. First, they have what’s called ‘automatic network selection’.

This means that your phone will automatically connect to the strongest signal when you turn it on. You don’t need to do anything, it will just happen automatically.

man using phone

Second, Vodafone has a ‘network preference setting’. This allows you to choose which network you want your phone to automatically connect to.

You can select from a list of networks that Vodafone has agreements with, or you can just let your phone choose the best network for you.

You can also use your phone’s data roaming settings to control how much data you use while abroad. This is really important, as data roaming can be quite expensive.

You can choose to have your phone use no data, or just a limited amount of data each day. This way, you’ll never have to worry about going over your limit and getting charged extra.

You can send and receive texts through SMS roaming. This is a service that Vodafone provides that allows you to send and receive texts while you’re abroad. You can use it on any phone, as long as it’s connected to the internet.

To start using SMS roaming, just open up your messaging app and select the ‘SMS’ tab. From there, you can type in the number you want to send a message to, or select it from your contacts.

holding phone

How To Activate Roaming On Vodafone

To be able to receive texts on your Vodafone while abroad, follow these steps to activate roaming:

Users using Android devices:

  • On your Android phone, open the Settings icon.
  • After that, select SIM card & mobile data, and then select your SIM.
  • Turn on the “Data roaming” option by toggling the switch.

To do this on an iPhone:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Cellular, Cellular Data, and Mobile Data. 
  • Next, select Roaming.
  • Check to see that the Data roaming and Voice roaming options are both turned on.

Final Thoughts

If you are having issues with your Vodafone not receiving text messages abroad, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue. First, check to make sure that your phone is set up for roaming and that your network settings are correct.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, try restarting your phone or contacting Vodafone customer service. Hopefully one of these solutions will help get your texts flowing again while you’re on vacation.


  • Tauqeer Ahmed

    Tauqeer Ahmed is a technology expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He has a degree in Computer Science and specializes in network security and software troubleshooting. You can find out more about him at

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