How to Fix Pictures Not Downloading in iMessage on iOS 16


If you’ve updated to iOS 16 and are having trouble with photos not downloading in iMessage, you’re not alone. Many people have had the same issue after updating their iPhones to iOS 16.

This can be incredibly frustrating because it prevents users from sending or receiving photos through iMessage. It’s important to understand why this is happening so that you can find a fix.

In this article, we’ll discuss what causes pictures not downloading in iMessage on iOS 16 and how you can solve the issue.

Moving forward, let’s take a look at why images may not be working in iPhone messages after an update.

Why Picture Not Downloading in iMessage

You may be wondering why your messages aren’t loading pictures, and it could be due to several factors:

  • Outdated iOS version or buggy software
  • Network connection issues
  • Incorrect account settings
  • Poor device health or low memory space
  • Issues with the iMessage server itself.

Any of these scenarios can prevent pictures from downloading in iMessage on iOS 16, so it is important to troubleshoot each potential cause before making a conclusion.

To make sure you get the most out of messaging on your iPhone, it is essential to keep your device and its software up-to-date as well as properly configure your network and account settings. Having all these elements in place will ensure an optimal messaging experience moving forward.

Now that we’ve discussed why picture downloads might not work on iMessage for iOS 16, let’s look into methods to fix this issue.

14 Methods to Fix iOS 16 Not Downloading iMessage Pictures

Having trouble downloading pictures in iMessage on iOS 16? Don’t worry! There are a few easy steps you can take to fix this problem.

1. Check Internet Connection

To verify your network connection, go to the iPhone’s settings and check that WiFi is turned on and connected.

If it is, test out the internet speed with or stream a few videos online. This will help you determine if the network connection is strong enough for iMessage pictures to download properly.

If not, then you need to reset your network settings which is discussed in the next section.

2. Reset Network Settings

Resetting your network settings may be necessary to get iMessage working properly. To do this, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Open up your device’s Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the General > Transfer or Reset iPhone option.
  3. Tap on Reset and then choose Reset Network Settings.
  4. You’ll be prompted to enter your password before the reset takes place.


Once the reset is complete, you should reconnect to the internet and test whether picture downloading works again.

If resetting your network settings doesn’t solve the issue, you can try restarting your iPhone 14/13 as an additional solution.

3. Restart Your iPhone 14/13

Try restarting your device to see if it helps get iMessage working again. To do this, press and hold the Volume and Side buttons until you see the power off slider. Then, drag the slider to the right and wait for your iPhone 14/13 to turn off completely. Finally, boot your phone by holding down the Side button until you notice the Apple logo.

Action How-To
Restart Phone Press & hold Volume & Side buttons simultaneously
Shut Down Phone Drag power off slider to right
Boot Up Phone Hold down Side button until Apple logo appears

If a simple restart doesn’t solve your problem, check out our guide on force restarting or factory resetting your iPhone 14/13 as a last resort. But before that, make sure to check out our next section about checking imessage settings!

4. Check iMessage Settings

Checking your iMessage settings can help get it working again.

If you’re having trouble downloading pictures in iMessage, make sure the following options are enabled:

  • iMessage switch is on
  • MMS Messaging is enabled
  • Low-Quality Image Mode is enabled
  • Group Messaging is turned on


These settings should make picture and video sharing with iMessage possible.

If they’re all switched on but it’s still not working, you may need to free up some iPhone storage space.

5. Free Up iPhone Storage

If your device is running out of storage space, freeing up some iPhone storage may help get pictures downloading in iMessage again.

To check the available storage on your iPhone, open the Settings app and tap ‘iPhone Storage’ from the General settings window.

If you have less than 10% free space, delete some unwanted files or apps to create more room. System Storage or Other Storage caches are good candidates for deleting unused data.

After freeing up some space, re-enabling messages from iCloud may help resolve any issues with iMessage picture downloads.

6. Re-Enable Messages from iCloud

Re-enable messages from iCloud to help get your device back on track. To do this, you need to:

  1. Go to the Settings app and tap on your Apple ID profile at the top of the page.
  2. Select ‘iCloud’ and then scroll down until you find ‘Messages.’
  3. Make sure the toggle for ‘Messages’ is switched on.
  4. Finally, hit ‘Sign Out’ at the bottom of your Apple ID profile page.

With all these steps taken, you can now be sure that Messages from iCloud are enabled. This should help fix any issues with picture downloads in iMessage iOS 16.

Moving forward, it’s important to sign out and into your Apple ID regularly to ensure smooth functioning.

7. Sign Out and Into Apple ID

If re-enabling Messages from iCloud didn’t work, then you may have to try signing out and into your Apple ID.

To do this, head to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Then hold down your Apple ID and choose Sign Out from the pop-up window. After a few seconds, use the same option again but this time select Use Your Apple ID for iMessage to sign in.

This should help resolve any issues with pictures not downloading in iMessage on iOS 16.

Now let’s check if there are any parental controls or restrictions that could be preventing the images from downloading properly.

8. Check for Any Parental Controls or Restrictions

Checking for any parental controls or restrictions can help resolve issues with pictures not loading in iMessage on iOS 16.

To check if any restrictions have been set, head to Settings and tap on the Screen Time option.

Within this menu, look for App Limits and toggle off iMessage if it is turned on.

After that, ensure it is added to the Always Allowed app list.

This should allow photos to load properly without any further issue.

Moving forward, reloading iMessage may be necessary to complete the troubleshooting process.

10. Reload iMessage

To get iMessage working properly again, reload it.

Navigate to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and select Messages.

Tap Send & Receive and sign out of your Apple ID.


After a few seconds, sign in with the same account.

This should refresh iMessage so that pictures can be downloaded without any issue.

If not, consider force quitting and relaunching the app to see if that solves the problem.

11. Force quit and relaunch iMessage

Swiping up and relaunching iMessage can refresh the app and clear any issues. To force quit and relaunch iMessage, begin by accessing the app switcher. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to locate it. Then swipe up on the card for iMessage to close it. Subsequently, tap on its icon on the home screen to relaunch it.

Benefits Process Results
Refreshes App Swipe Up & Close App Card Clear Glitches/Bugs
Clears Issues Tap Home Screen Icon to Relaunch App Optimize Performance

12. Update your device software

Updating your device’s software can help optimize its performance and clear any bugs. To make sure your iMessage is up-to-date, go to Settings > General > Software Update and check if a new version of iOS is available. If so, download the version and install it on your device.

This will ensure all the features are running correctly and that any bug fixes are applied. Additionally, these updates usually include improvements to battery life and speed. By updating your device’s software regularly, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth user experience with fewer interruptions or error messages.

With this in mind, keep an eye out for new versions of iOS released by Apple, as they often contain important bug fixes that keep your device running optimally.

13. Check Date and Time Settings

Check your device’s date and time settings to make sure they’re correct for your region. To do this, go to the Settings app and tap General.

Then select Date & Time and turn on Set Automatically. This will adjust the time according to your current location and ensure that iMessage protocols are able to synchronize with it. If you’ve traveled recently from one time zone to another, double-check that these settings have been updated accordingly.


Once done, try downloading pictures within iMessage again – they should now appear correctly!

Moving on, let’s focus on enabling cellular data usage for iMessage.

14. Enable Cellular Data Usage for iMessage

To ensure that iMessage downloads pictures correctly, make sure to enable cellular data usage for it. Here’s how: Go to Settings, tap on Mobile Data, select Mobile Data Options, and then under the Mobile Data options, tap on Data Mode and select Standard. This will allow iMessage to download images via cellular data when your phone is not connected to Wi-Fi.

Advantages Disadvantages
Allows you to send/receive messages without Wi-Fi connection Will use up more of your data plan than if you had Wi-Fi connection
Faster connectivity speed compared with other networks like 3G or 4G LTE Can be expensive depending on your plan

15. Restore Device to Factory Settings

If all else fails, try restoring your device to its factory settings. To do this, go to Settings and select General options. Then tap on Transfer & Reset iPhone and choose Erase All Contents & Settings option.

Enter your passcode to confirm this action and wait for the process to finish. Note that this will cause permanent data loss on your iPhone but may eliminate the root cause of the system bugs. So it’s worth considering as a last resort solution for getting pictures to download in iMessage iOS 16.


Moving forward…


In conclusion, if pictures or videos are not downloading in iMessage iOS 16, there are several troubleshooting methods one can use to resolve the issue.

Additionally, Tenorshare UltData makes it easy to recover deleted media with a single click.

To help you get back to using iMessage without any hassles, here are the steps you can take:

  • Check your network connection and restart the device if necessary.
  • Try resetting your iPhone’s settings.
  • Delete all conversations and reboot the device.
  • Restore your device to factory settings.

By following these steps, you will be able to quickly identify and fix any issues related to pictures not downloading in iMessage iOS 16.

Utilizing Tenorshare UltData is an efficient and reliable way of recovering deleted media as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Security Risks Associated With iMessage?

Yes, there are security risks associated with iMessage. Apple’s end-to-end encryption ensures that messages sent through iMessage can only be seen by both the sender and recipient. However, hackers may still be able to access user data if an iPhone is jailbroken or if someone knows a user’s Apple ID and password.

Additionally, since iMessage uses iCloud for backup purposes, any data stored in iCloud can potentially be accessed by hackers. For this reason, it is important to regularly change your passwords and keep your device secure with up-to-date software and strong anti-virus protection.

Is There a Way to Access iMessage on a Computer?

I’m sorry to say that there’s no easy way to access iMessage on a computer, much to the chagrin of many users.

While Apple made some strides with their iCloud service, it’s still not possible to directly access messages using your Mac or PC.

Despite this setback, there are plenty of workarounds available. Consider third-party apps like AnyTrans or AirMessage that can bridge the gap between your iMessage and computer.

It’s not perfect, but it should get you up and running in no time – like a bee buzzing from flower to flower!

Are There Any Alternative Messaging Apps for iOS 16?

Yes, there are alternative messaging apps for iOS 16. Popular options include WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger.

All three offer secure communication with end-to-end encryption. They also provide features such as group chats, photo sharing, audio/video calls, and stickers to make conversations more enjoyable.

Additionally, they’re free to download and use without any subscription fees or in-app purchases.

So if you’re looking for an alternative to iMessage on iOS 16, these apps should do the trick!

What Other Features Does iMessage Offer?

iMessage is an incredibly feature-rich messaging platform. In addition to sending photos, you can also send text messages, videos, audio recordings, documents, and location information.

It also has a host of other features like group chats, support for Apple Pay Cash transactions, and even custom stickers.

Another useful feature that iMessage offers is the ability to set read receipts so you can tell when someone has seen your message. You can also search conversations for keywords or phrases, which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. With iOS 15 you can enable time-sensitive notifications for iMessages so that you can focus more on your work!

All in all, iMessage provides a great way to communicate with friends and family on your iOS device.


Wrapping up, I’ve provided 14 methods to help you fix the issue of iMessage pictures not downloading on iOS 16.

If these tips didn’t work for you, then it may be time to reach out to Apple Support for further assistance.

After all, there’s no need to fret; with a little patience and know-how, this issue can be resolved in no time!

So take a deep breath, summon your inner tech-savvy self, and go get that problem fixed!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...