Can You Send a Photo Message From an iPhone?

Updated April 17, 2017

The iPhone supports SMS, or short messaging service, and MMS, or multimedia messaging service, messages. SMS messages are messages that are limited to 160 characters of text. MMS messages are text messages with a picture, video or audio file attached. You can send MMS messages to any mobile phone user with an MMS-enabled phone. The iPhone can also send pictures via e-mail.

Compatible Photos

You can send any photos stored on your iPhone in a MMS or e-mail. These photos are available in the iPhone's Gallery app. You can send pictures from the Internet, but you need to download them to your phone using the Safari Web browser. After downloading a picture from the Internet, you can send it like any other picture on your phone. Alternatively, you can send a picture directly from your iPhone's camera.

MMS Messaging

You may need to enable MMS messaging on your iPhone before you can send media messages. The MMS toggle is in the Messaging section of the "Settings" menu. When MMS is enabled, you can send a picture attached to a text message through the iPhone's Messages app, which is represented by a speech bubble on the Home screen. While composing a text message, select the camera icon to add a photo to the message. You can select from "Take Photo or Video" to attach a new picture from your camera or "Use Existing" to attach a picture that is already stored on your iPhone.

E-mail Messaging

If you want to send pictures to a computer user rather than a phone user, you can send them with the iPhone's e-mail client. Tap a picture in the iPhone's photo gallery to select it, then tap the "Send" icon, which resembles an arrow jumping out of a box. Select "Email Photo." The iPhone opens a new e-mail message with your picture attached. Enter a recipient's e-mail address and an optional subject and message, then tap "Send" to send your picture. You can also tap multiple pictures, then tap the "Send" icon to attach several pictures to one e-mail.


To send pictures via MMS, your iPhone must be on a service plan with MMS messaging. If your plan does not support MMS messaging, the "Camera" icon does not appear on the text messaging screen. Note that some providers charge for each message sent. To send e-mail messages with pictures attached, you need a data connection. If you do not have a data plan, you can still send e-mail using a Wi-Fi network. If you attempt to send a message where your phone does not have service, it automatically saves the message and sends it once it has service.

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About the Author

David Weinberg began writing in 2005 at New College of Florida, composing articles on history and political science for publication within the school and for online circulation. Weinberg has been a professional outdoor educator for more than five years with experience throughout the United States.