Fix an iPhone XR that cannot send or receive picture messages or MMS

The main requirements for sending and receiving picture messages or MMS on your iPhone XR would include sufficient storage space, cellular network and sufficient data. MMS Messaging must also be enabled on your iPhone’s Messages app. If for some reason, you’re having trouble sending or receiving picture messages or MMS on your iPhone XR, performing these subsequent procedures can help. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough whenever you need more inputs in solving the same problem on the same iOS device.

Before anything else, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then drop in on our iPhone XR Help Guides page for we have already solved some of the most common problems with this device. Try to find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our workarounds and solutions.

Troubleshooting iPhone XR that can’t send / receive MMS

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that cellular data is enabled on your iPhone settings. If you’re attempting to send/receive MMS or picture messages via iMessage, make sure your Wi-Fi Internet connection is stable.

To rule out software-related factors that might have prevented your iPhone XR from sending or receiving picture messages or MMS, try these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Turn the MMS messaging off and on again then restart (soft reset) your iPhone.

To eliminate minor glitches that are affecting the MMS messaging functions of your iPhone, simply turn the feature off and on again. Doing so will refresh the MMS functions on your phone. Here are the steps:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Then select Messages.
  3. Scroll down to and select the MMS Messaging option. Toggle the switch to turn the feature off. Wait for at least 30 seconds and then tap the MMS switch again to turn the feature on.
  4. Tap the Group Messaging option to enable your iPhone send group messages.
  5. Otherwise, tap the Send as SMS option to enable your phone send messages using cellular data when iMessage is not available.

To completely clear out corrupted files and cache data from the Messages app, restart (soft reset) your iPhone using the steps below:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for at least 30 seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power off command appears.
  3. Then slide the power off slider to the right to completely turn off the device.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Once your iPhone is back up and running again, try to create a sample picture message to send as MMS to your own device to check if you are already able to send as well as receive MMS message. If you still can’t then try the next possible solutions.

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Second solution: Download and install iOS update.

Another way to resolve various app-related issues including those affecting the phone’s MMS messaging functions is by updating the iOS to the latest version available. Doing so will not only enhance and upgrade your phone’s features but also clears out multiple issues that affect your phone’s MMS functions or the operating system itself. Here is how:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll to and tap on Software Update menu.

A notification message will pop-up if a new iOS version is available. Before installing the iOS update, make sure your iPhone has ample of battery life, enough memory space and a stable internet connection. You also need to back up all your important files prior to the update for safekeeping purposes. If you are all set, follow the onscreen prompts or instructions to download and install the latest iOS update via OTA (over-the-air). Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone after updating to properly implement the recent system changes and to refresh the apps and system functions.

Third solution: Check for carrier settings update and install when available.

Carrier settings update is also known to resolve cellular network connectivity issues including MMS functions failure and also enhances the carrier network’s performance. To check for available carrier settings update, check the guide below:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll to and tap on About.

You will then see an option to update the carrier settings once a carrier update is available. Follow the onscreen prompts or instructions to download and install. However, if there is no notification shown after you tap About option, this simply means that there is no available carrier settings update.

Fourth solution: Reset Network settings on your iPhone XR.

Deleting all current network settings on your device is also a potential fix to MMS problems especially if incorrect network configurations are the underlying cause. Doing so will clear out any network error that might have caused the issue. Be sure to keep your Wi-Fi passwords because this process will also delete all saved login information on all the current networks. Here’s how you do it:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset option.
  4. Then select Reset network settings option.
  5. When prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap Reset network settings again to confirm the reset.

After the reset, your iPhone will reboot itself and then restores the default network values and configuration upon loading up. After it boots up, enable the features that you will be using including Wi-Fi, cellular or mobile data and MMS messaging option. When you’re done setting up your Wi-Fi network, try sending an MMS to see if you can now send and receive the message. If the problem still persists, continue troubleshooting your iPhone.

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Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XR.

If the previous reset didn’t fix the MMS issue, try to reset all settings on your iPhone XR. This reset will erase all misconfigured settings that have conflicted with your phone’s system and triggers the MMS functions failure. There is no need to create a back-up for your important files though as this reset will not result in data loss. Here is how it’s done:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Then select Reset all settings option.
  5. When prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. And then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

Your phone will reboot automatically after the reset and then restores the original values and options. Once it is back up and running, set up your Wi-Fi network again and reconnect to the Internet.

Sixth solution: Remove and then reinstall the SIM card in your iPhone XR.

SIM card problems can also trigger the MMS functions and other cellular functions to fail. Fortunately, these issues can be cleared out in no time by simply removing and reinstalling your phone’s SIM card. Make sure to completely turn off your device before removing the SIM card. Here’s how:

  1. While your iPhone is turned off, insert the SIM ejector tool into the small hole on the SIM card try.
  2. Then gently push the SIM ejector tool until the tray ejects.
  3. Remove the SIM card from the SIM card slot.
  4. Check the SIM card and make sure that it is free of dirt and debris. If there is no scratches or signs of damage, put the SIM card back into the tray.
  5. Once the SIM card is secured, push the tray back into the phone and make sure that it is locked before you turn your iPhone again.

Turn your iPhone back on and wait until it re-establishes network connections. If there is no Wi-Fi network available, turn on your cellular data and try sending an MMS to your own device to check if you are now able to send and receive picture messages.

ALSO READ: How to fix FaceTime that is not working on an Apple iPhone XR

Still cannot send MMS or picture messages on your iPhone XR?

If nothing else works, contact your carrier or network service provider to report the issue and request further assistance and recommendations. The fact that the problem continues after exhausting all prior methods is an indication that the problem may not rectifiable on your end. This is likely the case if a temporary network outage is transpiring. You can ask your service provider to check their outage bulletin for that matter.

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