Fix: Failed to Download Attachment from Multimedia Message

You may encounter the failed to download attachment message due to corrupt cache/data of the MMS service or a corrupt cache partition. Moreover, incompatible messaging applications or invalid APN settings can also cause the error message.

The affected user encounters the error when he tries to download an MMS attachment. Some users have reported facing the issue in group chats only. The error message also pops up when the user unlocks his phone (in some cases, on the lock screen) or when he launches the messaging app.

Failed to Download Attachment from Multimedia Message

This issue is tricky as it could be due to the service provider or your phone.

Before starting the troubleshooting process to download a multimedia message, make sure there is no file size limit enabled in the MMS settings. Also, check if another SIM is operating fine with your phone. If so, then the problem is with the service provider. If it is not working, then the problem is with your phone. Moreover, make sure there is no network outage in the area.

Keep in mind that a non-carrier phone may fail to download the MMS message even if Wi-Fi calling is enabled. Also, if you are just having the error message and no MMS is pending, then try to activate/deactivate the message notifications in the phone settings.
Make sure you have a data plan activated for your connection. Also, if you have ever used iMessage, then deregister your number from iMessage (you can do this as a last resort). Last but not least, restart your device or enable/disable the Airplane Mode.

Solution 1: Changing the Network / Network Mode

You will not be able to download the MMS message if you are trying to download the MMS attachment through Wi-Fi unless the Wi-Fi calling option is activated. And if the said option is active, even then, you may encounter the issue on non-carrier phones. In this case, switching off Wi-Fi and enabling mobile data may solve the problem.

  1. Unlock your phone and slide down from the top of the screen.
  2. Then tap on Wi-Fi to turn it off.
  3. Now tap on Mobile data to enable it.
    Disable Wi-Fi and Enable Mobile Data
  4. Then try to download the message to check if it is clear of the error.
  5. If not, then open Settings of your phone and tap on More.
    Open More in Settings
  6. Now tap on Mobile Network.
    Open Mobile Network Settings
  7. Then tap on Preferred Network Mode.
    Open Preferred Network Mode Settings
  8. Now try different network modes such as Automatic or LTE etc. and check if the MMS issue is resolved.
    Change Preferred Network Mode

Solution 2: Enable / Disable Auto-Retrieve MMS Setting

Auto-retrieve is a feature (when enabled) by which your phone will automatically download the multimedia, and the user will not have to tap on the media to download it. But this Auto-retrieve feature is a double-edged sword in the case of our error message. Sometimes it is essential for retrieving the message, whereas in other cases, it is the root cause of the issue. In our case, enabling/disabling the auto retrieve may solve the problem.

  1. Open the Messaging app and tap on Menu.
  2. Then tap on Settings.
    Open Messaging Settings
  3. Now disable the option of Auto Retrieve (or Auto Fetch) and restart your phone. If it is already enabled, then disable it.
    Disable Auto Retrieve MMS Setting
  4. Upon restart, check if you can download the MMS message.

Solution 3: Disable the Package Disabler

Package Disabler (or any similar utility) is used by many users to block bloatware apps. The Package Disabler blocks many essential apps and services if the “Disable Bloatware” option is enabled. You may encounter the error at hand if the MMS service of your phone is marked bloatware by the Package Disabler and thus, the service is disabled. In this scenario, disabling the package disabler may solve the problem.

  1. Tap on the Package Disabler widget (its color should be red if it is enabled), and the color of the widget icon will turn blue.
    Disable Package Disabler
  2. Then check if you can download the MMS message.

Solution 4: Enable Download Booster

The Download Booster is a feature (mainly supported by Samsung) by which you can download files larger than 30 megabytes in size faster by using a Wi-Fi connection and mobile data connection simultaneously. Download booster can be used to download a variety of items like apps in Galaxy Apps and Play Store etc.

You may encounter the error under discussion if a network communication glitch is stopping the message from downloading in the current network mode. In this context, the Samsung users can download the multimedia message by enabling the Download Booster.

  1. Enable Wi-Fi and mobile data.
  2. Now open Settings of your phone and tap on Connections.
    Open Connection Settings
  3. Then tap on More Connection Settings.
    Open More Connection Settings
  4. Now tap on Download Booster.
  5. Then enable the Download Booster and restart your device.
    Enable Download Booster
  6. Upon restart, try to download the MMS message to check if it is clear of the error.

Solution 5: Clear Cache and Data for MMS Service

MMS service uses a cache to perform its operations. You may fail to download the MMS message if the cache/data of the service is corrupt. In this context, clearing the cache and data of the service may solve the problem.

  1. Open Settings of your phone and tap on Apps.
  2. Now tap on the More button (near the bottom of the screen) and then then tap on Show System.
    Show System in Apps Settings
  3. Now tap on MmsService and then on Storage.
    Tap on MMS Service
  4. Now tap on Clear Cache and Clear Data and then confirm the dialogue.
    Clear Cache and Data of MMS Service
  5. Now restart your phone.
  6. Upon restart, try to download the message and check if the issue has been resolved.

Solution 6: Clear the Cache Partition

Besides the app cache, Android OS uses cache partition for different system operations. You may encounter the error under discussion if the said cache partition becomes corrupt. In this context, clearing the cache partition may solve the problem.

  1. Clear the cache partition.
  2. Restart your smartphone and check if your phone is clear of the MMS error.

Solution 7: Disable IPV6 Protocol

IPV6 protocol was introduced to rectify the limitations of the IPV4 protocol but it still has its share of issues. You may encounter the error if the IPV6 protocol is enabled in your router and you are using that connection to download the MMS. In this context, disabling the IPV6 may solve the problem.

  1. Disable IPV6 protocol on your router. You can do this by navigating to the Settings of the router through the IP address given on its back.
  2. Then check if you can download the MMS messages.

Solution 8: Changing Messaging Application

The MMS issue you are encountering could be caused by the messaging app that you are using. In some cases, the problem is generated by the stock messaging app, whereas in other cases, the issue is resolved by the use of the stock messaging app. There are mixed views from the smartphone community. If you are using T-Mobile, then try to use T-Mobile Digits.

If using the stock messaging app, install another messaging app like Messages (Google), Hangouts, Textra and then switch the default messaging app to the newly installed application.

If you are using any 3rd party messaging app, switch the default messaging app to the stock messaging app.

  1. To set the default Messaging app, open Settings of your phone and tap on Application Manager.
  2. Then tap on More button and then tap on Configure Apps.
    Open Configure Apps Menu
  3. Now tap on the SMS App.
    Tap on SMS App
  4. Then in the list of apps, select the app that you want to use as the default app for messages.
    Select the Default SMS App
  5. After changing the Default SMS app, check if the MMS message error is solved.

Solution 9: Reinstall / Reset the Carrier or APN Settings

Your phone uses APN (Access Point Name) to connect to a wireless service. You will not be able to download the MMS messages if the APN settings of your phone are not valid. In this case, reinstalling or resetting the carrier settings may solve the problem.

  1. Open Settings of your phone and tap on More.
    Open More in Settings
  2. Then tap on Mobile Network and then Access Point Names.
    Open Access Point Names
  3. Tap on Menu and then tap on Reset to Default.
    Reset APN Settings to Default
  4. Check if the problem is solved. If not, then open the Access Points Names settings as mentioned above and delete all the APNs that are not required.
  5. Then add a new APN (you should contact your carrier to get the APN setting). If you have the MMS settings messages saved, then use those messages to add APNs.
  6. After resetting to default, check if the MMS issue is resolved.

Solution 10: Update Profile and PRL

You may encounter the error under discussion if the data profile of your device or Preferred Roaming List (PRL) database is corrupt. If there is an invalid PRL/profile, your phone may not download the MMS messages. In this context, updating the profile and PRL may solve the problem.

  1. Open Settings of your phone and tap on About phone.
  2. Now tap on System and then in the screen shown, tap on Update Profile.
    Update Profile
  3. Now tap on Update on PRL and restart your phone.

    Update PRL
  4. Upon restart, check if the MMS issue is resolved.

If you are still having the issues, then try to report your phone as lost through the self-service portal. Wait for 15 minutes, and then report the phone as found. This worked for numerous users but be aware that this might require paperwork in some carriers and your phone might get locked out as well. Consult with your Carrier before proceeding.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Failed to Download Attachment from Multimedia Message

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