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.
- Ensure iMessage is enabled on iPhone
- Check Network Connection
- Check if the recipient has iMessage
- Enable MMS Messaging on iPhone
- Try sending it to a different contact
- Check the file size
- Check iPhone storage
- Restart Messages app
- Clear your iMessage cache on iPhone
- Check System Status
- Disable Wi-Fi Assist
- Sign out and sign in to Apple ID on iPhone
- Install Carrier Updates
- Update iOS
- 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.
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.
- To enable MMS Messaging on your iPhone, go to Settings → Messages.
- 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.
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:
- Go to Settings → General → iPhone Storage → Messages.
- Here, you’ll see the items that take up space on your Messages app.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Go to Settings → Cellular/Mobile Services.
- Scroll down all the way to the bottom (after all the apps) and 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:
- Open Settings.
- Tap your name.
- Scroll down and tap Sign Out → Enter your password.
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.
- To update iOS, Settings → General → Software Update.
- Tap Update Now if an update is available.
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.
- Go to Settings → General.
- Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone → Select Reset.
- Tap Reset Network Settings.
- Enter your passcode to confirm → Tap Reset Network Settings.
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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