How To Fix iMessage Not Downloading Pictures

Apple users who upgrade to another iOS device face one problem: The iMessage feature on their devices stops downloading pictures. This frustrating error means you won’t be able to view snaps from family and friends. Fortunately, there are ways around this problem.

How To Fix iMessage Not Downloading Pictures

This article will explain why your pictures aren’t downloading on iMessage and reveal the best solutions. 

Why Pictures Won’t Download in iMessage

If your pictures won’t download in iMessage, you have a problem to solve. First, an image may not download in iMessage due to a lack of storage space. Secondly, you might have accidentally erased photos when freeing up space on your iPhone.

If your iMessage application is available, you might have an iOS update error or a slow Wi-Fi and internet network. 

How to Solve Pictures Not Downloading in iMessage

You should first troubleshoot the problem to know why it is happening.

Restarting iMessage

A recent iOS upgrade might have stopped the iMessage app from working. This is a certainty if you didn’t restart iMessage. The good news is that you can refresh the iMessage:

  1. Visit the “Settings” menu.
  2. Touch “Messages” to move to “Send & Receive.”
  3. Log out of Apple ID.
  4. Sign in to the Apple ID after waiting for a while. 

Check Your Network Settings

Maybe your pictures have stopped downloading in iMessage because your iPhone’s network is poor. To rule this out, follow these steps:

  1. Access the “Settings” menu.
  2. Press “General” to choose between “Transfer” and “Reset iPhone.”
  3. Select “Reset” and head to “Reset Network Settings.”
  4. Type your iPhone’s passcode.
  5. Tap “Reset Network Settings” to verify.
  6. Open the “Settings” menu again and click “Wi-Fi.” Choose your current network and type your password.
  7. Now open iMessage and refresh it. Wait and see if the pictures will load.

Free Up Internal Storage

Pictures may not load in iMessage if your iPhone hasn’t got adequate storage. The best solution to this problem is to remove the apps you don’t use. Also, browse the files in storage to determine the ones you don’t need.

Alternatively, transfer most of your files to an external storage disk. These simple actions can free up phone space.

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.
  2. Move downwards and click “General.”
  3. Scroll down to “iPhone Storage.”
  4. Check if the app takes up maximum storage space.
  5. Tap on this app and choose “Delete App.”
  6. Additionally, click the “Photos” app and remove images and videos that take up maximum storage space. 
  7. Next, open the “Messages” app and check if it can download images.

Enable iMessage

Could it be possible that you disconnected the iMessage app by mistake? If some settings are inactive, the iMessage might not function well. Therefore, switch it like so:

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Find “Messages” and touch it.
  3. Switch on the iMessage app.

Fix Corrupted Cache Files 

If the iMessage cache files have corrupted, it can’t load pictures. If you attempt to clean up the cache files, you can tell if the problem has been rectified. Apple has no direct method of cleaning cache files. However, you can try these steps and see what happens: 

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.
  2. Tap “General.”
  3. Click “Storage & iCloud Storage” and then choose “Manage Storage.”
  4. Tap “Messages” and hit “Delete App.”
  5. Now download the iMessage App from the Apple Store and install it afresh. 

Recover Pictures From iCloud

After updating your iOS to version 16, you might notice that old pictures are no longer in iMessage. You can open iCloud to check if it has a specific error and traces of your old photos.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Sign into your iCloud account using your ID.
  2. Open the “Message” app and move to the top to click the info button.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of a window labeled “See All Links.”
  4. iCloud may show you the number of saved pictures. Below this number, click “Download.”

Check the Multimedia Messaging System

MMS helps you send or receive photos, videos, podcasts, and other files using text messages. If you can’t view pictures in iMessage, something could be wrong with the MMS settings. For instance, you might have disabled it accidentally, making it hard for photos to download in iMessage.

Here’s how to find out:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  2. Select “Messages” and scroll down.
  3. Click “MMS Messaging” and explore it to see if it is active or inactive. 
  4. Open the MMS app if it is inactive.

Language and Region

If you live outside countries such as the U.K., U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and Singapore, the photo download feature of iMessage might not work. To ensure you get pictures in your country, you can change the language and region settings:

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Move to “General” and then click “Language & Address.” Now set your appropriate region. 
  3. Open an iMessage message and click “…” at the bottom area.
  4. Choose “Edit” near the top left corner. 
  5. Lastly, find the #images.
  6. Choose where your current region is and swipe to the left side.
  7. Now choose “Remove from Favorites” and tap “Done.”
  8. Switch off the iMessage app and Refresh the images option. 

How to Retrieve Pictures in iMessage Without Backup 

You probably deleted your photos by accident and have no backup. It can happen when trying to upgrade your iOS version. Without a backup, the data recovery software is your only hope of recovering your iMessage photos. Select the best type for iPhones.

With the best tools, such as iBeesoft Data Recovery Tool, follow these steps to recover your pictures:

  1. Attach your iPhone to your Mac or Windows PC using a USB cable.
  2. Visit the official page of your favorite data recovery tool. 
  3. Choose to download a file for Windows or Mac.
  4. Install and run the data recovery software tool.
  5. Choose “Recover from iOS” and tap “Scan.”
  6. Move to the left pane and choose the pictures you want to get back. Click “Recover” to save these photos. 


How can you recover deleted photos from iMessage?

You can only recover deleted photos with a specialized data recovery tool. Follow simple instructions to restore the erased pictures. As many data recovery tools exist, select a suitable one for iPhone. The same tool can also help you recover data from iTunes.

How can you avoid the pictures not downloading in iMessage in the future? 

Ensure that the iMessage app is always active to download pictures. Avoid slow internet speeds to help iMessage finish the downloading process. Make sure your phone has adequate internal storage, and then use iTunes and iCloud to create backups. 

View All Pictures in iMessage

Many Apple device users encounter the pictures not showing up in iMessage error after updating their iOS. Fortunately, there are data recovery methods to help you fix the problem. If you can’t recover deleted photos with special software, try and forget about them and move on. Chances are, they’re irrecoverable.

Have your pictures ever failed to load in iMessage before? Did any of the tips and hints in this article help you recover them? Let us know in the comments section below.

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