IMG_ issues in iPhones and iMessage - 2023

Modified Aug. 15, 2023, 9:39 a.m.


Pictures not appearing in iMessage, photos naming issue on iPhones. Here are all the issues I faced and how I fixed them.

Photos and Camera apps on an iPhone screen

Pictures not showing in iMessage, only IMG_0000_JPG

Most of the time, the pictures are correctly displayed in iMessage, a thumbnail of the photo appears, and by clicking on it you can open and display the real picture. But sometimes, the pictures are not showing in iMessage, there is no thumbnail and only the name of the message, either IMG_XXXX.JPG or IMG_XXXX.HEIC is displayed.

It might be because you received the messages before an iOS update, or before something changed on your iPhone. The reason is unclear, but there are still a few things that you can try in order to fix the issue.

First, you should still be able to open the photos by tapping on it. It would be better to just see them directly in the conversation, but make sure you can open them by tapping on the image name.

To make pictures display correctly again in iMessage and not only IMG_XXXX.JPG, the picture’s name:

  • Restart your iPhone. Restarting the phone will refresh some cache and can help to fix the issue.
  • You will find all the photos received by iMessage in the Photos app. Open the Photos app, go to the “For You” tab, and scroll down until you see “Shared with you”. Here are all the photos you received by iMessage, or that people shared with you using an Apple app.
  • Turn iMessage in and off. Go to Settings > Message and disable iMessage. Open again the Message app, and then enabled back iMessage. It’s not always working, but it already helped me to fix the issue once.

Why does my iPhone create two photos IMG_xxxx and IMG_Exxxx

Pictures taken on your iPhone only appear once in the Photos application, on both the iPhone and the Mac, but it does not mean that only one version of the picture is created.

If you try to see your photos using a different software or application, not one made by Apple, you might see different versions of the photos. One is named IMG_XXXX.JPG, and the other is name IMGE_XXXX.JPG.

Your iPhone created two versions of the photos you take, the original version, without any modification, and a second one, with any modification applied to the picture.

A modification does not mean you actually edited the picture after taking it, it can be due to any modification applied to the camera settings before you take the photos. Indeed, even changing the picture format from 4:3 to 16:9 will make the iPhones create two photos.

It’s not really an issue, it’s more how Apple decides to handle the modifications on pictures. It’s actually useful if you want to make any edits to the photo later. However, it means that more space will be used as both versions will be stored in your iPhones.

So if you think that your photos take more space than they should be on your iPhone, you should consider removing any modification to the camera settings, and prefer a 4:3 format over a 16:9.

Are they any way to change the photo naming in iOS?

No, you can’t change the way your iPhone is naming the pictures you take with the camera. Each picture will be named this way IMG_(four digits number).JPG. It means that once you’ve taken more than 9999 pictures, your iPhone will start to overwrite the previous one, be careful about that.

To change the pictures name on your iPhone, you will have to use a different software on your computer. Some software can also allows you to rename all the pictures you’ve taken, especially when you transfer the photos to a cloud.

To rename all the photos at the same time on Macbook:

  1. Click on File > Export > Export photos
  2. Under File naming, click on the File Name dropbox
  3. Select a file naming that suits you
  4. Click on Export



Maxime Levesque is a technical engineer with more than 5 years of professional experience. He is an expert in computer and phones, mostly on Apple products. Maxime is also the founder of TechBrowser.

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