Are You Getting BREW Text Messages? Here’s Why
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If you have suddenly started receiving odd, unexplained text messages that start with the term “BREW” in them, it’s not an advertisement for beer gone awry. They may come from 47205, from 9114, or from some other number you don’t recognize, but believe it for not, they aren’t spam. They usually start with strings of characters such as //BREW:01095caa or similar. BREW stands for “Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless”, and is a 3rd-party application development system for mobile phones that is used by some apps and other programs.

You are most likely to get these strange SMS messages if you have recently switched phones. Here’s why, and what to do about it.


Most often, the messages are alerting you to the fact that some remote system that services an application that you have been running, or have run in the past, is not able to complete a connection with your phone. So it’s like an error message.

This usually happens because you have either not installed the same app on your new phone, so the app that you were using on your old phone, and that was developed with BREW, is unable to do what it’s supposed to do, or because the app was not properly closed out on the old phone before you shut it down. Sometimes you will get the error because your new phone simply isn’t BREW-compatible.

Sometimes the text message will contain a clue as to what program is causing the problem. For example, in this message:

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//BREW:0104F4BC:OZMAILCI=4D3DDD7EG5E5C991A4C18B3F176 AC093 MC=1

…you can see the “OZMAILCI” which points to one of Verizon’s mobile email applications.

If you have a clue as to what program is generating the BREW messages, it’s fairly easy to deal with – one of the easiest ways is to set the program up on your new phone, so that the remote system finds what it is supposed to on your phone, and all will be well.

 

But sometimes you will get a message with no pointers like that at all, such as these real examples:

//BREW:01095caa:03009a3a229764a6dd7fec5fff2ba4cfbac1d076b6651726614867d670c96803b1b

//BREW:01095caa:030c17a8833c8beea76cce9d16778ae62b90a7fce049a6cf5d9792670017e20eda0

These were generated as a result of the remote system associated with an application failing to be able to update, but giving no clue as to what application that was.

So what should you do to stop these very annoying messages, if they provide no hint as to which program or app is triggering them?

First, try to figure out, by process of elimination, what program it could be that is causing the errors, and (re)install it on your new phone. Likely candidates include any program that interacts with a remote server, such as weather programs, email programs, 3rd-party instant messaging programs, and the like.

It may take as much as a couple of hours for the BREW text messages to stop once you have re-installed the offending app, although they can stop much sooner than that.

And, fortunately, even if you can’t figure out what app is causing it, the messages should stop on their own within a day or so.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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12 thoughts on “Are You Getting BREW Text Messages? Here’s Why
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  1. I have had this problem for years. Hundreds of the things. The mystery is where they came from because I have never had a smart phone, just a dumb old flip phone. After a concerted effort with a Verizon Wireless tech, we came to what seemed the only solution — completely erase the phone’s programming and reset the phone once the new programming is downloaded. It has been several hours now and no new messages. If this doesn’t work, my only other recourse is to change my phone number because the message would then have to be generated from outside and is untraceable, apparently.

  2. I have one of those government phone where you get 250 calling minutes and 1000 texting minutes for free every month as long as you make one call a month you get them. And it’s internet is disabled but i’m getting these text messages from a 472-05 number with nothing but gibberish and that brew thing. How can you stop these messages?

  3. I have had it with this brew message. Been going on for 6 months and Verizon said they don’t have any idea what it is. All night long it is coming thru. Never had a problem with s4 but upgraded to S5. Have tried everything.

  4. I’ve been getting these texts on my phone for a while now, it doesn’t just stop after a week.
    I’m also not sure I have any way to fix it. You see, I don’t have a smart phone, so I can’t install any apps.

    This number is supposedly brand new, as well.
    Ever since I got this phone, though… I’ve been getting messages and calls from wrong numbers, though… which makes me think the number I got used to belong to somebody else.
    I’m on T-Mobile, by the way… if anybody’s curious.

    If that’s the case, perhaps the person who had this number before me had it activated on a smartphone and now I’m getting BREW messages that are supposed to be working with whatever apps they had installed?

  5. I’ve been getting a BREW message for a couple of years now, but it’s only been 1x/week on Saturday afternoon so I’ve just been living with it. It started after I switched from a dumb to smart phone. Just now I added BREW to my contact list and blocked its number from messaging. In addition, I set both Text Tone and Vibration to ‘None’ – so if it does still show up, I won’t hear it and think someone is trying to contact me. Will see how it works out.

  6. BREW is actually an Operating System for non-smart devices. So when you transfer to a smart device that messaging app on the first device is no longer compatible on the new device. You need to call your carrier to have the short code block that text is being sent from to stop these texts.

  7. I should clarify that I had NO apps installed or that were used on my previous phone because it was not a smart phone. On my new smartphone, I didn’t install any new apps apart from what was already installed by factory default. The 47205 messages did not appear on my actual smartphone. It was only when I went to check my usage on my account online that I noticed I was being charged for empty messages from 47205. So what could be causing the texts and how to stop them?

  8. This can’t be the case because I switched carriers and went from a dumb phone to a smart phone. Didn’t install any apps, didn’t do anything on the first day of turning on the phone except for turn off the data plan and I get these annoying texts from 4 7205. No BREW or anything that shows in the messages. In fact there were no messages – couldn’t see any messages at all left by the text.

  9. If you are still having this issue you need to call your service provider

    a Sprint Tech Rep said : If you are a Sprint customer and you are getting this text then it means you used Sprint Mobile Email on a previous phone. To stop getting this message you have to call Sprint and have them delete any email accounts you have from our Sprint Mobile Email tool. I did it with another customer and followed up with them a few days later and the issue was resolved.

  10. If you have sprint, text 9999 the following phrase “BLOCK ” and you will never hear from them again (of course don’t use parenthesis and less than / greater than symbols)

  11. I had a hint it was AOL instant messenger causing the issue for me. I’ve removed my cell phone number from notifications and we’ll see if it stops. It’s been going from 2am to now 9am.

  12. Just wanted to give a real life experience… the messages DO NOT stop within a day or so… they’ve been CONSTANT on my phone for the past week on a brand new phone. This is my first smart phone, so it’s not a conflict with an old phone… I have no idea what it is, but it won’t stop on it’s own!

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