Trying to send a photo from your iPhone or iPad but discover your Message app missing from the list in your Photos App or other App’s Share Sheet?
Several readers report that their Message App is missing in Share Sheet and that they are not able to text Photos, Safari and other Browser Links, Notes, Screenshots, and other apps from Messages within the Share Sheet. They see that their Message app is missing and not listed with the other sharing apps, like Mail, Notes, etc
So if you don’t see your Message app in the share sheet, you’re not alone!
The problem seems to impact people with work, school, or company iPhones and iPads who have Mobile Device Management (MDM) profiles installed on their work iPhones and iDevices.
These devices are often referred to as supervised, meaning a company or school administrator can apply additional restrictions, such as turning off AirDrop or preventing App Store access.
Supervised iDevices often have unique business configurations and features, such as internet filtering and incognito app updating.
And MDM allows a remote administrator to configure settings and perform other tasks on the device without user interaction.
- Quick tips
- Does My iPhone or iPad Have MDM?
- Can’t Send photos through Photo App to Messages App? Toggle on iMessage!
- Message App Missing in Share Sheet: Possible Solutions
- Workaround: How to Attach Photo to Text Message
- Contact Apple Support
- Reader Tips
Follow these quick tips to get the Message app on your share sheet
- Toggle iMessage on in Settings > Messages
- Verify that Send as SMS is turned on in the Message app settings
- Remove any management profile, if possible
- Reset your network settings
- Reset all settings
- iMessage not working iOS 13 or iPadOS? Fix it today
- Disable the iCloud Photo Link From the Photos App on Your iPhone or iPad
- Get Back Accidentally Deleted Text Messages Fast
- Photos Disappear After iOS Update? How-To Get Them Back!
Does My iPhone or iPad Have MDM?
The easiest way to tell if your iPhone has MDM is to check if an MDM Profile is installed. Go to Settings > General > Profile and check if anything is there. If you can’t find a profile, that means your device does not have this option.
If you are a developer or public beta tester, you’ll see a listing for your developer profile–this is not a traditional MDM profile.
However, if you run into problems and aren’t continuing to beta test your device, consider removing this profile. Deleting it does not remove any of your personal data. And if you ever want to test betas again, it’s easy to install an updated beta testing profile.
If you find your iPhone (or another iDevice) has a corporate profile installed, consult with your IT department before you remove anything.
Generally, removing these profiles causes your office email to stop working. Getting this back often requires your IT group to step back in. So, message #1 if you have a corporate profile, check in with your IT before doing anything to that profile, especially if you want to delete it.
Can’t Send photos through Photo App to Messages App? Toggle on iMessage!
The main symptom users report is using the Share Sheet in the Photos App. In particular, when folks select single or multiple photos that they want to share with others AND use the share sheet (the box with the arrow pointing up,) the messages app is no longer available as a sharing option. And although most people encounter the problem when using the Photos App, it may also impact any app that accesses the Share Sheet.
This bug usually impacts folk who have remote management profiles and apps on their iPhones. Specifically, it’s a problem with iPhones that have profile management installed via their company’s IT Department.
Toggle on iMessage in your Message app settings and make sure you turn on Send as SMS. This usually does the trick.
If it didn’t try toggling iMessage off and on.
Apple suggested a full reset and set up your iPhone or iPad/iPod as a new device.
But most of us don’t want to do that–at least not at first!
No Profile Installed But Still Problems?
First off, if you don’t have a profile installed, try forced restarting your iPhone. Then verify that you toggled on iMessage and turned on Send as SMS.
Perform a Forced Restart
- On an iPhone 6S or below plus all iPads & iPod Touches, press Home and Power at the same time until you see the Apple logo
- For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo
- On an iPhone 11, X Series, or iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and promptly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo
If that didn’t help, try the following:
- Reset Network Settings (Settings > General > Reset)
- Removes any saved WiFi passwords, so have these available to re-enter
- Toggle Cellular Data OFF and ON (Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data)
- Restart by pressing the Power button
Some readers found that resetting all their settings and then restarting helped, so you might give that a try if other solutions don’t work.
Reset All Settings
- Do a backup before trying this out, either via iCloud or iTunes (iTunes is always preferred since it’s more stable)
- Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All
- This resets to default everything in Settings, including notifications, alerts, brightness, and clock settings like wake up alarms.
- Resetting all settings also reverts all your personalized and customized features like wallpapers and accessibility settings back to factory defaults.
- Performing this action does not impact any of your personal device data, including photos, texts, documents, and other files.
- You need to reconfigure these settings once your iPhone or iDevice restarts.
Remove Profiles If Possible
Many of our readers say that after removing MobileIron from their iPhones and restarting, their Messages icon returned to the Share Sheet, for Photos as well as other apps.
You have to delete both the app (if there is one) AND the profile to make this work. Commonly used ones are MobileIron or VMware AirWatch and similar.
So again, take a look at your profile settings in Settings > General > Profile and see if your iPhone has a profile installed. If so, and you have permission, tap Remove Management.
It’s often not possible to remove profiles due to workplace requirements and locks that prevent employees from deleting profiles from their work iPhones.
In this case, ask your IT Department or MDM Administrator to adjust the setting that allows the message option to be displayed in the Photos App (and other Share Sheet apps) for sending files using the Messages app.
For folks using MobileIron, this is on a list of MobileIron iOS bugs, so we fully expect it to work normally soon.
Additionally, if your IT department has not yet officially accepted ios11, some readers report the problem was fixed once their company (or school) accepted and supported iOS’s latest version.
And of course, check periodically for Apple updates to iOS. Patches are often released in minor updates and these might just fix your problem!
Workaround: How to Attach Photo to Text Message
Try instead attaching your photos using the Messages app (instead of the Photos app or whatever app you’re using); this is one of your alternatives until Apple releases a fix.
To send a photo using Messages, compose a new message and tap the Photos App or the camera icon next to the text message entry. From there select a photo or photos from your Photo App.
Using iPadOS or iOS 12 or 13? Try iCloud Photo Links!
New to the Photos App for iPadOS and iOS 12 & 13 is a feature to share pictures and videos from your Photo Library using a link to the photo stored in your iCloud account.
These iCloud Photo links last for 30 days, after which they expire and won’t work!
iCloud Photo Link Requirements
- You must enable iCloud Photos
- Go to Settings > Apple ID Profile (at the top) > iCloud > Photos,
- Toggle on iCloud Photos
Share an iCloud Photo Link in iOS 12+
- Open your Photos app
- Tap the photo you want to link to
- To share a link to multiple photos, tap Select in the upper right corner of the screen
- Choose all the photos you want to share
- Select the iOS Share Button
- In the share sheet, tap Copy iCloud Link
- In iOS 13, you can also tap Options in the share banner at the top of your screen
- Then, choose iCloud Link
- iCloud Prepares the link
- Open Messages
- iCloud Photo link also works with other apps, like Mail
- Tap and hold your finger in the message text field
- Choose Paste
- Send the message and iOS shares that Photos link
If that’s not working for you, choose COPY for STEP 4 instead of Copy iCloud Link.
Contact Apple Support
- If you use Access Point Name (APN) settings, reset your network settings via Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Network > Reset Settings. Then re-enter your APN settings from your carrier by tapping each field and enter the details from your carrier. Then restart your iPhone. For cellular model iPads, remove the APN configuration profile and add it again. It worked for me, maybe you too! If you can’t modify your APN settings, contact your carrier
- Re-entering my APN setting from my mobile phone provider did the trick!
For most of her professional life, Amanda Elizabeth (Liz for short) trained all sorts of folks on how to use media as a tool to tell their own unique stories. She knows a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides!
Her clients include Edutopia, Scribe Video Center, Third Path Institute, Bracket, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Big Picture Alliance.
Elizabeth received her Master of Fine Arts degree in media making from Temple University, where she also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member in their department of Film and Media Arts.