June 13, 2022

TextNow FAQs – Answered

Written by erin

Tips & Tricks

At TextNow, we’re a bit different than your traditional phone carrier. TextNow offers phone service that can be accessed on all your devices through our free apps for your phone (Android and iOS) for use over WiFi. You can also connect to a 5G/4G nationwide wireless network for free with a TextNow SIM card (one-time purchase). And you can always login at www.textnow.com right from your web browser to stay connected, all with a real phone number.

But that's a lot different than what you might think of when it comes to wireless phone carriers. The unknown can be scary, and we want you to feel at ease with TextNow, so we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions below to help you feel comfortable with what makes TextNow an amazing wireless phone service – for free!

Let’s start with the number one question we get asked:

Can TextNow be used without WiFi?

And the answer is... Yes! When you combine our app with a TextNow SIM card, you can take TextNow with you on the go, anywhere in the US, on the nation's largest 5G network. Unlimited calling and texting is always free, along with access to essential apps like email, maps, and rideshare. And the best part is we cover the cost of service through the ads in our app, so you never have a monthly bill.

How is TextNow’s service unique?

We’re unique in the industry for offering the first free nationwide talk, text, and essential data plan. But we’re also unique in that TextNow isn’t just for your phone. You can also use TextNow to call and text over WiFi from a laptop, desktop, or tablet.

You can sign into your account on TextNow.com and see your messages, call history, blocked numbers – everything you can do from the app. So, imagine you’re at a friend’s place and your phone breaks or your battery dies. You can jump on the nearest computer and still be able to get your messages or make a call, right through your web browser at textnow.com.

TextNow App Cross Device

Why do I have more than one number on my TextNow phone?

This is another common question we get from new wireless users. If you’re a wireless user, you may notice something labelled as “My Phone Number” in your main Settings app, which is completely different from your TextNow number.

Your TextNow number is the number that you’ll want to give to your friends and family to call and text you, and that’s the number that your calls and texts will come from. Your TextNow number can be found in your TextNow app.

Your TextNow number can be found in your TextNow app

The “My Phone Number” in your device settings is your phone’s Mobile Directory Number (MDN). This number is used to connect your phone to the network. For your purposes as a user, the MDN is basically just a backend number that does not require acknowledgement, but from a TextNow perspective, the MDN is required to ensure that your service is working just right.

Native Dialer App

Native dialer icons can vary depending on your device’s operating system

These native calling icons should only be used in two cases:

- For emergency calling (911)

- If advised by customer care for technical support

What can I do to minimize my data usage?

By far the easiest way to preserve your high speed data is to connect to WiFi. Let’s say you’re on our Month pass  –  once you use 10GB of high-speed data, you will have access to TextNow’s 2G data network, but 2G can be pretty slow for more data-intensive activities. If you connect to WiFi whenever possible, your high-speed data will be saved for when you really need it.

It is also recommended that you keep activities such as streaming, downloading, and updating apps for when you’re connected to WiFi whenever possible. These actions can use up data quickly, so plan ahead when you can to take advantage of WiFi networks to save your data. If you’d like more data-saving tips and tricks for specific apps, check out our Save The Data articles!

Why does TextNow require so many phone permissions?

TextNow requires three main permissions for the TextNow app to work on your phone: Phone, Microphone, and Contacts. These permissions are necessary to make and receive phone calls, record a voice note or voicemail, compose new messages, and more.

Additional permissions that are requested are: SMS, Storage, and Location. These permissions are required for users to send photos, record a custom voicemail, select a phone number, and much more. If you want to ensure that you’re able to take full advantage of all of TextNow’s features and optimize your TextNow experience, you’ll want to enable those permissions.

Can I recover old messages?

The simple answer here is no. Once a message is deleted or expires from your TextNow account it cannot be recovered. However, if you’re using our Android app, you can take advantage of our export feature before you delete a conversation. This will send a copy of the conversation to your email or a text file where the thread will be saved.

You’re welcome.

How come some third-party apps don’t let me verify my account with my TextNow number?

This is a slightly more complicated question – although TextNow provides standard phone numbers to all our users, some third-party applications do not recognize them for their verification purposes. This decision is on their end and sadly out of our control. In order to have your TextNow number recognized by a third-party application that may say it’s not valid, you would have to contact that company's support team directly and request that they make adjustments to their verification processes.

One last insider tip if you're looking for free wireless phone service: Follow TextNow on social media and participate in our contests! Find us on Meta, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to stay up-to-date on all the latest news, giveaways, and more.

Do you have any other questions on your mind about TextNow? Don't forget to check out our latest blog posts! We're always publishing new and useful tips for TextNow customers, and if you don't see your answers there, comment below and let us help!