Why are photos not loading on imessage?

I’m using iCloud, so my iMessage photos are stored in the cloud rather than on my phone. However, I think lower resolution versions should still be stored locally. The issue is that when I try to find a specific image in a conversation by tapping on the profile picture, it doesn’t list all the photos. This feature is practically useless if it can’t display all the images.

Is there a setting to change this? I don’t mind if it takes up a bit of storage, as manually scrolling through messages to find what I need is really inconvenient.

Any ideas? Greatly appreciated.

From Settings > Messages, switch off imessage. Then, restart your iPhone and turn it back on.


If I remember correctly, iOS does this when it isn’t properly caching the thumbnails. Usually, the problem resolves itself within a few days, and even old photos will show up again. If it doesn’t, simply restarting or force restarting the device should help, as it has worked on every device I’ve tried. It’s an annoying bug but ultimately harmless.

Hello, clearing cache requires an option similar to what Android provides.

I faced a similar frustration with iMessage photos not displaying properly when trying to find specific images from conversations. Despite using iCloud for storage, the lower resolution versions were supposed to be stored locally for quick access. However, I often found that when tapping on a profile picture in iMessage to view shared photos, it didn’t always show all the images from that conversation. This made it challenging to locate specific photos quickly, especially when trying to reference past discussions or shared media

To address this issue with iMessage photos not displaying correctly or missing in conversations, ensure that your iCloud settings for iMessage are correctly configured. Go to Settings on your iPhone, tap on your name at the top to access iCloud settings, then select iCloud and make sure that iMessage is toggled on. Additionally, under iCloud, tap on Manage Storage > Messages to check if your messages and attachments are properly synced. Sometimes, toggling iCloud off and on or signing out and back into iCloud can help refresh the synchronization and resolve missing photos or display issues in iMessage conversations. If the problem persists, consider contacting Apple Support for further assistance with iCloud and iMessage synchronization.

Give updating your phones a try! Afterward, tap the download button next to the photo or video, and it should play. That’s what worked for me, at least.