One of the most common problems with iMessage is when the in-message pictures can’t be seen or won’t load properly. For that purpose, we prepared a list of possible solutions that should help you resolve this problem. If you have trouble seeing the images in your text messages since they won’t download, make sure to check the list below. Hopefully, once we are done, you’ll be able to share your photos via iMessage just like before.
Table of contents:
- Check the connection
- Make sure that the MMS is enabled
- Sign out/in with your AppleID
- Reset Network settings
Why are pictures not showing in iMessage?
If images are not loading in iMessage in standard or group messages, you can usually fix it by:
- A simple restart. Turn off and turn on your iPhone again and check if the pictures load.
- Enabling MMS if you get messages from Android users. The ancient compatibility problem that’s somehow still present to this day so you can only exchange SMS/MMS messages. Having MMS messaging disabled can sometimes cause various problems, like not being able to send pictures to Android phones.
- Sign out and sign back into your Apple account on your iPhone.
- Resetting network settings.
It’s also important to remember that, like with most messaging services, this is a two-way street so the problem might be on the other side, with your sender/recipient. Make sure to tell them to check the instructions provided here.
1. Check the connection
Even though text messages can be sent in all manners, for MMS messages you’ll need an internet connection in order to receive or send the multimedia files. Additionally, it’s important that both the sender and recipient have a stable connection, so make sure that the one you’re texting is also on the grid or new pictures won’t be downloading.
Moreover, you can restart your device as the first precautionary step and switch to a more stable Wi-Fi network rather than using mobile data. If you notice any issues with your internet connection, check out our article about Wi-Fi problems in iOS.
2. Make sure that the MMS is enabled
To send and receive multimedia messages you’ll need to enable them first. If this feature isn’t enabled, you won’t see pictures, even though the sender is certain that they’re delivered. So, in order to do so, follow the instructions:
- Tap Settings.
- Open Messages.
- Navigate to MMS Messaging and make sure that it’s enabled.
- If not, enable it and check your Messages to look for changes.
If you’re still unable to see the images that are clearly sent to you, move on to the next steps.
3. Sign out/in with your AppleID
Some users reported that they were able to resolve the problem with pictures by re-signing with the Apple ID. Namely, some kind of bug prevented the pictures from showing in iMessage, and it was gone when they sign out and back in. And if we take into account that Apple ID issues with iMessage are common, we can assume that fixing Apple ID could be a way to go.
Here’s how to sign out of your Apple ID and sign back in:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Messages.
- Open Send & Receive.
- Tap and hold your Apple ID.
- Sign out.
- Choose ”Use your AppleID for iMessages”.
- Enter your AppleID credentials and confirm.
- This will restore backed-up settings and messages and clear the possibly corrupted data.
This step should resolve your issues. But, if you still have a hard time with the pictures that are not loading, check the final step on the list.
4. Reset Network settings
It’s not unusual for your network configuration to take a wrong turn and cause issues with different connection-related features. The same goes for Multimedia Messages that are dependent on the connection. Luckily, you can reset your network settings to defaults and check for changes.
The one drawback is the fact that you’ll need to set up and customize all of the connections again, including Bluetooth, mobile data, and VPN. But unlike resetting all settings on your iPhone, this will only reset your network-related settings, and everything else on your phone will be safe.
This is how to reset your Network settings to their default values:
- Tap Settings.
- Open General.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Reset Network Settings.
- Enter the password when prompted and tap Reset to confirm.
After that, you’ll at least be sure that you’re in the clear. The problem is most certainly on the other end, so make sure to tell that to the one that messages you. You can also reach
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2017. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.
You can't download pictures from iMessage if you're not properly connected to the internet, or if there's a bug with iMessages.
Sending MMS messages does cost money. Although most cellular plans include free SMS messages, that's usually not the case with MMS.