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

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Struggling to send photos or videos through iMessage on your Mac can be a real inconvenience. Users across various platforms, including the Apple community discussions, have voiced their frustrations with this issue. The problem manifests in different ways; some cannot send or receive photos, while others encounter quality degradation when using alternative messaging services. The root of the problem seems multifaceted, involving aspects like network connectivity, device settings, or even potential bugs within the system.

Common User Experiences

Community discussions provide valuable insights into the user experience with this issue. For instance, a user with an iPhone 14 Pro Max on iOS 16.3.1 reported problems in sending and receiving photos, which were initially in HEIC format but were changed to JPEG. This problem persisted even with a stable Wi-Fi connection. Another user pinpointed the problem to a bug in iOS 16.4, affecting the Messages server system or the Apple ID system. Frustrations are compounded by the apparent lack of a permanent fix, with some users finding temporary respite through actions like network resets or restarting devices. The collective sentiment hints at a significant problem requiring attention from Apple. For more user experiences and discussions, you can visit the Apple Community Forum.

Users across various iPhone models, including iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 13, are experiencing issues with sending and receiving photos through iMessage and MMS after updating to iOS versions 16.3.1 and 17.1.2. Photos are either not displaying, not sending, or being sent with poor quality. The problem persists across different carriers and is not resolved by traditional troubleshooting methods like restarting the device, resetting network settings, or checking message settings. Several users noted that updating to the latest iOS version sometimes temporarily resolves the issue, suggesting a potential bug in the iOS system itself. A Community Specialist advised ensuring that MMS and Group messages are enabled and that there is sufficient storage on the device. They also recommended checking the camera format settings and restarting the iPhone if problems persist. Some users found temporary relief by resetting network settings or contacting their carrier for a network reset.

Steps to Resolve iMessage Sending Issues

If you’re facing these challenges, here are some potential fixes you might want to try:

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  1. Check Your Network: iMessage needs a stable internet connection. Make sure your Wi-Fi or cellular data is active and stable by loading a webpage or streaming a video.
  2. Reboot Your iPhone: Sometimes, a simple reboot can fix minor glitches. To reboot, press and hold the power button, slide to power off, and then turn it back on.
  3. Check File Size: Large files may fail to send. Check the size of your attachment, and if it’s too large, consider compressing the file or reducing the resolution.
  4. Reset iMessage: Go to Settings > Messages, toggle off iMessage, wait a few seconds, and toggle it back on. This can refresh the app and resolve issues.
  5. Clear Cache: Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Messages, and delete old messages and attachments. This frees up space and might solve the problem.
  6. Contact Apple Support: If all else fails, reaching out to Apple Support is advisable. They can offer more specialized assistance.

Additional Tips for Mac Users

Mac users might find the following steps useful:

  1. Restart Your Mac: Sometimes, restarting your device can resolve underlying issues.
  2. Check for Software Updates: Outdated software can lead to compatibility issues. Ensure your macOS and iOS are up to date.
  3. Sign Out and Back Into iMessage: This can sometimes refresh your connection and resolve sending issues.
  4. Check Internet Connection: A stable connection is vital for iMessage to function correctly.
  5. Delete DB Files: These cache files can sometimes cause issues. Deleting them might help, but ensure you’re not deleting crucial system files.

Concluding Thoughts

While encountering issues with iMessage can be frustrating, the solutions provided here should help mitigate the problem. It’s important to approach the issue methodically, trying simpler fixes like restarting your device or checking your network connection before moving on to more complex solutions. If the problem persists, remember that Apple Support is there to assist. The importance of a functioning messaging system cannot be overstated in our connected world, and addressing these issues promptly ensures we stay in touch with ease and convenience.


Q: Why won’t my iMessage send photos or videos?

A: The issue could be due to unstable network connections, large file sizes, software glitches, or incorrect settings in iMessage or your device.

Q: How can I fix iMessage not sending photos or videos?

A: You can try checking your network connection, rebooting your device, compressing the file size, resetting iMessage, clearing cache, or updating your software. If the problem persists, contact Apple Support.

Q: How do I know if the problem is with my network or iMessage?

A: Test your network by loading a webpage or streaming a video. If other apps work fine, the issue might be with iMessage or your device settings.

Q: Can file size affect sending photos or videos on iMessage?

A: Yes, large files may not send. Check the file size and consider reducing it by compressing the file or lowering the resolution.

Q: What should I do if none of the solutions work?

A: If you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps without success, it’s best to contact Apple Support for further assistance.

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3 years ago

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

Kyra R
1 year ago

Did all that you recommended (in the order recommended) and it’s still not working for me. I used to be able to send photos just fine…but then I couldn’t text people who didn’t also have iMessage, and now I can text across platforms from my laptop. Do you think that has something to do with it?

Marco Scherer
1 year ago

The probably simplest solution: copy the files to the Desktop and send again. Mostly this problem appears when trying to send files from external media.

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