How to Fix “Failed to Download Attachment From Multimedia Message” Error on Android

When an Android device cannot download a file attached to a multimedia message (MMS), it displays an error message that reads: Failed to download attachment from multimedia message. Try again later.

The message is displayed as a gradually fading popup, usually at the bottom of the screen. The problem appears to be especially prevalent among Samsung devices. 

The issue isn’t particularly pressing, as it does not do much to hurt the user experience beyond spitting out an error message. The error message can, however, get really annoying really fast when it starts popping up every time you wake up your phone, unlock it, or open your SMS app.

What Causes the “Failed to Download Attachment From Multimedia Message” Error?

Many Android devices are incapable of downloading MMS attachments over Wi-Fi unless the ‘Wi-Fi Calling’ feature is enabled, which is the root cause of this error in most cases. Even with the feature enabled, most non-carrier phones continue to exhibit the same behavior. Other common causes include the MMS service’s cache/data being corrupt, poorly configured MMS settings, or localized issues with the messaging app you are using. 

Method 1: Switch to Mobile Data

If your Android device simply cannot download MMS attachments over a Wi-Fi connection, you can solve the “Failed to download attachment from multimedia message” error by switching to a mobile data connection. 

  1. Swipe down from the notification area at the top of your screen to open the notification drawer. 
  2. In the Quick Settings found at the top of the notification drawer, disable the Wi-Fi toggle.
  3. Enable the Mobile data toggle.

Check to ensure that the MMS attachment has been downloaded successfully, and that your issue has been solved.

Method 2: Try a Different Network Mode

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap on More > Mobile Network.
    Note: The exact destination will vary between Android devices. Use the search feature if you are unable to locate Mobile Network settings.  
  3. Tap on Preferred network mode/type
  4. Switch to a different network mode and check if the error has been resolved. Repeat until the issue has been fixed, or you’ve tried all available network modes. 

Method 3: Clear the MMS Service’s Cache and Data

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps / Applications.
  3. If presented with a number of options, tap on Manage apps.

  4. Tap on More
  5. Tap on Show system / Show all apps (or a similar option).

     
  6. Locate and tap on MmsService in the list of apps.

  7. Tap on Clear Data and, if required to, confirm the action. 
  8. Tap on Clear Cache and, if required to, confirm the action. 
  9. Restart your device. 

Once your phone boots up, check to see if the error message still persists. 

Method 4: Enable Auto-Download for Multimedia Messages

You may be facing this problem because the messaging app you are using does not have auto-download (or auto-retrieve) for MMS enabled. If that is the case, enabling the option should rid your device of the error message. 

Exact instructions will vary depending on the messaging app you are using. On Samsung’s default ‘Messages’ app, you need to:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Tap on More > Settings.
  3. Tap on MMS.
  4. Locate an option to “allow downloads”, “auto-download”, or something similar, and enable it. 

If you’re using Google’s ‘Messages’ app, you’ll have to:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Tap on More > Settings.


  3. Tap on Chat features.
  4. Enable the “Auto download files you receive over mobile data” option.

If you are using another stock or third-party messaging app, look for a similar option in its settings. 

Method 5: Switch to a Different Messaging App

Your phone may be unable to download an MMS attachment because of a localized issue with the messaging app you are using, especially if it is a third-party messaging app. If that is the case, switching to a different app should allow the download to go through.

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps / Applications.
  3. If presented with a number of options, tap on Manage apps
  4. Tap on More.
  5. Tap on Configure apps / Default apps or a similar option. 
  6. Tap on SMS / Messaging
  7. In the list of eligible apps you see, switch to a different messaging app than the one you’re currently using. If you’ve been using a third-party messaging app, it is recommended that you switch to your phone’s stock SMS app. If you’re already using the stock messaging app, download a third-party alternative and switch to it. 

Check to see if your new messaging app is able to successfully download the MMS attachment. If the fix works, feel free to switch back to the messaging app you were originally using. 

Conclusion

Short of a complete factory reset, the solutions listed and described above are your best bet at fixing this error. Let us know if any of these solutions worked (or didn’t work) for you in the comments down below. 

If you have had the displeasure of running into the “Failed to download attachment from multimedia message” error and managed to fix it using a method we have not covered, we would also love to hear from you so we can add it to the list. 

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