Why Do Pictures Disappear From iPhone Messages?

Why Do Pictures Disappear From iPhone Messages?

If you recently updated your iPhone to IOS 13, then you would have noticed that you probably opened iMessage one morning to find that all or some of your images from conversations where gone and you’re probably asking where did they leave to?

First, I’ll like to let you know that you’re not alone on this, in fact this has been of the trending topics on Apple forum with lots of users venting their frustration. Of course no one likes to loose their images, especially important ones.

Secondly, their is a remedy and you’re about to see why this may be happening to you at this time and possible solutions that can get your disappeared images back.

Do photos on iMessage disappear?

Yes. The reason why this may occur can vary from a top level bug on the IOS version software or certain configurations that may not allow photos from iMessage to be retained.

Why Do Pictures Disappear From iPhone Messages?

There may be a couple of reasons why some of your pictures have disappeared from the iPhone default messaging app, and below I’ve listed a hand full of probable causes;


1. IOS 13 bug

The highest number of users complaining about missing images from iPhone are those who probably have made a recent IOS update from a lower version to the not so new IOS 13. I am convinced this is a bug in the software component of the update because, prior the update to IOS 13, everything worked fine in the iMessage app. However users found out that one or more of their iMessage images where gone after installing the update.

Usually a quick fix to this is to hard restart the iPhone, this can allow the new IOS update to synchronize well with the system applications and resolve the issue, or better still, you can step up your device to a new IOS version where the bug would have been taken care of.


2. MMS Is Not Enabled

The MMS is what what the iMesage app unique and it sends for Multimedia Messaging Service. This service when enabled allows you to share as well as receive photos, audio and video clips from conversations. If you notice you no longer can see images in iMessages, it could be they have disappeared as soon as the MMS option was disabled. It’s easy to get back on track if the issue is from a disabled MMS, follow the instructions below to enable MMS.

  • Open iPhone settings
  • Tap on messages
  • Scroll down to find MMS messaging
  • Enable it if its disabled


3. Message History Set To Stay For Only 30 days

Subsequent photos you receive on iMessage are usually saved temporarily or permanently depending on the configurations you choose. There are three configurations you can choose from that determines how long your images are stored on iMessages. First is 30 days, second is one year and the last configuration keeps pictures you receive from iMessage forever.

Your images could be disappearing because you have set iMessages to keep your images for only 30 days from the time they were received and as you’d expect, they will disappear in 30 days. To set your pictures to last a longer time and don’t disappear, I’ll suggest you set it to forever. To do this follow the below steps;

  • Open the settings app
  • Open messages
  • Under the message history section you’ll find ‘keep messages’.
  • Tap on it, choose and click on forever.

With this configuration active, your iMessage photos and text inclusive will not go missing again.


4. Full iCloud storage

iCloud virtually can back up every detail and data on your iPhone. And that’s also where backed up pictures from iMessage are stored too. Since images you receive via conversations have to contend with other app and system data for space on the cloud storage, it can get filled up pretty quick leaving your pictures from iMessage with no where to be saved.

To see if your iCloud storage is already full, do the following;

  • Open iPhone settings
  • Tap on Apple ID and open iCloud
  • Tap on manage storage to view the storage gauge

You may find that your messages are not taking the most space but iCloud has just no extra space to accommodate more files. If your iCloud storage is full, tap on upgrade to add more storage.

How To Recover Photos From Text Messages On iPhone?

Missing photos from iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been deleted and cant be recovered. A series of techniques may just do the trick and you’ll have back your photos. Follow the below instructions;

1. Recover Photos From iMessage Info

The images you probably complained to have gone missing may be right their in the info tab waiting to be downloaded. To do this;

  • Open the message app
  • Open the conversation where some photos got missing
  • Tap on the info icon that looks like this – ‘i’
  • Scroll down, you find an instruction to download a number of photos stored in iCloud from that conversation
  • Click on download and all your images will be recovered

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2. Sign Out And In Your Apple ID From iMessage

This is the most popular fix that has gotten this issue resolved in the most cases. This trouble shooting technique of signing in and out most likely restores all functionality on the default iPhone messaging app, restores backed up data and that will include restoring all missing images. To do this;

  • Open settings
  • Click on messages
  • Tap on send and receive
  • Sign out by taping and holding on Apple ID until the sign out prompt appears
  • To sign in again, choose ‘use your Apple ID for iMessage’
  • Type in your Apple ID details
  • Issue should be resolved, open iMessage to verify if the issue is

3. Update IOS

If you’re running on IOS 13, you may want to set out of the bug by updating to a newer IOS version where the issue would have been addressed and resolved. To update your iPhone;

  • Head onto settings
  • Click on general
  • Select and click software update
  • It’ll scan for available updates
  • Click download. It’ll install afterwards
  • Relaunch the iMessage app, the issue should be resolved.

 Video Guide

Why did all my photos disappeared on my iPhone?



Photos you share and receive from your contacts mean a lot to you and are as important as other cherished things.

To make sure they’re safe always, here’s a piece of advice – Always set your iMessage conversations, be it text, photos and videos to be backup and saved on iCloud. This way, they can be recovered with minimal effort in the case of any problem.

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