Why Can’t I See Pictures on iMessage? Easy Fixes!

What to Know

  • If your images are not loading in iMessage, the issue is likely your internet connection, MMS settings, or iCloud settings.
  • You should also double-check your remaining iPhone storage.
  • If the photos still aren't loading, reset your network settings. 

Did someone send you photos, but the images are not loading in iMessage? While frustrating, iMessage photos not showing up in your text conversations are usually simple to resolve. For most people, the issue is with their messaging or iCloud settings. Here's how to check these key settings and ensure you still have iPhone storage available to receive new photos.

How to Fix iPhone Photos Not Loading in Messages

If you haven't already, restart your iPhone by turning it off and on and check for available iPhone software updates. Restarting your device and installing new updates are standard solutions that resolve a wide range of software issues. However, if your pictures are still not loading in iMessage, continue to the steps below to check your iPhone settings and network connection.

1. Check Your Network Connection

First, check your internet speed. The easiest way to do this is to open the Safari app and tap on a web page or video. If the content lags and takes a bit to load, this signals a slow internet speed and is likely why your images are not loading in iMessage. If this happens, move to a different location and connect to a Wi-Fi network.

iPhone Life
Discover your iPhone's hidden features
Get a daily tip (with screenshots and clear instructions) so you can master your iPhone in just one minute a day.

2. Check MMS Settings If Your iPhone Is Not Downloading Pictures

If the MMS setting is disabled on your iPhone, you won't be able to receive photos or videos with Android users or when iMessage is unavailable. This is one of the most common causes of images not loading in iMessage. To check this:

  1. Open the Settings app

    Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Messages.

    Tap Messages.
  3. Enable the MMS Messaging toggle if it isn't already switched on. The toggle will be green and to the right when it is enabled. 

    Tap MMS Messaging.

If you can see the photos in iMessage, you've resolved the issue! But if you still can't see the pictures in Messages, read on to learn how to check your iCloud settings.

3. Enable iMessage in iCloud

Here's how to check whether Messages is syncing to iCloud. Enabling this feature is another common solution for fixing image display issues. 

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your Apple ID profile at the top. 

    Tap your Apple ID profile.
  2. Tap iCloud.

    Tap iCloud.
  3. Under Apps Using iCloud, tap Show All

    Tap Show All.
  4. Tap Messages in iCloud

    Tap Messages in iCloud.
  5. Make sure the Use on this iPhone toggle is enabled. 

    Enable the Use on this iPhone toggle.


If you have an older software version, you may see a toggle next to Messages. Make sure the toggle is enabled so that your texts and images are syncing to iCloud.

4. Sign Out of iMessage If Your iPhone Stops Downloading Pictures

If images are not downloading in Messages, your next step should be to sign out of iMessage and sign back in with your Apple ID. Reloading iMessage clears the cache and helps the pictures load in the Messages app.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Messages.

    Tap Messages.
  2. Tap Send & Receive

    Tap Send & Receive.
  3. Tap your Apple ID.

    Tap your Apple ID.
  4. Select Sign Out

    Tap Sign Out.
  5. Tap Sign In to log back into iMessage with your Apple ID. 

Hopefully, clearing the cache fixed the iMessage download issue. To learn more handy messaging tips, sign up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter. 

5. Reset Your Network Settings

If the pictures are still not downloading in iMessage, you'll want to reset your network settings to fix any underlying problems with your network. You won't lose any data from resetting your network settings. However, you will need to sign back into your Wi-Fi networks to gain access (so save your Wi-Fi passwords before you reset). Here's a great resource covering how to reset network settings on your iPhone.

6. Check Your iPhone Storage If Images Are Not Loading in iMessage

If your iPhone storage is full, new images won't load and display in Messages. Let's check your available iPhone storage in Settings: 

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your Apple ID profile at the top. 

    Tap your Apple ID profile.
  2. Tap iCloud

    Tap iCloud.
  3. At the top of the screen, you'll see your used storage displayed in bright colors, while available storage space is shown in gray. 

    Your free storage will be displayed.

If you have available storage space, this isn't the issue causing your iPhone not to download pictures. However, if your storage is full, tap "Manage Account Storage" and follow the steps to upgrade your iCloud storage

7. Contact Apple Support

The troubleshooting steps above will resolve most issues with images not downloading. However, if you're still having trouble viewing images in iMessage, it's time to contact Apple Support. In these cases, you likely have an underlying issue with your device or Apple ID. 


  • What is MMS messaging on iPhone? MMS is an abbreviation for Multi-Media Messaging. This messaging format allows you to send and receive images, GIFs, and videos. Having MMS messaging disabled is a common reason why an iPhone is not receiving pictures.
  • Why do pictures disappear from text messages on my iPhone? If iMessage photos you could previously see in the text chat have now disappeared, it likely means your device has run out of storage space and can no longer load the images. If you upgrade your iCloud storage or free up some storage space, you should be able to see them again. 
  • Why are photos not sending on my iPhone? If your iPhone isn't sending photos, make sure MMS Messaging is enabled, check your internet speed, and try sending a photo to another contact. If your iPhone won't sent pictures to certain contacts, here's what to do. 
Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Ashleigh Page's picture

Author Details

Ashleigh Page

Ashleigh Page is an Associate Editor for iPhone Life. A longtime Apple enthusiast with a Bachelor's in English and Computer Science and three years of experience writing about tech, Ashleigh has written and tested hundreds of articles about devices and features within Apple's ecosystem. She specializes in iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Mac content and has authored a 60-page in-depth guide about the Apple Maps app. Based in North Carolina, Ashleigh is often crafting whimsical (and sometimes nonsensical) short stories and hiking when she's not working.