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How to fix “MMS Won’t Download” problems

Have you ever received an MMS file, but it wouldn’t play? Or were you able to download it but your device failed to save the media file? There are plenty of reasons why your MMS won’t download. Sometimes these files get corrupted with the slightest network interruption while downloading.

But what is MMS or Multimedia Messaging Service? It’s a feature that allows you to send multimedia files through your network. It’s a great way to send images or media through a quick text. However, things won’t always go smoothly. MMS problems can be pretty annoying, especially if you’re reliant on your phone’s signal for data.

There are various reasons why you encounter MMS download problems. Thankfully, there are also various fixes for these kinds of problems. To help you fix your MMS download problems, I put together a step-by-step process for you to follow.

If your MMS won’t download, following these steps will have your MMS working in just a few minutes, but it takes a little time, luck, and patience.

Related: How to Troubleshoot MMS Problems on Android


Causes of “MMS Won’t Download” and how to fix it

There are two major reasons why your MMS won’t download: one is a setting enabled by default on your default messenger, and the other is because of interfering apps on your phone.

So how will you know which problem you have? You need to test it. The only way to tell is to try fixing one thing first, and then if you don’t get the results you’re looking for, try the other.

Since fixing the enabled setting is much easier than tracking down a problematic app, we’ll go over that first. However, before you start, I recommend that you read our troubleshooting tips for Android problems.


1. Check your phone’s network connection

Sometimes, you need to check if your device has access to the Internet. Make sure you turn on your Wi-Fi or mobile data so you can download the MMS files. A big reason why your MMS won’t download is because you don’t have a reliable connection.

mms-download-problem-image-1
Check your network connection

Note: Not all mobile carriers allow the usage of MMS over Wi-Fi.


2. Disable “Auto-retrieve” in your messenger’s settings

I’m using the default messenger that came with my Android. First things first, open your messenger.

Disable auto-retrieve on your messenger settings
Disable your “Auto-retrieve”

In the default messenger, there’s an option labeled “Auto-retrieve.” If it’s currently enabled, disable it.

With “Auto-retrieve” disabled, MMS media won’t download automatically, and you’ll have to start the download manually instead.

When you initiate the download manually, it will have a higher chance of success since the problem is most likely due to a malfunctioning of your system processes or hardware.

Send yourself a MMS message, or get a friend to send one, and check to see if your MMS still won’t download.


3. Clear older messages

Go back to your default messenger’s settings and free up space by deleting old messages. A good reason why you can’t download MMS files is because you’ve reached your message limits.

Your MMS won't download because you've reached your message limit
Free up your messaging space

Delete all the messages you don’t need and restart your phone.


4. Track down problematic apps

Note: First things first, put your device in safe mode then test your MMS capabilities. If it works, an app is causing your phone to malfunction.

If the problem hasn’t been fixed by following the steps above, that means you have an app that interferes with your phone’s capability to download MMS files. The most common culprit for this problem is task killing apps or “phone optimizers.”

If you have any currently installed, remove them. These apps can interfere with your device’s system processes and is most probably the cause of why your MMS won’t download.

your MMS won't download because of task killer apps
Remove task-killers

Also, cleaner apps and antivirus services can also have detrimental effects on your phone. While we recommend that you ditch the cleaner apps, getting rid of your virus protection is much riskier, especially if you browse the internet a lot.

So, if you have an antivirus app installed, only disable it long enough to see if it’s really the cause of your problem.

Disabling your antivirus can fix MMS problems
Disable antivirus temporarily

If none of these apps are the problem, then you’ll need to deduce it from your recently installed apps.


Redownload the MMS message

There are only two reasons why you can’t access a downloaded MMS message. The media included is either corrupted, or you can’t open it with your current app. Thankfully, the easiest solution for the first problem is to redownload the MMS message. Although, if your MMS still won’t download even after trying out the steps above, there may be a problem with your device’s network capabilities.

Whether you can’t find the media files in your app of choice, or you just can’t open them, leave it to a file manager to track them down. If you’ve actually downloaded them, you’ll be able to find and then open them with a file manager.


People Also Ask


Communicate your way

If your MMS messages aren’t downloaded right away or refuse to complete, you can still fix it in under a few minutes. Sometimes the solution is as simple as restarting your Android device, and other times it’s another app causing you trouble.

Either way, there’s always a way to fix the problem. With the tips we mentioned in the article, you can fix your MMS download problem without breaking a sweat.

If you need any more help with MMS or SMS, send us a text in the comments section down below!

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15 Comments

  1. Two days ago I started having a problem with group text messaging. I have no problem sending texts, but the replies come back from the individuals in the group. But instead of a text message, I get a box that says “downloading” and an expiration date. When I click on the “downloading” box, the message gets forwarded to the group where I can read it. In settings, I tried checking and unchecking Group Messaging: Use MMS to send a single message when there are multiple recipeints. It doesn’t matter if that is checked or not.

    Two days ago I tried renaming my group, instead of having 3 cell phone numbers. WHen I did that, replies to the group came in without any identities. I fixed that but still have the above problem.

    1. Hi, Deb. Check your data settings, not your group messaging settings. Group messages are formatted the same way that media messages are, so if you don’t have multimedia messages set to autodownload, it may be stopping your group messages from properly formatting until you download them yourself.

  2. ok i did all that and still nothing. ive never had this problem with any of my other alcatel’s but this 7….oh my please help?

  3. Both my wife and I have an issue with receiving MMS files from my daughter. We all have newish Samsun6 8/9 phones and we are all using the default Message app. none of us have any problem with other text messages from friends. I have looked at the phone and app settings and the AT&T config and found nothing. This is a real conundrum.

  4. I have a note 8. Can’t get mms. They never download. It’s a Verizon phone on straight talk plan. I think it’s my apn but don’t know

  5. My issue is that I cant get MMS when I’m at home and on my Wifi. When Im on my cell carrier network, the files will download. I still haven’t figure out what changed.

    1. Hi Curtis,
      I think the problem may lie with the cell carrier’s internet connection. Please check to see whether the data is enough to send MMS messages. Thank you and have a great day!

  6. I’m having issues sending and receiving mms messages which is a new development. I could have changed a setting without realizing what it would effect…I am not a TECH kinda girl lmao. Help!!

    1. Hi Elaine,

      We are sorry to hear that you have issues with MMS messages. Please try out the fixes in this article and see whether it works for you.

    2. I have the same problem. I dont know what i have changed. Did you work it out as this article does not help?
      Thanks
      Sue

  7. I am having the same problem. My carrier is thru Verizon. Been a problem for several months now. None of the above fixes my problem.

    1. Hi Rhonda! Do you have signal and can you use your device to make calls and texts? Reset your network settings and see if you’ll still have the same problem.

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