Troubleshooting undelivered Authy and Verify SMS text messages

Authy and Verify One-Time-Passcodes (OTPs) sent via SMS text messages may not arrive at their destination due to a number of possible causes. This guide covers some of the most common issues developers may encounter, as well as workarounds.

SMS text message troubleshooting

SMS is considered a “best effort protocol”, as we can only confirm the message has been successfully delivered to the sending carrier. That being said, there are several steps end users can take to ensure they are able to successfully receive text messages. If end users are reporting missing OTP SMS from your app, please troubleshoot with the following checklist:

  • Do you have the right phone number on file for your end user?
  • Is the user’s device powered on?
  • Does their device have sufficient signal? If not, have them power the device off, wait 30 seconds, and then power it back up.
  • Is the device connected to the home carrier's network? Message delivery on devices roaming internationally, or off-network, are more likely to fail due to the extra message hops involved and some users having restrictive messaging plans.
  • Can the device receive SMS from other sources? Some mobile providers may block messages from certain senders or number types - check with the carrier for more details.
  • Can other devices using the same mobile carrier receive your messages?

If you can rule out all of the above issues, and non-Authy/Verify text messages are working correctly, an alternative to sending SMS OTPs may be a better temporary solution:

Notice: If you are experiencing continued, repeatable SMS delivery issues to the same destination country, please collect 3 or more logs from the last 24 hours, and escalate these issues to our Support team.

Use a phone call for delivering OTPs

Phone calls usually arrive much faster than SMS, and can be a good alternative to users experiencing issues receiving messages. If 2FA codes are not arriving via SMS, have your end user attempt to receive the token via phone call.

Please note, this method will require the user to answer a live phone call, as they will need to enter codes into the phone. To successfully receive a 2FA code, the number used can’t be behind an extension or go straight to voicemail.

Use the Authy app for 2FA codes (for Authy API only)

If your user is unable to receive calls or messages, they may have better results using the Authy app. Once configured with your 2FA tokens, the Authy app can be used to provide updated codes without the need for a constant internet connection.

Users can find instructions here: Downloading and Installing Authy Apps

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