How to fix iPhone XR that cannot send or receive picture messages MMS

MMS or multimedia messaging is an advanced messaging technology entrenched in modern smartphones and tablets. This technology is specifically designed to send messages that contain photos, videos and other media files. Granted that your account is provisioned for MMS and that the MMS settings on your device are properly configured, then sending and receiving MMS messages should work as intended. If you’ve landed into this post while searching for help in resolving MMS problems, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Highlighted below are recommended workarounds and potential solutions to a similar issue on the iPhone XR that cannot send or receive picture messages or MMS. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough whenever needed.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our Galaxy S10 Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

First solution: Turn MMS messaging off and on and soft reset your iPhone XR.

Enabling MMS messaging option is essential for MMS functions to work properly on your iPhone XR. Turning it off and on can also fix minor glitches that affect the multimedia messaging features of your phone. Hence, this can be considered among the first potential solutions to try on. Here’s how it works:

  1. From the Home screen, access Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. If necessary, select Cellular Data switch to turn it on. Otherwise, just leave it on.
  4. Select Settings on the upper-left corner to return to the previous menu.
  5. Tap Messages.
  6. Scroll down to MMS Messaging option. Tap the switch to turn off the feature then turn on again. This will refresh your iPhone’s MMS functions.
  7. Turn on Group Messaging option if you want your phone to send group messages.
  8. Turn on Send as SMS to let your phone send messages using cellular data when iMessage isn’t available.

Restart or soft reset your iPhone XR after these changes to remove extra cache from the Messages app and refresh your phone’s system. Here’s how to perform a soft reset:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either of the Volume Button at the side of your phone for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off appears on your screen, release both buttons.
  3. Slide the Power off command to the right to turn off the phone.
  4. Wait for about 30 seconds then press and hold the Side Button until you see the Apple logo.

If this process did not fix the issue, proceed to the next procedure to eliminate other factors and underlying causes.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that is suddenly lagging and freezing

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

Bugs and network errors may also cause MMS sending and receiving errors on your iPhone and installing the latest version of software and carrier settings may help in fixing it. To download and install new OTA for iOS updates or carrier settings, your phone must have at least 50% of battery life and a stable internet connection. Follow these steps to check for new iOS update on your iPhone XR:

  1. From the Home screen, access Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Software update.

If there is an available software update, an update notification will prompt. Read the update description then tap Download and install. Just follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Reboot or soft reset your iPhone XR after installing the latest software version to implement and save necessary changes in your phone. 

Aside from iOS update, downloading and installing latest carrier settings can also help in fixing network-related problems. To update your carrier settings, just follow these steps:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to General.
  3. Select About.

Just wait for a few seconds to see if there is an available update option for your carrier settings. Follow the on-screen prompts to continue. If there is no notification, it means that there is no available update for your carrier settings.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that keeps losing signal, problem on signal drops

Third solution: Reset APN settings on your iPhone XR.

Access Point Names or APN is the label assigned to the settings your iPhone XR reads when setting up Internet connection using your carrier’s cellular network. The exact APN details are provided by your wireless carrier. Whenever there is a network-related issue, resetting the APN settings often fixes the problem. Also, reverting to your carrier’s default APN information can help fix MMS issues. Here’s how you can reset your APN settings:

  1. From the Home screen, access Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Select Cellular Data Network.
  4. Select Reset settings option.
  5. If this option is not available, go to Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Mobile Data Network instead.

If both options are not available on your iPhone XR menu, contact your carrier for further assistance. Also, some wireless carrier allows manual configuration of APN settings and so you can try that option too. 

Fourth solution: Reset Network settings on your iPhone XR.

Resetting Network settings will delete all current network settings on your iPhone XR and restores it back to the default network configuration and values. This process will clear network conflicts and might help in fixing the problem. Just follow these steps:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to General.
  3. Scroll down and select Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings option.
  5. If asked, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then select the option to confirm network settings reset.

After the reset process is done, your phone will automatically restart. After your phone reboots, enable important features like Wi-Fi, cellular data and MMS Messaging option on your iPhone XR. 

Fifth solution: Remove and reinsert your SIM card.

Sometimes, sim card issues can also be the cause of this problem. Removing and reinserting the SIM card on your iPhone XR can easily fix the issue. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn off your iPhone completely.
  2.  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 out the SIM card tray and remove sim from the SIM card slot.
  5. Check if SIM card has any sign of damage. If it 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 SIM card tray in place then turn on your iPhone XR.

Enable cellular data network once your phone established network connections, then try sending an MMS message to your own number and check if it’s working now. If your iPhone XR still fails to send and receive MMS messages, you can try escalating the issue for further assistance and more advanced MMS solutions.

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

Be reminded that MMS is a feature offered by your wireless network operator/carrier. That means that the servers responsible for sending and receiving MMS data are managed by your carrier. If the problem persists, you can contact your carrier to reset your MMS service from their end or ask for a SIM card replacement, if necessary. 

In the case where your iPhone fails to send or receive picture messages or MMS messages after installing a new iOS update, contacting Apple support will be your last best option to get more help and official recommendations.

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