| Individuals July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015

How to disable auto-fetching of MMS messages on a device’s default SMS app

By Lookout

When an Android device receives a video message via SMS, by default it will automatically download the file. Therefore, disabling auto-fetching prevents an attacker from getting a device to automatically download a malicious video containing Stagefright exploits, which allows the user to delete the message and avoid device exploitation. To determine your device's default SMS app, go to Settings > Default applications > Messages. While these instructions will make it harder for a device to be exploited via MMS, Lookout encourages Android users to exercise caution when viewing videos displayed on untrusted websites or included in messages from unknown senders.
Instructions for disabling auto-fetching of MMS for Hangouts:
First, open Hangouts, then, tap on the menu button in the upper left corner: SF1 Then tap “Settings”: SF2 Then tap “SMS”: SF3 (Note: If SMS is not listed here then a device does not use Hangouts for retrieving SMS/MMS and the user should instead disable auto-fetching of MMS for the relevant application.) Then scroll down and uncheck “Auto retrieve MMS”: SF4
Instructions for disabling auto-fetching of MMS for Messages:  
First, open Messages, then, tap on the menu button in the upper right corner: SF5 Then tap “Settings”: SF6 Then tap “Multimedia message (MMS)”: SF7 Then uncheck “Auto retrieve”: SF8
Instructions for disabling auto-fetching of MMS for Messaging:
First, open Messaging, then, tap on the menu button in the bottom right corner: SF9 Then tap “Settings”: SF10 Then scroll down and uncheck “Auto-retrieve” SF11
Instructions for disabling auto-fetching of MMS for Messenger:
First, open Messenger, then, tap on the menu button in the upper right corner: SF12 Then tap “Settings”: SF13 Then tap “Advanced”: SF14 Then disable “Auto-retrieve”: SF15



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Amythyst says:

November 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm

I just got thru following all of the instructions and it worked for me. You have to make sure you choose whatever app you're using for messaging has to be selected as default before it will allow you to disable the auto-retrieve MMS. (Since no one thought to mention that little bit of info first.) Once you select it as default, if it isn't already, make your changes. Then once you're done go reselect whatever app you were using as your original default before the change. It takes 2 sec's. I've done all that were suggested. Good luck.

Richard says:

November 20, 2015 at 7:17 pm

The settings are not on my android phone. For hang out.

Dave says:

November 08, 2015 at 5:56 am

Hi, Most of the instructions here don't work for my Verizon Eclipse. None of the menus (that i tried) are right. For instance i couldn't find "default applications". Messages+ didn't have an MMS option.

Keith says:

October 22, 2015 at 8:14 am

Great article! However, for t-mobile, I'm just about positive, unless no unlimited regular data and minutes, then this version -- Google vs T-Mob. -- is a great choice. Though, if already have the Providers unlim. messaging, including MMS, then the Google mssgr is great, esp for wifi! I'm still evaluatin to see if there's much difference. Though, in all reality, there's not too much difference, both have just about same features.

Sharon says:

September 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

ZTE user please help. And thank you for the information.

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