iPhone not sending picture messages? 13 Ways to fix it!

iPhone not sending picture messages

Sharing photos is now an integral part of our daily lives, and if you own an iPhone, one of the ways you do this is through the Messages app. So, it’s understandably frustrating if you see a Not Delivered error under the image you intend to send. Fortunately, this issue is pretty easy to fix. Below are common fixes for iPhone not sending picture messages.

  1. Ensure iMessage is enabled on iPhone
  2. Check Network Connection
  3. Check if the recipient has iMessage
  4. Enable MMS Messaging on iPhone
  5. Try sending it to a different contact
  6. Check the file size
  7. Check iPhone storage
  8. Restart Messages app
  9. Clear your iMessage cache on iPhone
  10. Check System Status
  11. Disable Wi-Fi Assist
  12. Sign out and sign in to Apple ID on iPhone
  13. Install Carrier Updates
  14. Update iOS
  15. Reset Network Settings

1. Ensure iMessage is enabled on iPhone

The Messages app sends different types of messages in two ways: through SMS/MMS or iMessage. iMessage lets you send text, photos, and videos to other Apple devices via cellular data or Wi-Fi.

That said, your iPhone can’t receive or send pictures on iPhone if iMessage is not turned on. To turn on iMessage, go to Settings app → Scroll down to Messages → Toggle on iMessage.

tap messages, toggle on imessage

2. Check Network Connection

iMessage requires a stable Wi-Fi or cellular connection to send media files like images and videos. The app might struggle to send the files if your network is poor or unstable. If you can’t load a webpage or stream a video properly, it might be best to wait until you have a more stable network connection.

3. Check if the recipient has iMessage

If you’re sure your iMessage is activated and working well, the next step is to check if the person you’re sending an image to has iMessage. iMessage only works with Apple devices, so if your text messages go seamlessly as green message bubbles, the recipient may be a non-Apple user. 

In that case, try using iMessage alternatives to send your pictures instead.

4. Enable MMS Messaging on iPhone

You can still send images to non-Apple users through MMS messaging. Remember back in the days when we used to send pixel picture messages to other Nokia phones? MMS uses the same technology as SMS to send and receive multimedia content.

  1. To enable MMS Messaging on your iPhone, go to SettingsMessages.
  2. Turn on MMS Messaging.

If you don’t see this option, your carrier might not support it. If you used to see this feature before, here are some tips to fix the MMS Messaging option missing on your iPhone:

  • Remove the SIM card and reinsert it.
  • Have someone send you an MMS message.
  • Ask your carrier to send you MMS message settings.

5. Try sending it to a different contact

To check if the issue is limited to a particular contact and is not an iMessage issue, try sending an iMessage to another Apple user. If it works, then the problem is with the contact.

Here are some potential reasons why you can’t send pictures from your iPhone to another user via iMessage:

  • iMessage is turned off on the recipient’s device.
  • iMessage is temporarily unavailable on their device.
  • You have the wrong contact number.
  • Your contact changed their number.
  • Your connection is using a different device.

6. Check the file size

Sending a large file can be troublesome. Check your file size by going to Photos, selecting the image, and swiping up to see the metadata.

If the file size is too large, reduce the image’s file size first.

7. Check iPhone storage

A full iPhone storage will prevent you from receiving pictures on your iPhone.

To check your storage, go to Settings→ General → iPhone Storage.

Click General, iPhone storage

8. Restart Messages app

As simple as this sounds, restarting the app can help fix glitches and bugs that might be the culprits behind your iPhone not sending or receiving pictures. 

9. Clear your iMessage cache on iPhone

Sometimes, clearing your iMessage cache can solve the problem. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings → General → iPhone Storage → Messages.
  2. Here, you’ll see the items that take up space on your Messages app.
  3. You can see large attachments and delete them manually or enable Auto Delete Old Conversations to delete messages and attachments you sent or received over a year ago.

    Clear your iMessage cache on iPhone

10. Check System Status

If you find yourself and other users complaining about your iPhone not sending picture messages, it might be a server issue. Visit Apple’s System Status page to see if iMessage’s server works well.

Check System Status

11. Disable Wi-Fi Assist

Another feature that might cause problems, especially if you’re trying to send large files, is the Wi-Fi assist feature. This automatically switches to cellular data when it detects a poor Wi-Fi connection. However, your cellular data might be insufficient to send the files over iMessage, leading to message failure. 

  1. Go to Settings Cellular/Mobile Services.
  2. Scroll down all the way to the bottom (after all the apps) and toggle off Wi-Fi Assist.

    Cellular, toggle off Wi-FI assist

12. Sign out and sign in to Apple ID on iPhone

Signing out and signing back in with your Apple ID may help reset any connection error that prevents your iPhone from sending and receiving pictures. To do so:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap your name.
  3. Scroll down and tap Sign Out → Enter your password.

    Sign out and sign in to Apple ID on iPhone

After a few minutes, sign back in and check if this fixes your issue with your iPhone not sending pictures.

13. Install Carrier Updates

Your carrier service releases occasional updates to improve cellular usage on your iPhone. You may face a problem of an iPhone not sending picture messages if you don’t update your iPhone to its latest carrier settings. 

Go to Settings → General → About.

If updates are available, you will see a popup asking you to update the settings. If not, they’re up to date. 

14. Update iOS

Apple consistently updates the software on iPhones to ensure apps and features run smoothly. Operating on an outdated iOS might hinder app functionality, particularly when interfacing with other Apple devices running a more recent iOS version.

  1. To update iOS, Settings → General → Software Update.
  2. Tap Update Now if an update is available.

    Update iOS

15. Reset Network Settings

If this is a sudden issue, there may be an issue with some cellular settings on your iPhone. Resetting your Network Settings may help fix the problem.

Note: Write down or save your Wi-Fi passwords since resetting your network settings will reset all Wi-Fi networks and passwords, including VPN and APN settings and cellular settings.

  1. Go to Settings → General.
  2. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone → Select Reset.

    Tap general, Transfer or Reset iPhone, reset in settings
  3. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  4. Enter your passcode to confirm → Tap Reset Network Settings.

    Reset Network Settings

Wrapping up…

All the possible ways to fix an iPhone that won’t send picture messages are listed above. We’re sure one of them helped you to resolve it. If none of the above solutions worked, the underlying problem may be more complex and could be a hardware issue. In this case, it’s best to contact Apple Support for professional assistance.

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  1. I’ve tried absolutely everything and I still can’t send pictures in my Imessages..
    I’ve done everything online they have said to do, including Windows and Apple.. 🙁

    1. If you’ve tried everything on the list, it sounds like your phone could do with a factory reset. Back up all important data to the cloud, reset all settings, then restore your iPhone. How to:

      Settings → General → Reset.

      Open Settings, tap General, and then tap Reset

      Now tap Reset All Settings → enter your iPhone passcode → tap Reset All Settings to confirm.

  2. I can normally send photos via txt msg, but just not when on a call (keeps giving failed msg)! Works after I hang up, but if I’m trying to send a picture to the other end to discuss during the call it’s useless.
    Latest iOS, mms on etc etc.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  3. If the problem just occurs during the call, it might be a network-related issue. The cellular internet doesn’t work properly when you are on call, stopping you from sending images. Plus, there could be an SMS or MMS-related issue from the carrier’s side. To negate the issue, try using Wi-Fi or eSIM, so the internet is freely accessible, and contact your service provider for further assistance

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