Can't send or receive iPhone messages with pictures? Here's how to fix!

11 solutions when your iPhone won't send or receive photo messages

Have you been facing difficulties sending or receiving images on your iPhone? It can be bothersome when you're trying to share a significant moment with your loved ones or a funny photo with others, but it simply won't load or send.

Can't send or receive iPhone messages with pictures? Here's how to fix!

There may be several underlying reasons why you're experiencing this problem. A lot of the time, the photo won't load simply due to a weak network connection. The problem can also appear because of difficulties on the recipient side, as well as file size, system interferences, etc.

I'll give detailed steps to diagnose and troubleshoot the issue in this guide. We'll cover all the possible solutions to get your picture messaging up and running again.

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Table of Contents:

Reset network connection

Check your network connection if the image in the message can't seem to load. iMessages require a stable internet. Otherwise, you'll run into problems while sending it.

If the Wi-Fi connection keeps on re-connecting, check and restart the modem. Then, you can reset the connection between the internet and your device.

To reset the network connection, follow the steps below:

1. iPhones with Face ID: swipe down from the top right corner.
iPhones with the Home button: swipe up from the middle bottom.
2. Enable the Airplane Mode.

Enable the Airplane Mode

3. Wait for a few seconds and turn it off.

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Enable MMS messaging

If you're trying to send a photo to a non-Apple user, the MMS messaging option needs to be turned on.

To enable MMS messaging, follow the steps below:

1. Open Settings and go to "Messages".
2. Scroll down, locate "MMS Messaging", and turn on the option.

Enable MMS Messaging

If you can't find the MMS messaging feature, your carrier might not support it. You can contact the carrier and check with them.

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Try a different contact

Another thing you can try is to check if the problem is with the iMessage or a specific contact. Send a photo message to a different contact. It would be better if you tried with a few.

If you can send a photo message to at least one other contact, then everything is fine. These can be the reasons why the photos can't be sent to other contacts:

• The contact has disabled iMessage.
• iMessages are temporarily unavailable on the recipient's device.
• Wrong number.

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Check the photo size

The photo you're trying to send can be too big. You can send a picture that is not bigger than 100 MB. Check if your image is not larger than the requirements.

To check a photo size, follow the steps below:

1. Open the Photos app.
2. Select the image you're trying to send.
3. Swipe up on it to see the info.

Check image size

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Check iPhone storage

When you receive an image, it's saved to your iPhone. If there's not enough space in the device storage, you won't be able to receive it.

To check your iPhone storage, follow the steps below:

1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
2. Go to "General" settings.

General Settings

3. Tap "iPhone Storage".

Tap iPhone Storage

4. Delete unnecessary apps or files to make space if the storage is at total capacity.

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Reopen the Messages app

Sometimes, an app can encounter minor bugs or glitches that interfere with its performance. Reopen the app to restart the session and refresh the app.

To reopen the Messages app, follow the steps below:

1. iPhones with Face ID: keep swiping up from the middle bottom until all opened app windows appear.
iPhones with the Home button: double press the Home button.
2. Locate the Messages app window and swipe up on it to close.

Close the Messages app

3. Now open the app again.

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Check the iMessage server status

If the solutions above don't help, check the iMessage server status. The server can be under maintenance or has encountered a problem and is currently unavailable.

Check iMessage server

You can find all Apple server statuses on the official system status webpage.

If that's the case, then all you can do is wait it out. Check the server status page occasionally to know when the server is available.

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Turn off Wi-Fi assist

Wi-Fi assist automatically switches to mobile data when it detects a poor Wi-Fi connection. Sometimes, your mobile data might be insufficient to send images or other files, especially large ones.

To disable Wi-Fi assist, follow the steps below:

1. Open the Settings app.
2. Go to "Mobile Service" or "Mobile Data" settings. For some, it can be "Cellular".

Mobile Service settings

3. Scroll to the bottom and turn off "Wi-Fi Assist".

Disable Wi-Fi Assist

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Update carrier settings

From time to time, your carrier releases updates to better your mobile data usage. If the settings are not up to date, you might experience problems, like not being able to send photo iMessages.

To update carrier settings, follow the steps below:

1. Open the iPhone settings.
2. Go to "General" settings.

General settings

3. Tap on "About".

About iPhone

4. If an update is available, a prompt will appear asking if you want to update the settings.

If a prompt doesn't appear, your settings are up to date.

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Update iPhone operating system

If the issue is due to an error in the system, check if Apple has released an update to fix it.

To update the iOS, follow the steps below:

1. Go to the Settings app.
2. Select "General" and tap "Software Update".

Tap Software Update

3. Wait for the device while it searches for updates. If an update is available, tap "Download and Install".

tap Download and Install

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Reset Network settings

If nothing helps, you can reset your network settings. The reset won't delete any data, but it will disconnect you from Wi-Fi, unpair all Bluetooth devices, reverse mobile network preferences, and stored VPN information.

To reset all network settings, follow the steps below:

1. In the iPhone settings, go to "General".

General settings

2. Scroll to the bottom and select "Transfer or Reset iPhone".

Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone

3. Tap the "Reset" option and choose "Reset Network Settings".

Reset Network Settings

4. Enter your passcode and confirm the action by tapping "Reset Network Settings" again.

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If nothing helps, contact Apple Support for further assistance.

Let us know which steps helped you fix the iMessage problem in the comment section below!

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About the author:

Karolina Peistariene

Author of how-to guides for Mac users. Responsible for collecting, analyzing, and presenting problem-solving solution articles related to macOS issues. Years of macOS experience combined with solid research and analyzing skills help Karolina provide readers with working and helpful solutions as well as introduce various features Mac has to offer. Contact Karolina Peistariene.

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