Pictures don't appear in text messages? Here's the fix!


Why don’t pictures my friend sent to me in text messages work? We’ve got the answer!

If you’ve had trouble seeing pictures that were sent to you via text message, you’re not alone. If, instead of a photo, you get a message that reads “Tap to Download” and then when you tap, it shows “Downloading,” but it never does, we’ve got a couple of steps you can take to resolve the issue.

  1. Check to make sure MMS Messaging is on
  2. Sign out and back in with your Apple ID
  3. Reset your iPhone’s network settings
  4. It might not be your fault

1. Check to make sure MMS Messaging is on

MMS stand for Multimedia Messaging Service. It allows you to send and receive pictures, videos, and audio clips through text messages. The iPhone supports MMS, as well as SMS (Short Message Service), which is a more simplified way to send a text message, for times when iMessage is unavailable. If you have MMS disabled on your iPhone, you won’t be able to send or receive multimedia messages like photos, videos, or audio clips.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Messages.
  3. Scroll down and check to see if the MMS Messaging switch is toggled on. If not, tap it to enable it.

If MMS Messaging was off, that’s probably what was causing the problem. If MMS Messaging was on, move on to step 2.

2. Sign out and back in with your Apple ID

It is possible that you have a corrupt file somewhere in your iMessage system. Signing out of iMessage will delete those old files and re-download them onto your iPhone as new from Apple’s servers.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Messages.
  3. Scroll down and tap Send & Receive.

  4. Tap your Apple ID.
  5. Tap Sign Out when prompted.

  6. Tap Use your Apple ID for iMessages.
  7. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  8. Tap Sign in.

If the problem was an old corrupt file, your issue is likely solved. If not, move on to step 3.

3. Reset your iPhone’s network settings

If you’ve tried steps 1 and 2, but still can’t see pictures your friends send, the issue may be caused by the network you are on. You can reset your network settings; this will flush out any broken connection issues you may have.

Note: You will have to log back into your local Wi-Fi after the reset, so make sure you know your SSID (Wi-Fi name) and Wi-Fi key (password).

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select General.
  3. Scroll down and select Reset.

  4. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  5. Enter your iPhone passcode if needed.
  6. Tap Reset Network Settings. Your phone will shut down and restart automatically.

This measure almost always works. At this point, ask a friend to try sending you a picture. If this step doesn’t work, it’s probably not your phone.

4. It might not be your fault

If the person sending you pictures is on a slow network, it is likely the issue is coming from their end. If you only have trouble seeing pictures from one particular sender, and you can sometimes see pictures but not other times, it may be the person works or lives somewhere that has a block or throttle on the network. In this case, there is nothing you can do except ask the sender to share pictures to you via email instead.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about not being able to receive pictures via text message? Let us know and we’ll help you out!


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