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How to fix pictures not appearing in text messages

Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Messages Photo Stack
Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Messages Photo Stack (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Sometimes sending pictures to your pals through the Messages app is easy, and sometimes things don't seem to work at all. You're not alone if you are having trouble seeing pictures sent to you via Messages. Thankfully, there are a few quick checks and fixes that you can apply in seconds with just a few taps. Here's how to fix pictures not appearing in text messages, so you don't lose your mind — and your friends!

How to check your MMS settings

In addition to iMessage, the iPhone supports MMS, which is a simplified way to send a text message via a cellular network. If you have MMS disabled on your iPhone, you won't be able to send or receive multimedia messages like photos or videos with Android users or when iMessage is unavailable.

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

How to check MMS settings on the iPhone by showing steps: Launch Settings, Tap Messages, Tap to toggle MMS Messaging if it is off (Image credit: iMore)

How to sign in and out of your Apple ID

Another thing that you can try is signing in, and out of the Apple ID you use with Messages. Signing out of Messages will delete all your messages from your iPhone and re-download them as new from Apple's servers when you sign back in.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Tap Send & Receive.

How to sign out of your Apple ID in Messages on the iPhone by showing steps: Launch Settings, Tap Messages, Tap Send & Receive (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap your Apple ID.
  2. Tap Sign Out.

How to sign out of your Apple ID in Messages on the iPhone by showing steps: Tap your Apple ID, Tap Sign Out (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage.
  2. Tap Sign in. You can also tap Use Other Apple ID and enter your credentials for another Apple ID.

How to sign in to your Apple ID in Messages on the iPhone by showing steps: Tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage, Tap Sign in (Image credit: iMore)

How to reset your network settings

The last thing you can try is resetting Network Settings on your iPhone. Although it may sound a little daunting, this option will only remove some behind-the-scenes configurations, toggle Wi-Fi/cellular on and off briefly, and change your iPhone name to the default state.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

How to reset Network Settings on the iPhone by showing steps: Launch Settings, Tap General Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Reset.
  2. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  3. Type in your Passcode and then tap Done.

How to reset Network Settings on the iPhone by showing steps: Tap Reset, Tap Reset Network Settings, Type in your Passcode and then tap Done (Image credit: iMore)

Fix pictures not appearing in text messages to get back into the game

By checking your MMS settings, Apple ID, or resetting your network settings, you will be back to sending memories, memes, and more via Messages in no time. If things are still not working, the problem may lie with the person on the other end. If that is the case, you can use the above guide to walk them through the troubleshooting process on their iPhone. If all else fails, you can always share photos via the Photos app or through services like Dropbox.

Updated July 2022: Updated for iOS 15 and iOS 16 beta.

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit. If you wish to join him on his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.