How to automatically receive MMS picture messages


If you’re like me, then you probably love to text on your Android smartphone, but may have one major complaint when it comes to texting on our Android smartphones: receiving those coveted picture messages. Sure you may get the MMS notification, but when you try and check for the message, you are likely stuck with either having to physically force the picture message to download or worse— forcing the download only to not see the photo appear. Well cry no more friends as we will be giving you a simple and brief guide on how to relieve yourself of the pesky inconsistency when it comes to receiving those coveted attachments within an MMS message. Oh and believe us— you’ll be glad you did once you hit the break.


  • Stock Messaging app or third-party alternative (such as Handcent or GoSMS)
  • A minute or so of your time


Enabling the MMS messages

  • Open the messaging client of your choice
  • Enter the Settings option (Stock Messaging/GoSMS apps: Menu –> Settings | Handcent: Menus –> Settings –> Retrieve Message Settings |
  • Simply check the Auto retrieve button


Stock messaging app





Now once completed, your phone should automatically retrieve the MMS content as soon as you receive the new message notification, so you should be good to go moving forward and shouldn’t have to deal with the inability to receive those coveted MMS messages and all.



About the Author: Roy Alugbue

Conceived as Spock’s 4th cousin, Roy has had quite the life. He was born in beautiful San Jose, California, raised in Los Angeles, California and now resides in the greater New York City area. He has always been fascinated and obsessed with technology, especially the continuous advancements of mobile platforms. He was a Blackberry slave since his undergrad days at the University of Southern California until realizing in Feb. 2011, there were greener pastures in the land of Android. His first Android phone was the Motorola Atrix 4G, and he hasn’t looked back. He currently works in corporate media, enjoys following media and technology trends, reading a good book, weightlifting, playing on his XBOX 360 and conversing with total strangers.

  • Ron Dancaster

    Hey, how about the next article describes how to turn on wifi to avoid those costly network data charges!

  • Don

    Thanks so much for this…I hated seeing that “download” box in a msg!

  • Heidi

    Hi Im concerned that my mms messages are being forwarded to a 3rd party with out my doing….is this possible and is there a way to find out?

    • heidi

      Anyone have any ideas?

      • wcb123

        stop sending naked pics of yourself then it doesnt matter :)

      • need2know

        I would like to know this, too. I don’t care if it’s just a pic of my kid, I don’t want it being distributed to a third party!

  • tammy

    thanks I final
    y got my mms working. YOUR MY HERO!!!

  • mel

    And if that doesnt work???

    • dan

      yes, if that doesnt work….

    • x_grinder_x

      yeah, doesn’t work for me either. I already had mine set like this and I still get MMS download buttons and sometimes they don’t work

      • sherry

        If the message is there and stuck on downloading uncheck auto retrieve enable mobile web or wifi and manually click download in the message it will then appear be sure to go back and recheck auto retrieve when done so other messages will come thru when mobile web or wifi are active thats the only time you can recieve a mms is when you have a internet connection

  • nancy

    This worked perfectly for my new Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate. I just started using Net 10 as my provider and am happy with the service. The Handcent app was easy and I am able to download media. Don’t ask me how it works, it does. Thank you for the tips.

  • patrick

    Hello !!! Thanks

  • tristie

    Thank you thank you thank you. This has been an issue for years (of course I need a new phone) but the app really is perfect.

  • srbeachgull

    For weeks….had to make everyone send pics to email!!!!! No more!!!! THANKS GENIUS….sooo simple…..dumb people shouldn’t have smart phones!!!!

  • Robert

    thanks this helped me a lot. It was really annoying to download the multimedia message.

  • Max (Samsung Galaxy Note 3)

    Didn’t have this problem on my old phone, but got the new Galaxy Note 3 and was having this issue. This totally fixed the problem within 30 seconds. A+++++++++

  • linn

    I have a question. I’m asking it here because this is the only place on the web I could even find a picture of and icon that keeps popping up on my lg optimus f3. Scroll up and look at the icon in the left corner. It’s a black and white box with a mountain looking picture in it. What is it? What does it mean?I have had my phone about 2 months with a new number. Every single time anyone sends me a text, I mean anyone in my contacts that box appears in the upper left corner. I can only access it in the drop down screen. When I do there is a phone number there I don’t know. The same number every time. Messages from my contacts or anyone go right where they are suppose to. In the screen drop box I try to clear the number and it won’t go away. I have to keep my finger on it and go to apps and force it to close or stop. It goes away until I receive another text. Also if it’s not there when I turn my phone off it quickly appears when I turn it back on. I called the number from another phone and the person on the other end didn’t know anything about it, but they said the phone number I have was the the number for one of their old phones no longer in service.BTW I have service with metro and they were clueless as to what it means.

    • will

      Its a screen shot, go to ur photo gallery & u will find the screenshots in it.

  • johnbrian

    Thank u – was wondering how to fix this!

  • Stacy Lynn Kissinger-Hammersto

    Did this,
    still does not work

  • Heather

    Hi I have a question?? I can’t find an answer anywhere please help!? If I’m the primary account holder with at&t, I have 2 phones, my phone is a galaxy note 3, my kid has a galaxy5,, shit I’m not sure, thus the need for help :) I want too be able to receive his old ,New, and future texts( and call logs if possible) without his knowledge, I’ve heard it’s possible I just can’t fight it out! Please, thanks in advance, Heather

  • Ruth

    I’ve followed all your instructions and I still can’t receive MMS on my Galaxy Note 3. So frustrating. I can send ok.

  • Rachel

    Downloaded GO SMS on my Samsung Galaxy S4 and I can get the messages now! Thanks so much!

  • Gailouise

    Thank you, Rachel! I, too, downloaded Go SMS onto my Galaxy S4 and can now get the photos from my granddaughter! Why doesn’t the installed software work like it’s supposed to????

  • chris

    There is no autoretrieve button

  • R N

    I have the “factory” version of mms on my Galaxy 4 phone.
    When I receive photos, they are always fuzzy. There is no adjustment for mms on the phone.
    Any help is welcome

  • Wrathgaar

    I’m assuming that you still need to have mobile data switched on to receive MMSs even if this guide bypasses the ‘download’ button.
    My last phone was an old Ericsson flip-phone, made before modern touch-screen smart phones had even been invented. I didn’t have a single byte of data on my plan for that old phone and it would always receive MMSs just fine over the standard messaging network. Now that I’ve got a Galaxy S3 I’ve opted for a cheap plan with only a tiny shred of data for emergencies, as I really don’t have much use for it otherwise. Is there any way to get my S3 to receive MMSs without having data on, like my old phone used to?

  • Bonnie Hittle

    I already have the auto retrieve button clicked and I still receive mms messages that refuse to download no matter how many bars I have.

    • Carden


  • j41005

    How come when I send a text message from my LG 4g phone to multiple people they continue to come back as single messages that I have to open, read and reply individually. This sucks! When I am communicating with a group I don’t want to have to reply to each person separately. Is this an LG thing?? If so, their phone, based on this alone, is not worth having.