How to Fix the 'Failed to Download Attachment From Multimedia Message' Error on Android

First, check your cellular connectivity, and then make sure your phone has enough storage space

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When an Android displays the ‘failed to download attachment from multimedia message’ error, it’s usually caused by a connectivity or configuration issue, but it can also be the result of a lack of space on the device or even corrupt data.

What Does ‘Failed to Download Attachment From Multimedia Message’ Mean?

This error occurs whenever your phone is unable to successfully download a multimedia messaging service (MMS) attachment. MMS is the standard method for sending and receiving long text messages, since SMS is limited to just 160 characters, in addition to sending pictures and other files.

Since this message appears whenever an MMS fails to download to your device as expected, it can be the result of a number of different causes. Connectivity issues are the most common cause of this error, including a poor cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The error will also occur if the phone isn’t configured correctly to work with the carrier’s MMS system.

Data errors can also cause this issue, including messages that are corrupted during transmission, corrupt local storage, a lack of sufficient local storage to hold the incoming message, and outdated software on the phone.

When the problem is successfully resolved, you should be able to tap the failed MMS message to download the attachment. If that doesn’t work, ask the sender to resend it.

How to Fix the ‘Failed to Download Attachment From Multimedia Message’ Error on Android

If you’re seeing an error message that you aren’t able to download attachments from multimedia messages on your Android device, try these fixes:

  1. Check your connectivity. If you have a weak Wi-Fi connection or poor cellular reception, try moving your phone to an area with stronger signal strength. When you see a stronger cellular connectivity indicator on your phone, try tapping the failed MMS message to re-download it.

  2. Enable Wi-Fi calling. If your cellular connection is weak, and you’re connected to a strong Wi-Fi network, your phone may try to send or receive MMS via Wi-Fi. Some carriers support that, but others don’t. If yours does, you may need to enable Wi-Fi calling on your phone to make it work.

    To check Wi-Fi calling: Open the Phone app, then tap More > Settings > Calls > Wi-Fi calling, and make sure the toggle is on.

  3. Turn Wi-Fi off. If your carrier doesn’t support Wi-Fi calling, try switching Wi-Fi off to force a cellular connection. You’ll still need to make sure you’re in an area with a strong enough cellular connection, but this will prevent the phone from trying to send over Wi-Fi if your carrier doesn’t support that.

    To turn Wi-Fi off: Swipe down from the top of the screen, and tap the Wi-Fi tile.

  4. Restart your phone. If a momentary glitch with Android caused the MMS to be corrupted as it was received, restarting the phone can fix the problem. Shut the phone down fully, and then turn it back on before you check to see if MMS is working again.

    To restart your phone: Press and hold Power, then tap Restart.

  5. Check the storage space on your phone. If your phone doesn’t have enough local storage, it won’t be able to download MMS messages. Check how much storage you have, and delete unneeded files and apps if necessary.

    To check your storage: Navigate to Settings > Storage. From there, you can tap Free Up Space > Clean if necessary.

  6. Clear the Messages app cache. If you have a lot of local storage available, the cache of the Messages app may still be too full. Try clearing it, and then check to see if you are able to receive MMS messages.

    To clear the cache of the Messages app: Navigate to Settings > Apps > See all apps > Messages > Storage & cache > Clear cache.

  7. Turn off the auto-download feature. This feature allows the Messages app to automatically download MMS messages. When it’s off, you need to manually tap each message to download. Turn it off, restart your phone, tap the MMS, and see if it downloads. If it doesn’t, you can re-enable this feature and move on to the next fix.

    To disable auto-download for MMS: Open Messages, tap your user icon, then tap Messages settings > Advanced > Auto-download MMS.

  8. Delete the message. The message may have been corrupted during transmission in a way that simply makes it undeliverable. When that happens, you will need to delete the message and ask the sender to resend it.

    To delete a message: Long press the message, then tap the trash icon > Delete.

  9. Check your APN settings. If your access point name (APN) settings aren’t correct, you won’t be able to send and receive MMS messages. This usually happens when you switch carriers, but your carrier may have made a change on their end. Check with your carrier to get the most up-to-date APN settings, then check your phone to make sure it’s set right.

    To check your APN settings: Open Settings > Network & internet > SIMS > Access Point Names.

  10. Check for Android updates. If your operating system is out of date, that can prevent things like MMS from working correctly. Check for and install any available updates, and then check to see if MMS works.

    To check for Android updates: Navigate to Settings > System > About Phone > System updates > Check for update.

  11. Contact your carrier. If your phone still isn’t able to receive MMS messages after attempting all these fixes, contact your cellular service provider for additional assistance. There may be something specific to your carrier that needs to be configured differently, or there may be an issue on the carrier’s end that they need to fix.

FAQ
  • How do I fix slow downloads on an Android?

    First, make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi or cellular signal; you might also try switching between them if both are available. You should also suspend or close any apps that might be using bandwidth, like ones that stream videos or music. Finally, restart your device to see if that helps.

  • How do I fix "download pending" on Android?

    You may see a "download pending" message when you're trying to update or install an app from the Google Play Store. The usual network fixes should help: Close and restart the Play Store app, check your signal strength, and restart your device. The issue might also be on Google's end, especially if it occurs on multiple apps simultaneously. You may need to wait for the problem to be fixed before your download will finish.

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