How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that won’t send MMS or picture messages [Troubleshooting Guide]

Messages that contain photos, videos and other media files are referred to as MMS or multimedia messages. It’s an advanced messaging technology offered by contemporary mobile devices using either Android or iOS platforms. Most network operators/carriers already support MMS. For as long as your account is setup for an MMS data plan, the service should become available from the moment you insert and install your SIM card in your device.

All you have to do then is to set up your phone for MMS and enable MMS messaging functions. If MMS messaging doesn’t work or you cannot send MMS messages on your new Apple iPhone XR, this post highlights a few simple solutions you can refer to. Read further and get help.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XR that won’t send MMS or picture messages

Before troubleshooting software problems that may be preventing your phone from sending MMS messages, check and make sure that the MMS file size you are trying to send does not exceed the MMS size limit imposed by your carrier. The maximum file size for MMS message supported by modern devices is generally 1MB. Size restrictions however may vary between carriers. If your message has exceeded that said MMS file size limit, the Messages app will show a “Not Delivered” error prompt with a red exclamation mark. Needless to say, the message won’t send. If your message contains larger media attachments, try to compress the file size and keep it below 1MB before sending. Aside from the MMS file size, a stable 3G or GPRS network is also needed and the phone must be set up for MMS. If MMS still failed to send on your iPhone XR even if all the requisites are met, then move on and troubleshoot your phone system. Don’t forget to create a sample MMS message to send after applying any of the given procedures to determine whether the problem is fixed or not.

First solution: Turn MMS messaging off and on again.

MMS messaging function must be enabled for your phone to carry out MMS functions. Like any other on and off features, minor glitches affecting MMS messaging can also be remedied by toggling the feature off and then on again. Thus this should also be considered among the first potential solutions. Simply refer to these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select Cellular.
  3. Tap the Cellular Data switch to turn it on, if necessary. Otherwise, just leave it on.
  4. Tap Settings on the upper-left corner to return to the previous menu.
  5. Then tap Messages.
  6. Scroll to MMS Messaging option. Tap the switch to turn the feature off and then back on. Doing so will refresh your iPhone’s MMS functions.
  7. To let your phone send group messages, turn on Group Messaging option.
  8. To let your phone send messages using cellular data when iMessage isn’t available, turn on Send as SMS option.

After making these changes, restart/soft reset your iPhone XR to dump errant cache from the Messages app and refresh the phone system too.

Second solution: Update iPhone XR software and carrier settings to the latest version.

Installing the latest iOS and carrier settings update can also be the key to rectifying MMS glitches inflicted by random bugs and network errors. If your iPhone has Internet connection and has at least 50 percent battery life, then downloading and installing new OTA updates for iOS or carrier settings is possible. To check for new iOS version on your iPhone XR, follow these steps:

  1. Tap to Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.

An update notification will show up if a new iOS version is up for grabs. Read the update details then tap Download and Install.

Aside from iOS updates, installing the latest carrier settings update can also help fix network-related issues including those affecting your phone’s MMS functions. Carrier settings updates add support for your carrier’s network and related settings for cellular network connectivity and performance enhancements.


  • Tap on Settings.


  1. Tap General.
  2. Then tap About.

A few seconds later, you should see an option to update your carrier settings, if a new carrier update is available. Simply follow the onscreen instructions to continue. If you don’t see any notifications, it means that no carrier settings update is available.

Third solution: Reset APN settings on your iPhone XR.

APN (Access Point Name) is the label assigned to the settings your iPhone reads when setting up Internet connection using your carrier’s cellular network. Your carrier reads these APN settings, verify the correct IP address, and then connect to the correct secure gateway. The exact APN settings are provided by the wireless carrier. Whenever you will encounter network-related issues on your phone, resetting the APN settings can be considered among the possible solutions. Reverting your carrier’s default APN information can also help fix MMS problems. If possible, change your phone’s APN settings to default. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Tap Cellular Data Network.
  4. Select the option to Reset Settings.
  5. If you don’t see that option, try going to Settings-> Mobile Data-> Mobile Data Options-> Mobile Data Network instead.

If either option is not available on your iPhone XR menu, contact your carrier for further assistance. You can also try configuring your phone’s APN settings manually if your wireless carrier allows.

Fourth solution: Reset Network settings on your iPhone XR.

If the prior reset failed to solve the problem, then move on and try resetting network settings on your iPhone XR instead. This will delete all current network settings on your iPhone and then restores the default network values and configuration. Network errors inflicting troubles to your phone’s network functions are likewise cleared in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode if prompted.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Your iPhone should reboot automatically when the reset is finished. After it reboots, enable necessary features including Wi-Fi, cellular data and MMS messaging option on your iPhone XR.

Fifth solution: Remove and reinstall your SIM card.

SIM card issues are also among the underlying causes. Fortunately, such problems can easily be remedied by removing and reinstalling the SIM card on your iPhone XR. Should you wish to give it a try, here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn your iPhone XR off completely.
  2. Then insert the SIM ejector tool into the small hole on the SIM card tray.
  3. Gently push the ejector tool until the tray ejects.
  4. Pull the SIM card out from the SIM card slot.
  5. Examine the SIM card for any signs of damage. If the card looks good, place it back into the card slot in the same position before you removed it.
  6. Secure the SIM card then push the tray back into the phone.
  7. Lock the tray in place then turn your iPhone back on.

Wait for your phone to establish network connections, enable cellular data (if needed) then try sending MMS and see if it’s working now. If your iPhone XR still failed to send MMS messages, escalate the problem for further assistance.

Seek more help

Note that MMS is a feature offered by your wireless network operator/carrier. This also denotes that the servers responsible for sending MMS data from your iPhone XR to other compatible phones and vice versa are managed by your carrier. If the problem persists and you still cannot send MMS message on your iPhone XR, you can ask your carrier to reset your MMS service from their end. Otherwise, try asking for a new SIM card replacement if needed.

If you started to have trouble sending MMS after installing a new update to iOS, then you should contact Apple Support to report the issue for permanent solutions and further recommendations.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XR smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XR. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.