Top 7 Ways to Fix Android Won’t Send Pic­ture Mes­sages Issue

Olanrewaju Sodiq

Have you been trying to send a family picture via text message to your grandma who doesn't use a smartphone but to no avail? Is your Android smartphone failing to send MMS to contacts? We have compiled useful troubleshooting tips that can get your device back to sending picture messages in no time.

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First off, check that you have sufficient balance/funds on your SIM card/account. Telecos charge a certain amount to deliver MMS to the recipient(s). And it usually costs more to send multimedia messages than the regular, text-only SMS. Confirm your carrier's MMS charges and ensure you have sufficient balance to cover the cost of the picture message(s) you want to send. Restarting your device could also fix the issue. Otherwise, proceed to the solutions listed below.

1. Enable Data Connection

Data connectivity is an important prerequisite to sending picture messages on Android devices. If your smartphone refuses to send or receive picture messages, check that data connection is active and enabled on your device. If you're using Wi-Fi, temporarily disable Wi-Fi and use cellular data. You cannot send MMS over Wi-Fi, so you should make sure you have an active cellular/mobile data plan.

You can turn on the cellular connection from the notification panel or the Android settings menu. Navigate to Settings > Network & Internet and toggle on Mobile data.

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If you're using mobile data, but Android still won't send picture messages, disable your device's mobile data and re-enable it. If that doesn't work, proceed to the next troubleshooting tips below.

2. Force Stop Messages

Force-stopping the messaging app that's refusing to send picture messages could also help fix this issue. Follow the steps listed below to get it done.

Step 1: Launch Settings and select 'Apps & notifications'.

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Step 2: Next, select All Apps.

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Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the page and select your messaging app.

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Step 4: Tap the Force Stop icon and tap OK on the prompt.

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That will close the messaging app. Relaunch the app and check if you can now send picture messages.

3. Allow Unrestricted Data Usage

Your device might encounter issues sending pictures and other types of multimedia files via Messages if there's some restriction preventing it from using cellular data, both in the foreground and background.

You should ensure that the Messages app has access to background data. Likewise, you should also configure the app to use unrestricted data when Data Saver is on. To do that, open Settings > Apps & notifications > All Apps > Messages > Mobile data & Wi-Fi. Now, toggle on both Background data and 'Unrestricted data usage'.

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4. Clear App Cache & Data

If your Android smartphone won't send picture messages, it could be due to a cache-related problem with the messaging app. You should clear the app's cache and check if it fixes the error. If it doesn't, proceed to clear the app's data. To do that, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > All Apps > Messages > Storage & cache > Clear cache.

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Afterward, tap Clear Storage to delete the app's data and tap OK on the prompt.

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Note: Clearing Messages' storage will delete conversations within the app. It is recommended that you clear the app's data as a last resort if all troubleshooting fixes listed below do not fix it.

5. Update the Messages App

Your Android could fail to multimedia messages if there's a bug in the Messages app. Since app updates usually come with bug fixes, you should update your device's Messages app if you aren't using the latest version.

Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > All Apps > Messages and select App details. Tap the Update button on the Messages app page to update the app.

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Alternatively, tap the Update Messages button below to directly open the Messages app page on the Google Play Store.

6. Reset Network Settings

Your Android device could have a problem sending multimedia messages if your device's network settings aren't configured properly. To fix this, reset your phone's network settings.

To do this, go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options and select 'Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth'. Tap the Reset Settings button to proceed.

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Note that this will erase all previously-configured preferences made to your device's cellular data, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Refer our guide to know what happens when you reset network settings on Android.

7. Update Android

Updating your device to the latest Android OS version could also help fix this issue. Navigate to Settings > System > Advanced > System update and tap the 'Check for update' button.

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Download and install any available updates and check if it fixes the glitch with the Messages app.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Texts

Whatever the cause of the issue is, at least one of the troubleshooting methods above should help get it fixed. You can also apply these fixes to third-party messaging apps, i.e., if the Google Messages app isn't your phone's default text messaging app. Do let us know which one did the trick for you.

Next up: Is the Messages app crashing on your Android phone? Are you unable to send texts due to the closing of the Messages by Google? Learn how to fix the problem.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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#messaging #troubleshooting

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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 3 years to help people solve problems relating to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, etc.) and previously worked with GearBest in that capacity.