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iMessage – Send Images in LowRes To Decrease Data Usage

If you spend most of your time outside and you like to send images via iMessage, you should monitor your mobile data usage. Only a few people know that sending photos in high resolution (e.g. iPhone Camera Photos) cost one to five Megabyte of your mobile data volume. However, there is a solution for this problem. You can also send images in LowRes in case your data volume reaches the limit.


To use the advantages of this trick, iOS 10 or later has to be installed on your iPhone. The option that we are going to utilize was not available in earlier iOS versions.

Low-Quality Image Mode

Settings → Messages

Open the Settings app on your iPhone to set up the Low-Quality Image Mode. Go to Messages and scroll down till you reach the bottom. The last option on this screen is Low-Quality Image Mode – please activate it.

This image mode only applies to images that you send to others, but not for received images. In addition it seems that this function is deactivated for Live Photos. We – at least – could not notice any differences in the quality.

Image size

Once the image mode for low quality is activated, the images that you are sending via iMessage have a size of around 100 Kilobyte instead of up to 5 Megabyte. The exact file size depends on the original image quality and size.

The small image size comes from the iOS adjustment. iOS decreases the resolution and quality automatically, so that it always keeps a size around 100 Kilobyte.

By the way, this setting has no consequences on the representation of your photos in the Photos app. Your iPhone will keep the originals with their quality and resolution.

Low quality = Bad quality?

Apple describes the function this way: “When this is on, images sent will be lower quality“.

Our opinion is that you cannot equate it with bad quality. If you compare the low-quality image with the original photo you will almost see no difference. However, you will see the difference when you zoom in on the low-quality image. Just go ahead, convince yourself, and send yourself a low-quality image!

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