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How to fix a Galaxy S9 if Messages app won’t allow photo attachment when sending texts

Hello and welcome to today’s troubleshooting post. This article will try to answer one common issue that many #GalaxyS9 users may encounter — Messages app losing ability to attach a photo when sending SMS. We hope you’ll find this helpful.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that if you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Today’s problem: Galaxy S9 Messages app won’t allow photo attachment when sending texts

I have a Galaxy S9 and use the Messages app for sending texts. I keep all my photos in the Gallery app, and until recently when I wanted to Attach a photo to a text message and selected Image, I could choose the Gallery app and then go to appropriate album and select the photo I wanted. Now the only choices I have when I select Attach and Image are my two Google accounts. How can I get access back to the Gallery app? I have cleared the cache partition to no avail. I did nothing to change this, and my photos are not saved to either my work or personal Google account, nor do I want them to be. — Jeanette Kettlewell

Solution: Hi Jeanette. There’s a few possible reasons that can cause your problem. Check our suggestions below on how to fix it.

Solution #1: Check app permissions

In Android, permissions are now managed at app level and the user can customize what type of data an app can access. While this is a good step forward for privacy conscious users, those who are not that savvy with Android may mistake find problems like the one you have if they don’t manage permissions properly. Some apps can only work if given a necessary permission while others can continue to be functional even when all permissions are turned off.

For Samsung Messages app to work like the way you want it to, you have to make sure that you have all permissions enabled, but particularly the Storage permission. In order for your messaging app to attach a photo stored in your Gallery app, it must be permitted to access Storage.

To check if your Messages app is permitted to access Storage:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap Messages.
  4. Tap Permissions.
  5. Check the permissions. Move the slider to the right to enable an item.

Solution #2: Reset app preferences

Should enabling permissions won’t work, the next troubleshooting step that you want to do is to ensure that all app preferences are reset to their defaults. Apps work with other apps and services in order to perform tasks. Messages app does not work alone and it needs other services in order to send and receive SMS and MMS. Sometimes, core default apps may be disabled intentionally or by mistake causing problems with other apps that depend on them. To ensure that all necessary apps are up and running, follow the steps below on how reset all app preferences:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Reset app preferences.

Solution #3: Delete Messages cache

Another good troubleshooting step that you can do in this case is to clear the cache of your Messages app. Apps use a set of temporary files and other stuff to work efficiently. Sometimes, an app cache may get outdated or corrupted causing app behavior issues. To ensure that app’s you’re having issues with right now have good caches, you must clear their current ones first. Here’s how to do that: 

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap your app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Cache button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Solution #4: Clear Messages app data

Should wiping your app’s cache won’t help, the next logical troubleshooting that you can do is to delete the data of your Messages app. This will return the app to its factory state and will also delete your messages. If you don’t want to lose messages, be sure to back them up before wiping your app’s data. If you’re wondering how to back your messages up, we suggest that you use Samsung Smart Switch. It’s been pre-installed on your phone but you need to install it to your computer as well. For a quick tutorial on how to use Smart Switch, kindly follow instructions in this post:

How to create backup from Samsung device to your computer via Smart Switch

Once you’ve backed your messages up, you can then wipe the data of your Messages app. Follow the steps below on what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap your app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Data button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Solution #5: Factory reset

Ideally, your issue should already been fixed by now but if it still remains, we strongly recommend that you wipe the phone by doing a factory reset. This will ensure that you eliminate any software bug that may have developed over time. Factory reset will wipe the phone and delete user data like photos, videos, documents, etc. Be sure to back them up before doing it.

To factory reset your S9:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung credentials to finish the master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.


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If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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