Cannot Load Photo: There Was An Error Loading This Photo, Fix

A couple of users have reported that they are unable to view, edit, or share their photos on their iPhone or iPad devices. Apparently, some or all of the photos do not seem to download. When the users tries to use the Photos app to open photos or videos, the following error message pops up:
cannot load photo there was an error loading this photo

The photos that have issues may also show a circled exclamation point in the lower right-hand corner.

Are you also experiencing the above problem? If you’re unable to load certain photos in iCloud Photos then this troubleshooting guide is for you. In this article, I’ll explain exactly how you can resolve this problem. It’s important to try these troubleshooting steps in order. Test Photos between steps to see if you’ve fixed your issue.

You may experience this issue if the Optimize Storage option is enabled on your device (Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos). Turning this on will save you space on your device. When you enable this setting, the full resolution of your photos and videos will be saved in iCloud. but, at times your photos or videos might not be downloaded from iCloud, triggering this issue.

Moreover, your device will automatically optimize your library. This optimization will occur more if your storage space is not enough. And this sometimes triggars problems of this nature.

1. iCloud servers

If you are having issues with the Photos app, then it could be that Photos is having issues with its servers or systems. In such a situation, there is very little you can do, the only thing you can do is wait. You can visit the
Apple System Status
page to check if the Photos service is working. Here is how:

  • Go to the System Status website.
  • Now, you’ll see a list of services.
  • Next, look for Photos.
  • If you see a blue dot next the photos, Apple’s services are up and running. If you see something else, the service is experiencing issues or outages. All you have to do is wait. Apple will fix the issue as soon as possible.

2. Update your iPhone or iPad

Make sure that your device is running the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
On your iPhone or iPad, head over to Settings > General and Software Update. And if an update is available, download and install. You can also update your device using your computer. Start by connecting your iPhone or iPad to your computer with a USB cable, then launch iTunes or Finder (if you are running macOS Catalina or higher) and navigate to General or Settings, then click Check for Update. Then follow the onscreen prompts.

3. Restart your device

Simply restart your iPhone or iPad. This may resolve your issue:

  • To restart iPhone X, 11 or newer, and iPad with Face ID models: Press and hold down the volume up (or down) and the power (side or top) buttons until you see the power off slider. Then drag the slider. Wait until your device completely shuts off. Then turn on your device by pressing and holding the power button until the Apple logo appears.
  • To restart other iPhone and iPad models: Press and hold the power (side or top) button until the power off slider appears on the screen. Then slide the power slider. To turn your device back on, press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

4. Internet

Please ensure that your iPhone or iPad is connected to the Internet. You can test to see if your Wi-Fi or cellular-data Is working. Launch your web browser and try to visit a website (yahoo, google, or geeksmodo.com). If the site loads, then you have an Internet connection, otherwise, you can try the followings fixes:

  • Restart your iPhone or iPad.
  • Turn on Airplane Mode, wait a few seconds and then turn it off. To do this, head over to Settings > Airplane Mode.

  • Restart your router. Disconnect it from the power source, wait a few seconds and then reconnect it.
  • If you’re trying to use the Photos app over cellular, ensure that Use Cellular Data is turned on for Photos. On your iPhone, start the Settings app and tap Cellular or tap Mobile Data, then turn on Photos.

See also:

5. Check the storage

You may be experiencing this photo downloading error because you do not have sufficient storage space on your iPhone or iPad. You may also get “out of storage” errors. On your device, Head over to Settings > General > [Device] Storage. You are also offered some recommendations that you may want to follow for optimizing the storage. Ensure that your device has at least 1GB of free storage space.

Additionally, head over to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and check to see if you have enough available iCloud storage.

As mentioned above, if you do not have enough space, this photo downloading error may occur. Consider deleting some of your photos, apps and other content from your device.

6. Delete and recover

If you are experiencing this photo downloading error with specific photos, you can try to delete then recover to see if this resolves your issue. Please follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone or iPad, launch photos and then tap All Photos.
  • Now, identify the photo or video that gives this error message.
  • Next, delete this photo.
  • This deleted photo will go into your Recently Deleted album.
  • Next on, open Photos and open the Recently Deleted album.
  • Look for the photo you just deleted.
  • Tap Recover.
  • Lastly, open Photos again to see if you can load the photo.

7. Other fixes

Likewise, you can also try the troubleshooting tips below:

  • Are you having compatibility issues? There is likelihood you are having this issue because the photo or video format is not compatible with your iPhone or iPad. Try to convert them.
  • Try sending the photos or videos that you are unable to open to yourself via email. Then download these photos or videos again. Then try to open them.
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