How to Fix iMessage Not Downloading Pictures on iPhone

Is your iMessage not downloading pictures on the iPhone?

iMessage is a built-in app that Apple users utilize to send messages, pictures, videos, GIFs, and much more. The latest iOS 16 update now lets users edit and resend texts on the Messages app. 

However, the pictures on iMessage may sometimes fail to download. This can be due to various reasons, such as low iPhone storage, poor internet connection, outdated software, and more. In this guide, we’ll go over all the troubleshooting methods you can use to solve this problem effectively. 

So, let’s dive right in!

1. Check the Internet Connection. 

To download pictures from iMessage on your iPhone, it’s essential that you have a stable and strong internet connection. If your connection is poor or lagging, it may be why your pictures aren’t loading in the first place. 

Therefore, check your internet speed and change your network connection to Mobile Data if you’re using Wi-Fi or vice versa. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Speedtest by Ookla
  2. Click on GO from the center and allow the site to check and display your internet strength. 
iMessage Not Downloading Pictures on iPhone
  1. If you find it to be unsatisfactory, go to Settings from your iPhone. 
  2. Tap on Cellular and switch off the toggle next to Cellular Data
disable Cellular Data on iPhone
  1. Head back and select Wi-Fi
  2. Now, turn on the toggle for Wi-Fi
Enable Wi-Fi on iPhone

Once you have a strong internet connection, head over to the Messages app and try downloading the pictures again. 

2. Restart Your Device. 

An effective way to resolve various Apple issues is by restarting your device. A simple restart can fix several issues within the app and the device, such as a temporary bug or error. 

So, if the Tap to Download button is unresponsive while you’re trying to download pictures on Messages, we suggest you power off your device, then turn it on after a few seconds. 

Follow the steps below to do it:

  1. Press and hold either of the Volume buttons and the Side button simultaneously. 
iMessage Not Downloading Pictures on iPhone
  1. Release the buttons once the slider appears on the screen. 
  2. Now, drag the power off slider to the right to turn off your iPhone. 
  3. To restart, press and hold the Side button again and let go once you see an Apple logo on the screen. 

After rebooting your device, go to Messages and load any picture that you couldn’t download before. If it still fails to download, proceedgo to the following method from this guide. 

3. Force Close and Relaunch the Messages App.

Force closing the Messages app is also another troubleshooting method to fix the iMessage not downloading pictures on iPhone. It will close all the running background processes of the app and eliminate any glitches. This will refresh your Messages app and allow you to download pictures again. 

Here are the steps you must follow:

  1. Forrom the latest iPhone models, swipe up from the bottom of your screen and pause in the middle to open the App Switcher. If you own an iPhone with a home button, double press the home button to access the App Switcher. 
  2. Now, swipe left or right to head to the Messages app preview. 
iPhone App Launcher
  1. Swipe up from the app’s preview to force close the app. 
  2. Finally, go to the Messages app from the home screen and see if you’re able to download pictures now. 

4. Check Available Storage. 

If your iPhone storage is full, the photos from Messages won’t be able to download since they also require space on your iPhone. In these cases, check the available storage on your iPhone. If there’s a lack of free space, you may need to clear some by deleting unnecessary files or apps. 

Here’s how to check the internal iPhone storage:

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Next, tap on General
  3. Now, select iPhone Storage
iPhone Storage Settings
  1. Analyze the used and free space on your iPhone. 
  2. If there’s insufficient space, tap on Offload Unused Apps under the Recommendations section. You may also clear some storage space by deleting unwanted apps and files from your iPhone.

Once you have sufficient iPhone space, head back to the Messages app, and you should be able to download photos now. 

5. Re-Enable Messages from iCloud.

A user on Apple Community Forum resolved the iMessage not downloading pictures on iPhone issue by re-enabling Messages from iCloud settings. This way, the iMessage access on your iCloud account will be re-enabled. 

Follow the steps below to do it:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. After that, tap on the profile icon from the top. 
  3. Next, choose iCloud
  4. From the Apps Using iCloud section, tap on Show All
iMessage Not Downloading Pictures on iPhone
  1. Select Messages
  2. Now, turn off the toggle for Sync this iPhone
Sync this iPhone
  1. Wait for a few seconds. Then, switch on the toggle again. 

After the Messages from iCloud is re-enabled, go back to Messages and see if you can download pictures. If not, we suggest you move to the next method from this guide. 

7. Re-Sign Into Apple ID. 

A few users also stated that they fixed the iMessage not downloading pictures on iPhone issue by signing out and signing back into their Apple ID. This method helps eliminate any bugs or errors that may exist within your account. 

Follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to Settings and select Messages
  2. Then, tap on Send & Receive
  3. Now, select and hold on to your Apple ID and choose Sign out
Sign Out of iMessages
  1. Afterward, sign back into your account by tapping on Use Your Apple ID for iMessages
  2. Provide your Apple ID credentials to continue. 

Once all your Messages data and settings are restored, launch the Messages app, and the downloading photos problem should be solved. 

8. Update iOS. 

Similar to other devices, iPhones are also prone to encountering bugs and glitches. These, in turn, can hinder various Apple functionalities from working properly, such as iMessage not downloading pictures on iPhone. 

To fix the issues users face, Apple releases new software updates from time to time. Users mustare to download these iOS updates to keep their Apple devices up-to-date. 

Follow the steps below to update your iPhone:

  1. Head over to the Settings app and tap on General
  2. After that, select Software Update
update iOS
  1. If there’s an update available, tap on Download and Install

Downloading a software update requires storage space, battery, and an active internet connection. So, be sure to fully charge your phone, free up some space, and connect to a stable internet connection before starting the downloading process. 

After the update is installed, go to Messages and try to download the photos to see if this method resolves the issue. 

9. Reset Network Settings.  

If you still can’t download pictures, your last option is to reset all network settings on your iPhone. This will solve various problems of the connection-related features, such as the iMessage not downloading pictures on iPhone. 

Keep in mind that this method will remove all of the saved network settings and configurations. So, you’ll have to set up Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VPN, etc., again. However, all your personal data and files will be unaffected. 

Here’s how to reset network settings on your iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple device. 
  2. Next, go to General
  3. Scroll down and select Transfer or Reset iPhone
  4. Now, tap on Reset and choose Reset Network Settings
Reset Network Settings iPhone
  1. Lastly, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. 

Once the network settings are reset, reconnect to a network connection. Then, check if you can download pictures by going to Messages. 

This concludes our guide on how to fix iMessage not downloading pictures on iPhone. If you have any queries or confusion about this topic, use the comments section below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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