Fix: “An Error Occurred while Loading a Higher Quality” on iPhone?

A user’s frustration is beyond words when he cannot view his photos or videos on his mobile phone. The same goes true for many iPhone users when they try to open photos or videos on their iPhone and are greeted with the following type of message:

An Error Occurred While Loading a Higher Quality

For some users, the issue occurred after transferring data from an old iPhone to a new one. Whereas, some others faced the issue with a brand-new iPhone.In some cases, the message appeared when taking a photo or video.

There can be a lot of reasons for a user to face ‘an error has occurred while loading a higher quality version of this video’ or photo but the following can be considered the main ones:

  • Outdated iOS of the iPhone: If the iPhone’s iOS is missing the latest patches from Apple, then that may result in the error at hand as it can cause incompatibility between the iPhone and iCloud, due to which the phone may fail to retrieve the higher quality version of the photos or videos from the server.
  • Optimize iPhone Storage: If the iPhone is configured to save higher quality photos/videos to iCloud and a low-quality version on the iPhone to save the storage space on the iPhone, then that may result in the error under discussion if the phone fails to load the higher quality version from the iCloud in the real-time.
  • Improper Configuration of the iPhone’s Camera: A user may face a higher quality loading error when opening a video if the phone’s camera settings are not properly configured (like Record Video quality) due to which the required video codecs fail to load with the video.
  • Corrupt iOS of the iPhone: Last but not least, if the phone’s iOS is corrupt, then it may result in the error under discussion as essential multimedia modules fail to perform the designated tasks when a photo or video is launched.

Add or Remove the Problematic Video to the Favorites in Photos

A temporary glitch in the iPhone’s multimedia modules may not let a video play on the iPhone. Here, adding (or removing) the problematic video to factories may clear the error. But before that, make sure there is enough space available on iCloud. If not, make some space on iCloud either by purchasing an iCloud subscription or deleting some old data from the iCloud, otherwise, it may result in the error at hand.

  1. Launch the Photos app on the iPhone and select the problematic file.
    Open the Photos App on the iPhone
  2. Now tap on the Heart icon to add the video to favorites.
    Add a Photo to Favorites in the Photos App on iPhone
  3. Then remove the video from the favorites and check if the video can be played without any error.

Perform a Hard Restart of the iPhone

A temporary glitch of the iPhone modules may result in the error as the essential components fail to execute in time. Here, performing a hard restart of the iPhone may clear the high-quality loading error. But before that, make sure the iPhone is not operating in its Low Power Mode as it can affect the phone’s ability to sync with iCloud servers.

  1. Press the volume up button of the iPhone and then release it.
  2. Now, quickly press and release the volume down of the iPhone.
  3. Then press and hold the side button of the iPhone until the Apple logo is shown.
    Force Restart the iPhone
  4. Now release the iPhone’s side button and wait till the iPhone is powered on.
  5. Then, check if the phone is clear of the loading high-quality error.
  6. If that fails, lock the iPhone and put it on charging.
  7. Once the iPhone is fully charged, check if the phone is clear of the error.
  8. If not, plug the iPhone into a system (like a Windows PC) and open iTunes on the system to check if the problematic files (photos or videos) are opening fine in iTunes.

Update the iOS of the Phone to the Latest Build

A user may fail to load high-quality photos or videos on his iPhone if the phone’s iOS is outdated as it can create incompatibility between different OS modules (especially, iCloud servers) as the related component fail to load properly. Here, you may fix error loading photos by updating the iOS of the phone to the latest build.

  1. Firstly, fully charge the iPhone and connect it to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Now launch the iPhone’s Settings and select General.
    Open General Settings of iPhone
  3. Now tap on Software Update and if an update of iOS is available, download and install the update.
    Tap on Software Update
  4. Once updated, restart the iPhone, and upon restart, check if it is clear of loading a higher quality error.

If that did not work, make sure the iCloud account in use is not locked. A user may check by logging onto the iCloud website through a browser.

Disable and Enable the Photos Sync of iCloud

A temporary communication glitch between the iPhone and iCloud may also cause an issue as the file cannot be retrieved from iCloud in real-time. In this scenario, disabling and enabling the Photos sync of iCloud may clear the loading error.

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and tap on the Apple ID.
  2. Now select iCloud and open Photos.
    Open iCloud Settings on iPhone
  3. Then disable iCloud Photos by toggling its switch to the off position.
    Open Photos in the iCloud Settings of the iPhone
  4. Now disable Upload to My Photo Stream and then restart the iPhone.
    Disable iCloud Photos and Upload to My Photos Stream in the iPhone Settings
  5. Upon restart, enable back iCloud Photos and Upload them to My Photo Stream.
  6. Then check if the iPhone is clear of the loading error.

Tap the Edit Button for the Video in the Photos App

The issue might also occur due to a temporary glitch in the iPhone’s multimedia modules as the phone fails to properly load these essential modules when playing the video. Here, tapping the Edit button before opening the video may clear the error.

  1. Launch the Photos app and select the video.
  2. Now tap on the Edit button and once the edit interface is shown, tap Revert.
    Revert an Edited Video to Originals on the iPhone
  3. Then tap on Revert to Original and check if the video can be played without triggering the high-quality error.
  4. If that did not work, check if duplicating the video file in the Photos app clears the error.
  5. If not, check if importing the problematic video to iMovie and playing through it solves the problem.
  6. If the issue persists, install the Metapho app, launch it, tap on the 4 Assets button, select FullSizedRender.mov, tap on the video thumbnail, wait till the red loading bar completes, and then check if the issue is resolved.
  7. If that did not work, head to CloudConvert.com, upload the problematic video to the website, convert it to a .mov file (although, the file may already be in .mov format), and then check if the converted video is clear of the loading error.

Manually Re-Back up the iPhone via iCloud

A temporary glitch between the iPhone and iCloud servers may lead to the pictures/videos loading error at hand as the phone fails to retrieve the higher quality image/video from iCloud which are kept there to save precious space on a user’s iPhone. In this scenario, a user may fix an error that has occurred while loading a higher quality version of this video or photo by manually re-backing up the user’s iPhone via iCloud. Before proceeding, it will be better to connect the iPhone to a Wi-Fi connection.

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and tap on the Apple ID.
  2. Now select iCloud and open Backup.
    Open iCloud Backup in the iPhone Settings
  3. Then tap on Back Up Now and wait till the process completes.
    Tap on Back Up Now in the iCloud Back Up Settings
  4. Once done, check if the loading of higher-quality images/videos issue is cleared.
  5. If the issue persists and the problematic photos/videos belong to another iPhone (still in the user’s possession), check if re-syncing the photos/videos from the other iPhone to the iCloud and then from the iCloud to the newer iPhone clears the error.
  6. If not, head to text messages on the iPhone and check if sending a photo through the text message clears the error.

Change the iCloud Storage Mode to Download and Keep Originals

To save precious storage space on iPhone, iPhone may be configured to save low-quality photos/videos on its internal memory and the high-quality versions of photos/videos are stored on the iCloud website. A user’s iPhone may show an error occurred while loading a higher quality version of this video or photo if the phone is failing to retrieve the image/video from the iCloud in real-time. In this context, changing the storage mode to Download and Keep Originals may solve the problem as the original quality will be synced back to the user’s phone.

  1. Close the Photos app on the iPhone and launch its Settings.
  2. Now tap on the Apple ID and open iCloud.
  3. Then select Photos and enable Download and Keep Originals.
    Enable Download and Keep Original in the Photos Settings of iPhone
  4. Now restart your iPhone and upon restart, put the phone in airplane mode.
    Enable the Airplane Mode of the iPhone
  5. Then wait for 10 seconds and afterward, disable the phone’s airplane mode.
  6. Now launch Photos and tap on the problematic photo/video to check if the loading error is cleared.

Disable View Full HDR in the Photos App

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is used to balance the shadows and highlights of an image or video but this feature may cause the error at hand if the phone fails to load the image with full HDR (shadows and highlights). In this case, disabling viewing of full HDR in the phone’s settings may clear the high-quality error.

  1. Open the iPhone Settings and tap on the Apple ID.
  2. Now open iCloud and select Photos.
  3. Now disable View Full HDR by toggling its switch to the off position.
    Disable View Full HDR in the Photos Settings of iCloud
  4. Then restart the iPhone and upon restart, check if the high-quality issue is cleared.

Disable Cellular Data in Photos

If the Photos app is trying to retrieve data through the cellular data but is failing to do so, then disabling cellular data in Photos may clear the error. Before that, make sure the iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. 

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and tap on the Apple ID.
  2. Now select iCloud and open Photos.
  3. Then tap on Cellular Data and disable it.
  4. Now hit the back button and disable Auto-Play Videos and Live Photos.
    Disable Cellular Data and Auto-Play Videos and Live Photos in the iPhone Settings
  5. Then restart the iPhone and upon restart, enable Cellular Data for Photos and Auto-Play Videos and Live Photos.
  6. Now check if the iPhone is clear of the loading error of photos or videos.

Edit the Camera Settings of the iPhone

There are certain iPhone’s Camera Settings (like 4K) that may cause a high-quality loading error when playing a video as the phone fails to properly parse the video codecs. In this context, editing the related Camera Settings of the iPhone may clear the issue.

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and open the Camera.
    Open Formats in Camera Settings of the iPhone
  2. Now tap on Formats and select Most Compatible.
    Set Camera Formats to Most Compatible in the iPhone Settings
  3. Then hit the back button and disable Smart HDR by toggling its switch to the off position.
    Disable Smart HDR and Enable Camera Mode of Preserve Settings of the iPhone
  4. Now open Preserve Settings and set the Camera Mode to on.
  5. Then restart the iPhone and upon restart, check if the problematic videos are clear of the high-quality loading error.
  6. If not, launch the iPhone’s Settings and open the Camera.
  7. Now select Record Video to 4K at 60 FPS and then check if the phone is clear of the loading error.
    Open Record Video in the Camera Settings of iPhone
  8. If the issue persists, check if setting Record Video in the iPhone’s Camera Settings to 1080P HD at 30 FPS solves the problem.
    Set Record Video to 4K at 60 FPS in the iPhone Camera Settings

Reset the iPhone to the Factory Defaults

If the issue persists, then the corrupt iOS of the phone could be the reason for the high-quality loading error for an image/video. In this context, resetting the iPhone to its factory defaults may clear the error (not an easy route to go).

  1. Firstly, create a backup of the essential info/data of the iPhone.
  2. Now open the iPhone Settings and tap on General.
  3. Then select Reset and open Reset All Content and Settings.
    Reset iPhone to the Factory Defaults
  4. Now tap on Erase iPhone and wait till the phone is reverted to its factory
  5. Once done, set up the iPhone and hopefully, it will be clear of high-quality loading error.
  6. If not, check if restoring iPhone to an earlier backup solves the problem.

If none of the above worked, you may download the problematic photos/videos to a PC from the iCloud website and transfer them to the iPhone. If the videos fail to open in the Mac’s Photos app, check if using the Edit With option in the Mac’s Photos app solves the problem. In the case of a PC, a user may use OpenShot Video Editor to open the problematic video files and export them to the iPhone. If that did not work, check if booting the system into the Safe Mode lets a user edit/export the problematic video files. If that did not work, make sure the problematic file is not damaged or corrupt i.e., a video that was in making and the iPhone suddenly powered off, can damage a video file or make it corrupt.

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: “An Error Occurred while Loading a Higher Quality” on iPhone?

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