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Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 4:42 PM

Not getting texts or pictures – Help & Solutions from the AT&T Community

Learn why you are unable to receive or send these messages and what to do

There are a few reasons why you are not getting images and text messages. 

  • Your device compatible with Advance Messaging 
  • The files are too big (Picture Size)
  • It could be the servers (Apple iPhone/ iMessage)
  • Formats are not compatible (Live Photo)
  • You're using a 3rd party app
  • You're in a poor service area
  • An outage

A quick fix - Restart your device

You can do this by powering it down through the menu or pressing and holding the action key depending on your device. You can also toggle airplane mode to resync to the towers. 

Advance Messaging

Did you bring a phone from another carrier? There is a chance that is not compatible with AT&T's Advanced Messaging. This means certain features will not work and an item beyond AT&T's control. When you bring a non-branded device, it is designed for the other network. This means updates that are designed for one carrier will not download to a non-carrier phone.

Please note: the APN settings may be incorrect for a non-branded/ non-AT&T device. Learn how to check and program the APN. APN settings are the specific settings a phone needs to ensure data is able to be sent and received to the network

Cellular Data is Off

While it seems like an odd thing to happen, cellular data may have been turned off. Normally you can go into the account and turn it back on.

Files are too big

Your new cameras take pictures that are too big. Yes, with the advances in camera technology, the quality has gone up. But there is a pitfall, the bigger files may be too big to send. When this happens, you'll see a notification regarding the size of the image.

Every now and then, I like to pretend I am a great photographer, some will disagree, and rightfully so. To do this, I play with some settings to make the pictures crisp and amazing. I decided to check some of the image sizes and noticed that some photos were huge (several megs).
AT&T Advance Messages allows you to send images up to 100MB. Above that, it will not send and you may see an error notification. The best way to resolve this is to adjust the setting in the photo to a smaller size. This also affects videos. 

Heads Up: If your phone is not AT&T branded, it may not work with AT&T Advance Message. AT&T is limited in the troubleshooting we can offer for a non-branded device. 

iPhone vs Android

When texting using iMessage, the message goes through Apple’s servers, not AT&T’s. This means if you are using an Apple iPhone and messaging an Apple iPhone, we may need to refer you to Apple after we perform basic troubleshooting.

Heads Up: iMessage does not play well with Android sometimes. iMessage will default to basic text SMS for Android users. 

Something to note: If your messaging issue started after moving from an iPhone device to an Android device. There is a chance iMessaging is still set up and causing a conflict. You’ll need to deregister online. Scroll down to find the online instructions.

Blurry Images

My friend sent me low-quality and blurry pictures of her new. I told her she takes horrible pictures. lol.  We chatted later and I found out that the images on her phone were fine. Why? Live Photo. Without getting into the nerdy tech talk, the backend systems did not know how to translate a Live Photo in a way Android could understand. This is not an AT&T thing, it is software related and will have to be addressed by the phone manufacturers. 

Heads up: Make sure you do not have the protective film on the lens that comes with new devices, as this will cause blurry photos if not removed. 

3rd Party Apps

AT&T is unable to troubleshoot issues for an app that was not already on the device when purchased. Please reach out to the app developer. 

Your location is causing signal disruption

If you notice messages or images do not come in when you are in certain areas, there is the possibility the location you are in is a dead spot. If you move a few feet away, go to another room, or step out of a building and the messages come in, you're in a dead spot. AT&T can't fix those as it is environmental in some instances but I do recommend Wi-Fi Calling if internet is available. Although it’s called Wi-Fi “Calling”, it also helps with sending and receiving text messages as well.

There is an issue with the AT&T Network

Yes, there could be an outage. If you are at a location where messages were working and all of a sudden nothing is working, check for an outage.

Keep in mind, this could mean there is an issue with your device especially if it was dropped recently. If you added new electronics or there was recent construction, that could be a culprit as well. 

ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

AT&T Help

Need help with an account specific question?  Post a new question here on the forums by clicking the "Ask a Question" button.
For additional support, please visit us at our AT&T services hub.

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

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Community Support


2.7K Messages

1 year ago

If you are seeing an error message about your pics being too big, check out the above information to learn what is going on. 

ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

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