iMessage not working – how to fix

Several people have reported an issue in which iMessage service is not working properly on iPhone, iPod Touch and/or iPad. For instance, iMessage doesn’t send or receive messages.

How to resolve this problem:

Turn off and on (restart) your iOS device (press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds, then slide the slider.)

If restarting doesn’t fix it:

It has been reported that changing your DNS settings fixes this issue. To change DNS servers, follow these instructions for iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad):

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Wi-Fi on the left-hand side
  3. Tap the blue arrow next to your current Wi-Fi network
  4. Tap the “DNS” field and enter the DNS servers; 8.8.8.8 (Google’s Public DNS). For more information about Google’s public DNS, please see this: http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/

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Comments

  1. Em says

    I have a 4 th generation iPod touch and I can message someone with an iPod fine but when I message a iPhone 4s it sends but never gets delivered and when the iphone4s send to me it sends but never gets delivered I used to be able to message it fine but it just suddenly stopped working. I have Reyes restarting it and the DSN but it dosnt work

    • joshua says

      i just fixed mine. go to imessage to make sure that the check mark is on your email account that is registered with apple and if you have a phone number. also check the iphone to make sure both are checked marked. also go to facetime to make sure both are checked also. if that doesnt work i have to log out of my apple account through imessage and facetime. then logged back in and it worked. i could not receive imessage at all or send them out until i did this.

    • Raoul says

      The same thing happend to me and got it working after about 3 months I tried getting rid of a lot of apps so I have heeps of space on my iPod and now it works fine again I was so happy!!!

    • G says

      I was having iMessage problems between myself and my girlfriends iPhone. We both attempted to turn iMessage on/off and logging back into the Apple accounts. Still nothing. So I made the mistake of calling Apple support. I have an iPhone 4 and my girlfriend has the iPhone 4S. Of course they told me that this is a common problem that thye can fix but I would have to sign up for a 2 year tech support contract for $99 per month x 3 months (in other words $300). And that apparently was the Xmas special. Anyways I didnt buy it because they couldnt tell me if the problem was with my phone or my girlfriend’s phone. Then she would also have to spend $300 for tech support.

      So…… here is the solution to the problem. Double click the home buttom and close off all apps. Then power the phone off by holding the power button at the top of the phone and then moving the slider to power off. The when it restarts, WITHOUT UNLOCKING the phone or using the phone, immediately press and hold down the home and power button until the apple sign appears. And voila, after that there should be no further iMessage issues. Ultimately the problem was with my phone and not my girlfriend’s so she didnt have to do the procedure.

      Hope this helps everyone!!!

  2. Merce says

    My friend sent a very very very long message (we were competing) and now my iMessage won’t open??! I’ve tried deleting it from the recently used apps screen, (pressing the home button twice, holding the icon until it jiggles and tapping the red remove symbol) and it worked for about 5 minutes, and I closed the app to check another app, it wouldn’t open again. How can I fix this??

      • says

        Try turning the message setting on and off. Look for the (activate) to connect. Redo again if the activate doesn’t take. You can reboot so the brain of the computer syncs with programs. Good Luck

    • Carson says

      That’s what happend to me right after I cracked it but everything else is working fine I don’t get it nothing’s working!!!! I tried to click it over and over but nothing shoes up not even a word

    • Hannah says

      Oh wait, I found a solution. Open the messaging app, then hold the home screen for 7+ seconds. Let go and wait. Delete the conversation when it loads!

    • Jane says

      What you can do i got to settings click message then slide the messages off then on again and it should work hope i helped :)x

      • Tara says

        We have the same situation as whoever said that sending a zillion emoticons back & forth made the message app crash. Someone suggested going to settings, choosing messages, and sliding the imessage to “off.” Went into the message screen, back out, back into settings and turned imessage back on. When I went into the message screen again, everything loaded and I deleted the conversation that contained the zillion emoticons.

    • Ellyyyyyy says

      Omg happened to me too, i was doing an emoticon contest with my friend, and i sent it so long it wouldn’t fit in the bubble, so now its frozen….. :/

  3. Jen says

    I sent a group message to 73 people today and it shows the message failed to send but I started receiving replies from some people. How can I tell if it didn’t get sent to particular people? I don’t want to send it again if everyone received it or would it only try to send again to those who didn’t receive it??

  4. Justyn says

    I use my iPod to message people and I can message people with iPhone 4 & iPhone 4s but it says my gfs phone isn’t registered, she has the iPhone 4.

  5. Lisa M says

    never works on my new iPad. Send button doesn’t do anything, doesn’t light up. Just nothing. I can’t even find the app on the apple store to reload it? Like it he idea of it but it and face time is disipointing.

    • Adam gonzebra says

      Theres solutions for everything and about imessage its a struggle if your push notifications arent working but if its never been jb than its like baby steps…

    • Jane says

      That happened to me but if you go into settings then click the message option then click imessage off and on again it worked fine :) no problems after that xx

  6. Jos says

    I have been able to get imessage to work using my data but it doesn’t work when i just use wi-fi. I have tried all of the above suggestions but nothing has worked. Does anyone know how to fix it?

    • Hide says

      Hi Jos, yes the cell data will always work. However, if you are using wifi, make sure the server firewall is not blocking the port. Some private server limits the internet for basic browsing only. Check the wifi router and the server. I too sometimes experience this problem too, depending on wifi routers and server, sometimes i need to turn on my cell data to get imessage.

      Hope it helps

        • Hide says

          Well the only way is if you have access to the router or server, disable all firewalls or filter. If that doesn’t work, then try other public wifi. If public wifi works but you wifi doesn’t it means somewhere along the way it got blocked. But if even public wifi doesn’t work for you than maybe you should disactivate and reactivate your imessage.

  7. Gabby says

    Back in April, I had an iPhone 3gs, and it worked perfectly with iMessage. In May, I upgraded to an iPhone 4, and neither iMessage nor FaceTime worked anymore. I have tried everything from turning on and off my phone, to resetting the DNS, to resetting the time. Nothing has worked. All it says is “Waiting for activation” and when I go to sign in with my Apple ID, it says, “Could not sign in. Please check your network connection, and try again.”. I’ve even created a whole new Apple ID to see if that would work, and it doesn’t. I am so unbelievably frustrated with these dead ends. Please help.

    • Hide says

      Wish i could help, but i’ve never seen such a case before. Hum, usually when you change iphone, to transfer over the account you would need to reactivate the account in your new iphone using itune, but im sure you did that already right. Hum.. Maybe you bought a fake china iphone hahaha joking…

      If even making a new apple account and that doesn’t solve it, then i think you all the customer rights to exchange for a new one, or at least get higher level tech support, not just walk in apple store tech, but lvl 2 or 3 tech support.

      Good luck

    • Kieran says

      This is exactly what’s happening to my iPhone and i have no idea what to do! I’ve tried the DNS thing too but no luck:(

  8. maddy says

    this still didnt work, my entire 6a sized school uses this to get in touch with teachers and other students and we are all miserable, this hasnt worked for anyone i go to school with and we were all required to get the update! please find a real way to fix the problem!

    Sincerly, Hoover High School

  9. Bill says

    While texting a contact today the imessage stopped functioning ONLY for that contact. It works fine with every other contact with iphone. iPhone 4S with iOS6. Rebooted, turned imessage off and then back on. Not using wifi, full 4G signal. any thoughts?

  10. Patrick cruel says

    Hey man,thanks a lot….it works for me on my ipad 2.. I followed your instruction to change my DNS to 8.8.8.8 and now it works perfectly smooth,before i have an error on imessage and also on facetime and now i really enjoyed it a lot.thank you thank you thank you….your amazing man.

  11. Kristian says

    I can’t choose my mobile number when i am going to choose that in the “send and recieve” mode. Anyone else who have this problem an dhow they solved it??
    I’m sorry for my bad english…

  12. Susan says

    My messages will not follow thru to the person I sent it to . Keep getting a triangle with a explanation inside it.

  13. Thamee Hla says

    I am using iPhone 3G with latest update. SMS stopped working suddenly, probably due to someone was sending me text messages in a different language that isn’t installed. I see 11 unread messages but I cannot open them.

  14. Natty says

    I have never been able to register my FaceTime and imesasage on my iPad. When I enter the apple ID and the password, it goes as of it is loading and gets back to the same page. What should I do. Someone help me please.

  15. Paul Schlichtholz says

    I tried everything on these posts and still could not get imessage to work ,no send button. Finally I turned imessage off and tried to send a message and the imessage dialogue box popped up. I followed the prompts and it did the trick. imessage works fine now.

  16. Memo says

    Hello. One day, my iPod touch 3rd Gen. wouldn’t send OR recieve messages AT ALL. So I turned off iMessages and back on, then I signed into my apple ID. It asked for my email, and I put that in, too. It says ‘verifying’ then stops and goes right back to the ‘sign in to your Apple ID’ page. I’ve tried rebooting my iPod, but that doesnt work at all. I changed the DNS, but of course that didn’t work, either. Can someone PLEASE help me? I use my iMessages to keep in touch with my relatives around the USA.

  17. Emily says

    iMessage has suddenly decided it won’t work with the internet I have at home. It worked previously, but not anymore. All other apps that use wifi work fine. Any thoughts?

  18. Rasmus says

    I sent a imessage to a friend yesterday, but it went so slow i decided to push to text box and click on “Send as Textmessage”.
    After that i haven’t been able to imessage him, what should i do?

  19. Helen says

    Ipad 2 ios 5, wifi only, suddenly stopped sending/receiving imessages.
    Changed DNS setting as described, instant fix. Thanks. I spent hours trying to sort this out.

    • Jane says

      I have a question can you block people on imessage i know this has nothing to do with it but long story short this person is bullying me and i want to block them. Thanks!

  20. Elise says

    Finally updated to ios6 last night cause an app that I have needed it. Imessage stopped working when I did that, spent a long time today going through stuff on the internet… trying different things, done the full restart/shutdown thing about 6 times…

    Just went back to messages, and it became imessage :) despite still saying that it’s trying to activate imessage.

    I think what fied it was going into imessage, and signing out with apple ID, verifying a new apple id email, restarting (as in hold down both buttons) again, then signing back in.

    My phone number was greyed out in the recieving number bit, but when I signed back in, the box was ticked, although it isn’t now…

    I only have the new email adress checked now, but I’ve sent a message, waiting to see if I get a response/if it actually reached someone…

  21. Kaels says

    I have an iPod touch 4th g and I can’t log back in to iMessage and FaceTime it says when I try to activate it, it says cannot conect to iMessage/ FaceTime server. HELP!!!

  22. Any.girl says

    My iMessage is not working on my iPod 4th gen. It looks fine but I send a message and get back a “send failure” message. I have tried turning iMessage off and on again and it’s still not working. Help please?

  23. Rachel says

    My daughter has an iPod touch 4 and we were having the same problems. Her sister’s was working fine so I knew it wasn’t our wifi. I tried every suggestion I could find and nothing fixed it. I then decided I would plug it into the computer and run iTunes so I could back up everything she had on it, then I was going to wipe it clean and start over to see if that fixed it. When I plugged it in to the computer and started iTunes, it started to automatically sync, as soon as the sync started her iMessages lit up with the new messages from her friends that she hadn’t been recieiving! I have no idea why syncing her iPod unlocked herr iMessages, but it was a vey simple fix. So before panicking, try it and see if it works. If here iMessages locks up again, I will definitely just try syncing it first.

    • Hide says

      When you sync your ipod to itune, its not unlocking, its called activating your ipod. Most ppl didnt know they need to activate their iphone or ipod inorder to use imessage. Default, the device does not come activated, you must register or re-register when using imessage on the device. (changing email or ios version may need to re-register and activate thru itune)

  24. Melina says

    FIX: Go into your contacts, choose a different contact and “send message” (If they have an apple device), simply go back to your messages and delete the one from the person who sent that incredibly long message to freeze iMessage :)

    • Donna says

      This morning my son had a competition with someone else, who could send the most smileys.His ipad froze.He’s had it less than a week! so you can imagine my thoughts, and not ever having owned an i device before. After reading several “fixes”,yours sounded very simple and yes IT WORKED!! so thankyou for giving me my sanity back and a happy son who has learnt his lesson . Needless to say he can now pass this new found knowledge onto his friends to try!

  25. Schro says

    Same problem with my son’s new Ipod Touch. Turned out that one of his cousins sent him a message with 1000′s of “smiley faces”. Hooked Ipod up to PC (Microsoft Windows, of course!), downloaded everything and erased. While still connected, was able to delete the aforementioned “smiley” message, and everything worked just fine. My guess is that certain messages kill imessage.

  26. Hajra says

    Okay, its really weird . My ipad’s imessage wont work. I tried making new accounts and signing in , it then went to the next box stating ‘would you like people to contact you on the given id below, i click verify , it takes time and goes back to sign in box,

    It doesnt even show the check mark option infront of the email id i want to use. -,-

  27. Zed says

    Nothing seemed to work for us, until we did the following:

    - Reset all iPhone settings:
    1. Tap Settings > General > Reset.
    2. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
    NOTE: Tap Reset all settings to restore all factory options, but keep your accounts, apps, and media.
    3. To confirm reset, tap Erase iPhone.
    4. After a second prompt, confirm by tapping Erase iPhone.

    - After the iPhone restarted, we went into the message app, listed the messages, clicked “Edit”, selected the long message, and deleted it.

    Seemed to fix it for us. Good luck!

  28. Brianna says

    Well when I go on iMessage on my iPad whenever I go on it, it tells me to sign in so I do then it says what do you want to been known bye? So I write that in then Peres next and after loading it goes back to signing in

  29. April says

    I tried everything above and nothing worked. Then I had a friend send me a text, as soon as it appeared on the top of my phone (banner) I clicked on it and it brought me to all of my messages. Now it works fine. :)

  30. Peighton says

    I have a gen4 iPod and I have imessage but when I try to sign in to my apple ID, it says verifying then it takes me back to that screen where you type your apple ID again. It won’t let me past signing in.

  31. Jessica says

    I have an iPod 4th gen and I have been wanting to send messages to my friend who has an iPhone 5. When I go to send a message, I type in his contact but then it comes out red telling me that “this contact is not registered with imessage” but he swears that it is. Mine is definitely activated as in my imessage settings my email is “ticked”. I don’t know how to fix this issue. Could it be an iOS update affecting it?

  32. Kayla Bobayla says

    So my iMessage on my iPhone 4 was out for about 9 hours because my friend and I had a contest to see who could send the most emoji in one minuet. I tried every remidy on the web with no sucsess… Long story short, I turned off al Internet connection restarted my phone and reconnected… I text myself from my IPad and unlocked into a working iMessage! Hope this helps!

  33. preet says

    changing the DNS to 8.8.8.8 worked on my ipod touch 4th gen. in very 1st try.
    thanks alot.
    keep up the good work.

  34. ThePurpleBalloon says

    I have a iPod touch 4th gen and it died on me. So I charged it back up and go to IMessage and try sending a message but it won’t send. The little bar stops right at the end. I also can’t receive messages, I know I was sent messages while it was dead. I have tried EVERYTHING to get it working. Sighing out of iMessage, checking and in checking things, powering it off and on a million times. It’s dont this before but not for this long. If anyone has any different suggestions they would be much appreciated.

  35. ThePurpleBalloon says

    I plugged it into the computer and IT WORKED. I received all the messages I couldn’t get before and am now able to send them.

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