How to Fix “Unable to Load Photo” Error on iPhone?

“Unable to Load Photo. An error occurred while loading a higher quality version of the photo.” Occurs every time user try to open, view, edit or try sharing the Photos app on their iPhone And as a result, the users are unable to open certain photos or videos.

Unable to load photo error on iPhone

This is really very irritating as it affects the photos or the videos which are taken with the device or synced to the iPhone for a computer. Therefore, we have investigated the error and found that the error is related to the iPhone when it is unable to download the optimized photos from the iCloud in the case when the Optimize Storage option was enabled.

The error is likely to appear due to many different culprits, so below have a look at the common culprits causing the error.

What Causes the “Unable to Load Photo” Error on iPhone?

  • Insufficient iPhone Storage – One of the most possible reasons responsible for the Unable to Load Photos on an iPhone is the lack of storage and due to this it fails to load the photos from the iCloud. Therefore, first, check the device storage and if required then free up some storage on the iPhone and iCloud to solve the problem.
  • Internal glitches – Sometimes due to minor internal glitches or bugs the gallery app starts crashing and causing certain problems. So, in this situation restarting your iPhone works for you to solve the minor glitches and bugs that might be interfering with the iPhone and causing problems.
  • Slow Internet Connection – Another reason why you can’t access the photos is the slow or unstable internet connection and due to this the iPhone is unable to load the photos from iCloud and resulting in showing the error. So, make sure your internet connection is having good speed and working properly.
  • Unknown Apple iCloud Problem – Sometimes due to an unknown reason your Apple’s iCloud service won’t run properly and may cause problems when accessing the photos. So, in this situation logging out and logging in the Apple ID may solve the glitches and the error as well.
  • Outdated iOS version – If you haven’t updated your iPhone for a while then there are chances the iOS version you are using is outdated and facing problems when establishing connections with the iCloud photos and unable to sync the photos. So, check if there is any update available then update your iPhone version and solve the problem.

As you are now aware of the common culprits causing the error now, it’s time to follow the potential solutions to solve the error when accessing the photos on your iPhone.

1. Check the Storage of Your iPhone and iCloud

If you are not able to load your photos on your iPhone, the first thing you need to do is to check if you have sufficient storage in your iPhone and in your iCloud. It doesn’t matter if your device is synced with iCloud or not, if you have exhausted the 5GB data of your iCloud then you won’t be able to store and access your photos from iCloud.

To check your iPhone’s storage, follow the steps mentioned:

  1. Open Settings and then tap on the General
  2. Now click on the iPhone storage option and check if you have any storage left to store your photos.
Click on the iPhone storage option

If you find that your device’s storage is running out of storage then try to delete some unnecessary applications as it will help you to free up the storage and solve the issue for you.

2. Restart the Photos Application

Sometimes the technical glitches in the system start causing trouble. So, there is a possibility that your gallery app is encountering any bugs or glitches that might be interrupting you from accessing the photos applications.

In most cases the technical bugs get fixed by a simple restart, so close the photo app completely and then relaunch it to see if the app starts responding and you are able to access the photos on your iPhone.

3. Enable Mobile Data

If you are trying to download a photo from iCloud, and while downloading you are seeing the unable to load photo iPhone issue, then check if the download settings of your iPhone are set to WiFi only. If it is set to WIFI and you are using mobile data then you need to change it to Mobile data to solve the issue.

To change the download settings of your iPhone, follow the steps mentioned:

  1. Open the Settings of the application and click on Photos.
  2. Now tap on the Mobile Data option and turn on the Mobile Data option.
Turn on the Mobile Data

After setting it to mobile data try downloading the particular photo and check if the error still occurs or head to the next solution.

4. Turn off the Data Saver Option

Enabling the data saver mode in your iPhone can limit applications accessing the data plans and WiFi and this can impact the sync process which results in showing the error while accessing the photos or videos on iPhone. So, it’s in every case best to turn off the data saver feature on iPhone. Follow the step to disable it follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Open Settings and then tap on the Mobile Data option.
  2. Now click on the Mobile Data options and disable the Low Data Mode option.
Disable the Low Data Mode

And check if the issue is resolved or else head to the next fix.

5. Restart Your iPhone

In some cases, the issue may be because of some random failure or some sort of technical glitch in your iPhone causing the problem. Sometimes these sorts of glitches interfere with the process of loading the photos from the iCloud or the photos apps on iPhone. So, in this situation restarting your iPhone, could fix the issue. Plus, this gives your iPhone a new beginning and resets its irregular access memory (RAM). After rebooting the device check if the error is resolved or head to the next possible solution.

6. Disable Power Saver Mode

Many Apple users tend to turn on the low power mode on their iPhone while attempting to save battery in their iPhone. In any case, Apple itself states that turning on low power mode on iPhone might influence a few functionalities on the device and might slow down the iPhone.  And this ultimately pauses the iCloud Photos upload. So, switching off low power mode could help eliminate unable to load photos iPhone error.

Below follow the steps given to disable the low power save mode on iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings of your device.
  2. Scroll down and click on the Battery option.
  3. Now click on the toggle button for disabling the Low Power Mode.
Click on the Low power mode option

Now check if the issue is resolved or not.

7. Relogin in Your Apple ID

If you are still seeing the error then try to sign out of your Apple iCloud account and sign in again. This helps you to solve the glitches with your iCloud which is stopping the iCloud Photos upload for unknown reasons. Essentially logging out and logging into your Apple ID could fix the issue.

Follow the instructions given to do so:

  1. Open Settings and click on the Apple ID option at the top.
  2. Now click on the Sign Out option and follow the instructions.

Now click on the Apple ID banner again and follow the instructions to log in back into your Apple account. And check if you are able to access certain photos causing problems again or not.

8. Deactivate the Storage Optimization Option

With the help of storage optimization, you can click as many photos as you want without worrying about storage. It transfers all the videos and photos directly to iCloud. But in some situations, this is likely to cause trouble and many users reported on the forum site that deactivating the storage optimization option works for you to fix the Unable to load photo iPhone issue.

So, if you are also using this option then deactivating it may work for you to solve the problem.

  1. Open the Settings of your device and click on the Photos
  2. Now uncheck the Optimize iPhone Storage option to turn the feature off.
    Turn off Optimize iPhone Storage option

After deactivating it restart the iPhone and see if the problem is resolved.

9. Update your iPhone

If the fixes mentioned above didn’t work for you, then we will recommend you to check if you are using an older version of iOS as a ton of features are not supported in the older versions of iOS and if you are running an older version, then it is recommended to update your device to the latest version.

Updating the iPhone software not only fixes various problems but also brings various recent features that make the device more stable and secure.

To update your device to the latest version of IOS follow the steps given:

  1. Open the Settings of your device.
  2. Now click on the General option and then click on the Software Update
    Click on the Software Update
  3. Check if there is any update available, click on the Download and Install option and update your device to the latest version of iOS.
    Click on the Download and Install option
  4. Once the installation process is completed, restart your device to let the changes take effect.

As the device boot up check if you are able to access the photos or not.

10. Delete and Recover the Photo

This is the last solution in our list here you need to simply delete the specific photo which you can’t access and then recover it from the recently deleted folder in the photos application and check if it helps you to solve the issue. There is a possibility that some of your photos get corrupted and therefore you are unable to access it. So, in this case, deleting and recovering the photo may fix the corruption and allow you to access the particular photo or video.

To delete and recover the photo follow the steps mentioned:

  1. Tap on photos and navigate to the particular photo you want to delete and recover.
  2. Now hold the photo and click on the delete option.
  3. Then go to the Albums tab and scroll down.
  4. And tap on the Recently Deleted option.
    Click on the Recently Deleted option.
  5. Next click on the deleted photo you want to recover and click on the recover option.

So, these are the fixes that I hope work for you to solve the Unable to Load Photo on iPhone problem.  But if in case you are still facing problems while accessing the photo on your iPhone then contact the Apple support centre and describe the problem in detail. They will get back to you with the solution to get past the problem.


Hardeep Kaur

Hardeep is a passionate technical writer with more than 7 years of experience. She has a keen interest in PC games, Windows OS and everything surrounding it. She is a technology enthusiast and fascinated with technology since her childhood days.