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I used to have this problem with my Nexus One on T-Mobile, and now have it again on my Samsung Galaxy SII on Sprint. It seems like about every other MMS message I get will fail to download. It'll just sit in that "downloading" state forever. (Note: it is not actually a pattern of every other time.) I have the stock Android messaging app that comes with the phone.

I have found dozens of threads about this out there on various Android forums, but all of them seem to be pre-ICS and so I don't have the settings the solutions refer to. The solutions all seem to be really esoteric, too.

If I can make it stop getting "stuck" that's great, but I figure the easier question is as posted: once it gets in that stuck state, how can I force it to restart the download? That'd be enough to fix the issue for me.

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Got to the bottom of this. If your data connection isn't on when someone sends you an MMS, the download has a tendency to hang. If you shut off the connection to save battery or have any app that does this (like Juice Defender), this will happen to you a lot. Go into the MMS app's settings and turn off the "auto retrieve" option for MMS and you should be right as rain.

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Is there a way to force Android to go back and re-try downloading those missed messages? I know I missed one last night because I sent it as a test from my friend's phone. – David McClelland Sep 17 '13 at 11:29

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