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Sometimes sending pictures to your pals is easy, and sometimes things just don't seem to work at all: so what the heck can you do to fix it?!

If you've had trouble seeing pictures more than once that were sent to you via text message, you're not alone. Welcome to the sad texters club (we're getting jackets).

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.

Here's how to help your photos appear in text messages so you don't lose your mind!

  1. Double check yo' MMS!
  2. Apple ID: Sign out n' in
  3. Reset and forget!
  4. "I have done nothing wrong, ever, in my life"

1. Double check yo' MMS!

If you don't know (which I didn't for a while...) MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. It allows you to send and receive pictures, videos, and audio clips through text messages!

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Your iPhone supports MMS, as well as SMS — or Short Message Service — which is a more simplified way to send a text message, for times when iMessage is unavailable. You know when you see those green bubbles but you should really be seeing the blue ones? That's 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.

    Checking MMS Messaging on iOS

If MMS Messaging was off, that's probably what was causing the problem, so be happy! That's an easy fix. If MMS Messaging was on, move on to step 2.

2. Apple ID: Sign out n' in

Is it possible that you have a corrupt file somewhere in your iMessage system? Maybe. So let's fix it!

Signing out of iMessage will delete all those old pesky files and re-download them onto your iPhone as new from Apple's servers. Here's how to do it!

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

    Send and Receive settings on iOS

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

    Sign out of iMessage on iOS

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

    Sign in to iMessage on iOS

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

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3. Reset and forget!

If you've tried steps one and two, but still can't see pictures your friends send, the issue may be caused by the network you are on, and that's also a relatively easy fix.

You can easily reset your network settings. This will flush out any broken connection issues you may have and might allow your Download photos to display properly. Just mind that 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.

    Resetting network on iOS

  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.

    Resetting network on iOS

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. "I have done nothing wrong, ever, in my life" - Mona Lisa Saperstein, Parks and Recreation

At the end of the day, this problem might not actually be on your end. If the person sending you pictures is on a slow network, it is likely the issue is coming from their end.

If you're only having trouble seeing pictures from one particular sender over and over and over again, and you can sometimes see pictures, but not at other times, it may be the person works or lives somewhere that has a block or throttle on the network. This can be common if you're texting someone who lived in the country/out-of-town/out of city limits.

If this is the case, there is nothing you can do except ask the sender to share pictures to you via email instead or try things like Facebook Messenger, Dropbox, or Google Drive. It might seem like a bit more of a pain in the but, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

Do you have any questions?

Have any questions about not being able to receive pictures via text message? Maybe you have another tricky photo issue? Let us know and we'll do our best to help you out!




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