HEIC images not downloading in iMessage

Discussion in 'iOS 11' started by mpb2000, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. mpb2000 macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    I have an iPhone 6 with iOS 11. I received some images in iMessage that would not download (see screenshot); they just stay in that “downloading” state. From what I can tell, iPhone 6 does not support the HEIC format, which would explain the screenshot. But I received other images that appeared in iMessage without an issue before and after the HEIC ones from the same person. This person is not one to change settings on their iPhone (their emails still say “sent from my iPhone). Does it make sense that I would be receiving some images fine and some noted as HEIC stuck “downloading?” If you have an iPhone that can take photos in HEIC, does it do so by default? Is it possible for the camera to switch between formats automatically or would this require a manual change? I have an iMessage thread with someone with an iPhone X that I know has never changed default settings and I have never had an issue with images. Am I missing something about how iOS handles HEIC images? Or is it possible this is not a compatibility issue? If this is indeed just my iPhone 6 being incompatible with the file format, what are my options (excluding buying a new phone)? Do I have to ask the other person to change settings on their phone? Is there a way to do that so they don’t lose the ability to take advantage of HEIC?

    Thanks for the help.


    Attached Files:

  2. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
    are you saying that you have actually been able to download to and view HIEC images in HIEC resolution on yr iPhone 6 before?

    best way to check:
    You can toggle between HEIF/HEVC and good ol’ JPG/H.264 in Settings → Camera.
    Hit a new Formats subsection, then choose your preferred camera capture format:
    • High Efficiency—Encode photos/videos you take using the HEIF/HEVC codec.
    • Most Compatible—Always use JPG for images and H.264 for videos.
    NOTE: If you don’t see this section, your device doesn’t support capturing in HEIF/HEVC.

    i know on my iPhone 6s i do see this screen. but i thought iPhone 6 was not possible??
  3. mpb2000 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    I’m not saying that. I’ve received photos in iMessage from someone with an iPhone X that I am fairly certain would not have changed any camera settings. That’s why I want to know about the default settings related to the file formats. The screenshot I posted shows what I see in iMessage that prompted me to create this thread. It is what I see in a string of photos sent by a different person. I received photos before and after those HEIC files that displayed normally in iMessage. I don’t know what that means, hence my questions.
  4. mpb2000 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    Update: I looked at the iMessage thread again and all of the images that said “downloading” and were noted as HEIC earlier now look like the ones in a new attachment I’m posting. They no longer say “downloading” but I also can’t see anything other than the file name. Any thoughts? Is that the expected behavior for an iPhone 6? Does it make sense that some photos from the same person are coming through fine (presumably as jpegs)? For that to happen would that person have to manually change settings between photos?

    Attached Files:

  5. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    Having this same problem, but I'm running iOS 12 with an iphone X. I'm 100% sure i can view HEIC images, but they dont show up for me.
  6. kaylalm34 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2019
    Did this ever get resolved? Currently having the same issue.
  7. mpb2000 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    No. I still see it occasionally. I can’t see any pattern that would explain it.
  8. Rhonindk macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2014
    sitting on a beach watching a DC simulation ...
    Has anyone ever found a solution for this?
    I get pics from an iPhone 7 user on 12.1.3 and occasionally iMessage photos come through with this "downloading" message but never download. A reboot of the phone (sender) usually corrects the issue for a while.
  9. mpb2000 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    Still no solution. It continues to happen very rarely for me.
  10. mulletville macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2019
    Just had the same exact problem pop up. first time for me. Anyone ever figure this out?

    Attached Files:

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9 October 7, 2018