While the problem of iMessage Photos not downloading on iPhone is usually reported after installing an update, it can also at other times due to various reasons.
iMessage Not Downloading Photos
The problem of iMessage not downloading Photos on iPhone can be frustrating as it prevents you from viewing photos attached to the Text and iMessages on your device.
There could be various reasons for photos not downloading in iMessage, ranging from lack of storage space and problem with Apple’s iCloud service to network related issues.
Another reason for photos not opening or downloading in iMessage is due to photos being accidentally deleted. In this case, the only solution is to Restore iPhone from a recently made backup of your device.
1. Make Sure iMessage is Enabled
The first step would be to make sure that Apple’s iMessage service is enabled on your device.
Go to Settings > Messages > move the toggle next to iMessage to ON position.
Also, make sure that your Phone number and/or Email Address is listed next to Send & Receive entry.
2. Check Network Strength
A common reason for images not downloading on iPhone is due to poor network connectivity and weak network strength.
Hence, take a look at the status bar (top-left corner) and make sure that the Network strength at your current location is good enough to download photos.
If the reception is poor, you can try moving to a new place or wait for the reception to improve.
3. Enable Cellular Data
If you are not connected to Wi-Fi, make sure that your device can use cellular or mobile data to download the photos.
Go to Settings > Cellular > move the toggle next to Cellular Data to ON position.
This should allow your iPhone to download photos using data.
4. Restart iPhone
Restart iPhone to rule out the possibility of the iMessage download problem being caused due to stuck apps and processes.
1. Go to Settings > General > scroll down and tap on Shut Down.
2. On the next screen, use the Slider to Power OFF iPhone.
3. Wait for your iPhone to completely Power OFF > Wait for 30 seconds and restart your device by pressing the Power button.
5. Enable Contact Photos
iPhone provides the option to show the Photos of your Contacts in Messages.
Go to Settings > Messages > scroll down and move the toggle next to Show Contact Photos to ON positon.
6. Enable/Disable iMessage
Enabling and disabling iMessage helps in resetting iMessages and this should help in fixing the problem.
1. Go to Settings > Messages > Move the toggle next to iMessage to OFF position.
2. Wait for 30 seconds and enable iMessage by moving the toggle to ON position.
7. Install Updates
Sometimes, the problem is due to Carrier updates not being installed on your device.
Go to Settings > General > Software update.
On the next screen, tap on the Update option to install Carrier updates (if available).
8. Check Available Storage Space
Lack of storage space on your iPhone can prevent iMessage photos from downloading on your device.
Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > on the next screen, you will be able to see the amount of storage space used and remaining on your device.
If your iPhone is lacking in storage space, you need to make efforts to free up storage space on your device.
9. Sign-out/Sign-in to iPhone
Sometimes, the problem is due to your Apple ID not being recognized by iCloud. This can be fixed by signing out of iPhone and signing-in back.
1. Open Settings > tap on your Apple ID Name.
2. On Apple-ID screen, scroll all the way down and select the Sign-out option.
3. On the pop-up, enter your Apple ID Password and follow the instructions to sign-out.
After you are signed-out, wait for 30 seconds and sign-back into your device.
10. Reset Network Settings
Note down your Wi-Fi Network Password and follow the steps below to Reset Network Setting on your iPhone.
1. Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > select the Reset option.
2. On the pop-up, select Reset Network Settings option.
3. When prompted, enter your Lock Screen Password.
4. On the confirmation pop-up, tap on Reset Network Settings to confirm.
After the Reset process is completed, reconnect to your Wi-Fi Network and see if you are now able to download photos in the Messages App.