What to Do When iMessage Cannot Send Image or Video Attachment on Mac


iMessage is a highly useful app for sending messages to and receiving them from other Apple devices. It is available for both iOS and macOS platforms, and you can sync your account on different devices so you can access your messages anywhere.

Just make sure you’re using the same iMessage account for your devices. To create an account on iOS, just go to Settings > Messages, then turn on iMessage. iMessage will automatically pull your phone number or Apple ID (or both) to complete the setup.

To enable iMessage on macOS, open the Messages app, then type in your Apple ID and password. Click on Messages > Preferences, then choose the Accounts tab. Choose the email address or phone number you want to use to send and receive messages. Once you’ve completed the setup, your messages on Mac will sync with your existing iMessage account on your other devices.

Aside from sending text messages, you can also send other multimedia files via iMessage. You can send audio, video clips, and images using the iMessage app. It is a convenient of way of sending messages and files for free.

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However, sometimes iMessage won’t allow sending an image or a video. Some Mac users reported that they are unable to send image or video attachments using iMessage on Mac. Sending iMessages works fine, though. This problem has caused a lot of inconvenience, particularly for those who want to send files and images that are available only on their Macs.

Mac users have filed reports regarding this problem, but Apple has yet to issue an official patch to resolve this problem. If you cannot send an image or a video using iMessage, you can follow our troubleshooting guide below to fix this issue.

How to Fix iMessage Attachment Issue

When you cannot send images or video clips using iMessage, the problem could be caused by various elements. It could be due to a poor internet connection, incorrect app settings, a temporary glitch, or a bug.

The steps listed below should help you fix this problem and get your iMessage account working properly again.

Step #1: Check Your Internet Connection.

Sending messages and files via iMessage requires a good internet connection, especially if you’re sending videos and audio files. Try using another device connected to the same network to check if you have a working internet connection. If you’re having internet problems with another device, restart your router and see if it makes any difference.

Step #2: Restart the Messages App.

If there is no problem with your internet connection, the next thing you need to check is the app itself. Close the app completely by pressing Option + Command + Escape to launch the Force Quit menu, then choose Messages from the list of apps. Click the Force Quit button, then hit OK to confirm the action. You may need to restart your Mac as well to refresh your system.

If the problem is caused by a temporary glitch in the system, closing and then relaunching the Messages app should do the trick. If this doesn’t solve your problem, try the other steps below.

Step #3: Sign Out of Your iMessage Account and Then Sign Back In.

Sometimes it’s not the app that’s wonky but the account itself, making you unable to send image or video attachments using iMessage on Mac. If this is the case, try signing out first, then log back in to see if this will fix the problem.

To sign out of your iMessage account, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Messages by clicking its icon on the Dock.
  2. Click Messages, then choose Preferences from the menu bar at the top.
  3. Choose your iMessage account from the left-side menu.
  4. Click the Sign Out button, then close the app.
  5. You might also need to sign out of all your other devices so that they can all sync at the same time.
  6. Follow Steps 1 to 3 above, then sign back in using your Apple ID and password.
  7. Click on the Accounts tab and make sure that Enable this account is ticked off.

Try sending an image to see if the issue has been fixed.

Step #4: Check Your Time and Date Settings.

Incorrect time and date settings can cause problems such as being unable to send image or video attachments using iMessage on Mac.

To edit your date and time preferences:

  1. Go to the Apple menu, then click System Preferences > Date & Time.
  2. Click on the Time Zone tab.
  3. Tick off Set date and time automatically. If this option was originally ticked off, click the checkbox to uncheck it. Wait for a few seconds, then tick off the option again.

This should fix any inconsistencies with your computer’s time and date settings and hopefully get your iMessage working again.

Step #5: Clean Up Your System.

Aside from wasting precious storage space, junk files such as temporary files and cached data can interfere with your system processes and cause problems for your Mac. Make it a habit to delete apps and files that you don’t need, organize your folders, and empty your Trash regularly.

You can also use an app such as Mac repair app to get rid of junk files that are not easily accessible. Once you’ve cleaned up your system, open Messages again to see if you can now send photos and videos via iMessage.

Step #6: Reset Your Messages App Preferences.

If you still cannot send an image or a video using iMessage after doing all the steps above, you can reset the preferences of the Messages app by deleting the .plist files associated with iMessage.

To do this:

  1. Close the Messages app.
  2. From the Finder menu, click Go > Go to Folder, then type in this path: ~/Library/Preferences/. This folder is where all the .plist files are stored.
  3. Look for .plist files with iMessage in their filename, such as apple.imservice.ids.iMessage.plist and com.apple.imessage.bag.plist.
  4. Delete these files by moving them to the Trash.

Empty your Trash and relaunch the Messages app to check whether the issue has been resolved.


iMessage is a handy app, not only for sending text messages but for sending images and videos as well. However, for some reason, some users have reported that iMessage cannot send image or video attachments on their Mac even though the iOS version is working fine.

This can be frustrating if you’re sending out files that are saved on your Mac and not on your other devices. If this problem has been bugging you and you’re out of ideas how to fix this, just work your way down the step-by-step guide above until you get this issue sorted out.

1 thought on “What to Do When iMessage Cannot Send Image or Video Attachment on Mac
  1. Kevin
    September 11, 2020, 6:38 PM

    The .plist thing fixed it! Thanks! Had an Apple “tech” on the line for an hour and didn’t get anywhere.

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