Pictures not showing in iMessage? Here’s the fix

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, make sure to check the list below.

Table of contents:

  1. Check the connection
  2. Make sure that the MMS is enabled
  3. Sign out/in with your AppleID
  4. Reset Network settings

Why are pictures not showing in iMessage?

If you can’t see images are not showing 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 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.

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:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open Messages.pictures don't appear imessage
  3. Navigate to MMS Messaging and make sure that it’s enabled.
  4. 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 AppleID. 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:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Open Send & Receive.pictures don't appear imessage
  4. Tap and hold your AppleID.
  5. Sign out.
  6. Choose ”Use your AppleID for iMessages”.
  7. Enter your AppleID credentials and confirm.
  8. 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 hard times with the pictures, 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 a factory reset, 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:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open General.
  3. Tap Reset.pictures don't appear imessage
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  5. 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.

That should do it. In case you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2017. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.


FAQ

Sending MMS messages does cost money. Although most cellular plans include free SMS messages, that's usually not the case with MMS.

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Betty
Betty
October 2, 2019 8:16 pm

I’ve gone through all of those steps and my photos still do not appear in the message app

Chaunnah Railey
Chaunnah Railey
January 30, 2020 3:33 pm
Reply to  Betty

ANy ideas

Hanneke
Hanneke
April 11, 2020 4:20 am
Reply to  Betty

I have the same problem

khduieje
khduieje
April 30, 2020 1:10 am
Reply to  Hanneke

me too bruh

Cheryl Rice
Cheryl Rice
July 16, 2021 6:40 pm

I can no longer open photos from text messages; I see the image in the message string, but when I tap on it to open and expand it, on my phone screen it just says Photo/JPEG image. I have gone through all of the steps above but the same thing is happening.

Al Capela
Al Capela
March 11, 2020 2:21 pm

I’m on 12.4.5 and having a problem seeing iMessage photos that I have previously been able to see. Now it just shows me a file folder. If I click on it, it shows me the file name “IMG.0087.JPG” in “Images”. Clicking on it does nothing. I know the photo is stored somewhere because once in a great while I do see the photo in Images, but then it disappears again.

JoAnne Kirby
JoAnne Kirby
February 5, 2021 9:13 pm
Reply to  Al Capela

same here….I used to get pictures sent to me on Msg and to send them but it just shows me file name.

Alex
Alex
March 1, 2021 6:37 am
Reply to  JoAnne Kirby

Same have you found a solution

Sharon v
Sharon v
August 5, 2021 4:55 pm
Reply to  Alex

I cannot reopen images I have sent in text messages. I have tried signing out and in again. I have checked that MMS is on. I have restarted my phone. None of these steps allow me to reopen an attachment that I have sent in a previous text.

Julie
Julie
February 22, 2022 12:06 am

none of these worked – anything else to try??

Allen
Allen
December 19, 2021 8:46 pm

I can’t send an enclosed pic or gif in a message any suggestions. I have the new IPhone 13 pro