How to Fix Pictures Not Downloading in iMessage on iOS 16

Read this article to find out why pictures are not downloading in iMessage iOS 16 and over 6 detailed methods on how to solve the problem. Also, as a bonus, find out how to use EASEUS MobiMover to back up your iPhone messages and answers to frequently asked questions.

Myra updated on Feb 18, 2024 | Home > iOS & Mac Topics

Why Picture Not Downloading in iMessage

Using iMessage to send pictures is an effective method iPhone users enjoy, as the app allows sending of texts as well as various multimedia messages. However, pictures not downloading in iMessage iOS 16 isn't a strange problem and can be caused by several reasons. These reasons include poor internet connections, iPhone iOS 16 update failure, low storage space, etc.

In this guide, we will be discussing 8 methods with their step-by-step detailed solution on how to fix pictures not downloading in iMessage iOS 16 when you are trying to download iMessage history. This easy-to-understand guide with pictorial representation will be sure to solve your problem. So keep reading.

8 Methods to Fix iOS 16 Not Downloading iMessage Pictures

Method Difficulty Efficiency
Check Internet Connection - Check wifi consistency/speed. Easy High
Reset Network Settings - Reset all network settings. Easy High
Restart iPhone - Fix minor bugs/errors. Easy Medium
Check iMessage Settings - Enable iMessage service. Normal High
Free Up iPhone Storage - Ensure enough space to download images. Normal High
Re-Enable Messages from iCloud - Grant iMessages access to iCloud. Normal Medium
Sign Out and Into Apple ID - Fix the issue with Apple ID. Easy Medium
Check for any Parental Controls - Disable parental restrictions. Normal High

iMessage not working on iOS 16 has become a frequently reported problem across many users, especially after a recent update to iPhone iOS 16. Luckily, this problem can be easily fixed with numerous options available. All you have to do is choose a method you best understand and follow the instructions from this guide accordingly, and you'll be all set. Now let's discuss these solutions in detail.

1️⃣Check Internet Connection

As expected, sending and receiving files in whichever data type requires a strong data connection. If your internet connection isn't consistent or your iPhone's internet is too slow, that may be why pictures are not showing in iMessage. Use the steps below to check your internet connection and change the cellular data to Wi-Fi if you are using insufficient data.

Step 1. is an online website to test internet speed. Click Go, and it will display your internet strength.

Wait for Speed test to run to show your data speed

Step 2. If you are using cellular data and it is too slow to download the iMessage pictures, go to Settings > Cellular > Turn off cellular data.

Check cellular data

Step 3. Head back to Settings > Wi-Fi > Turn on Wi-Fi.

Toggle on Wifi

All of the above steps will help point you in the right direction if it's an internet issue. Once you connect to a steady and strong internet connection, go to iMessage and try to download the picture on your iOS 16 again.

2️⃣Reset Network Settings

If it comes to 'Tap to Download' failure, you may have to reset your network settings. While this will require you to reset all of your network settings, including Bluetooth, VPN, Wi-Fi, Hotspot, etc., it should do the trick. To carry out this network settings reset, follow these steps;

Step 1. Go to Settings on your device and navigate to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Scroll down to find the 'Transfer or Reset iPhone' option

Step 2. Tap on Reset, and choose to Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings

Step 3. Input your password when required and follow the instruction to complete the process. When you have completed resetting your network, connect to your internet again to check whether you can download pictures or not.

3️⃣Restart Your iPhone 14/13

Restarting your device is an agelong trick that may be the solution to your problem. This is because it easily solves minor bugs or errors that do not require technical know-how to fix. So when your iMessage is not working on iOS 16, it wouldn't hurt to try. If a simple restart doesn't work, check the guide to force restart iPhone, or factory reset iPhone will be your last resort.

Step 1. Press and hold the Volume and Side buttons simultaneously.

restart iphone

Step 2. Drag the power off slider to the right, and your iPhone will go off.

restart iphone

Step 3. Boot your iPhone 14/13 again by holding the Side button until you see the Apple logo. Once your phone is fully booted, proceed to download a photo on your iMessage.

4️⃣Check iMessage Settings

A pretty quick fix to this problem may be your iPhone iOS 16/15/14 has its iMessage disabled. If this is the reason, then you easily fix it by:

Step 1. Go to your iPhone Settings, and locate Messages.

Step 2. Ensure your iMessage is enabled.

check imessage settings

If you have already turned on iMessage, you can switch to deactivate it first and wait for a few seconds to toggle it on. This should fix the iMessage image not downloading after upgrading to iOS 16. If the problem still exists, you can read on to try the following methods.

5️⃣Free Up iPhone Storage

Not enough storage space on your iPhone is another recurring problem that hinders your sending and receiving messages. To free up some space, follow these few steps.

Step 1. Select the Settings App on your phone, and locate General in the options.

Step 2. Tap on iPhone Storage to check the available space.

check available storage

Step 3. If your available storage is low, you can delete all photos from your iPhone.

6️⃣Re-Enable Messages from iCloud

Re-enabling your messages on your iCloud can resolve this problem as it grants your iMessages access to your iCloud. Here's how to do it;

Step 1. Click on your iPhone's Settings, and click on the first option, which shows your Apple profile.

Step 2. Choose iCloud > App Using iCloud > Show All.

Show all

Step 3. Locate Messages, and turn off the toggle of Sync This iPhone. Wait for a second, and turn the toggle on.

sync this iphone

7️⃣Sign Out and Into Apple ID

Why pictures are not downloading in iMessage may be because of an issue with your Apple ID. To ensure everything is intact, as an error-fixing measure, you can sign out and then into your Apple ID. To do this, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Open Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.

send and receive

Step 2. Select and hold your Apple ID. From the pop-up window, choose Sign Out.

sign out and in apple id

Step 3. Wait for a second, and tap Use Your Apple ID for iMessage to sign in to your ID again.

8️⃣Check for Any Parental Controls or Restrictions

Parental control restrictions are another reason that may lead to pictures not loading in iMessage. To check for and disable any parental controls or restrictions, follow these steps:

Step 1. Head to Settings > Screen Time.

screen time

Step 2. Tap on App Limits, toggle off that iMessage if it is turned on, and then proceed to ensure it is on the Always Allowed app list.

Bonus: Backup iPhone Messages for Safety

When problems occur in certain apps, data loss is possible. Therefore, backing up iPhone data is essential, especially the import files containing personal information, such as Message conversations. One easy-to-use software, EaseUS MobiMover Pro, allows you to easily transfer various data types across your devices without any data loss or information leak. It is compatible with various devices, including Apple products, so there is no problem in transferring text messages from your iPhone to your Mac/PC whenever you want.


This article has detailed step-by-step methods to fix the pictures not downloading after iOS 16. With eight methods listed, if this guide is followed accordingly, you can find the solution to your problem before exhausting the guide. Also included is a bonus section on backing up iPhone messages using EaseUS MobiMover you'll be glad you came across.

Pictures Not Downloading in iMessage iOS 16 FAQs

Here are some questions that can help improve your iPhone iMessage experience and their answers.

1. How do I see all photos in iMessage iOS 16?

To view all photos from iMessage:

  • Select the conversation and go to the person's profile.
  • Scroll down until you see the latest picture he/she sent to you.
  • Tap See All to view all pictures.

2. Why can't I see pictures in iMessage?

If your friends send you a picture through iMessage while your iMessage and MMS are not enabled, you won't see any image. Therefore, go to Settings > Messages > iMessage to check whether the toggle is turned on.