Several users have reported an issue in which they are having issues with iMessage not activating. Users have reported they are getting this message “Waiting for activation…” and after a while users get this message ”Activation unsuccessful. Turn on iMessage to try again’.
It has been also reported that this issue also occurs with FaceTime. This short article explains how to troubleshoot iMessage activation issues on iOS devices (iPad, iPhone and iPod touch).
Please note that activation may take up to 24 hours to complete. Leave iMessage enabled for this period of time and do not toggle it off and on.
How to Fix Waiting for Activation in iMessage
Try each step until you resolve your problem:
- Ensure that you are using a valid Apple ID at myinfo.apple.com.
- Make sure that you have a valid cellular or Wi-Fi data connection.
- Make sure that your date, time, and time zone are set correctly.
- Turn iMessage off and on in Settings > Messages.
- Open iMessage, under the message settings, a popup message will appear saying your carrier may charge for SMS messages and select “cancel”. iMessage activates itself after you have clicked cancel. But this would not fully activate itself. Instead, you activated iMessage via e-mail, so you can only send messages with your e-mail address.
- Try restarting your device. To do this simply, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red “slide to power off” slider appears, and then slide the slider; and then Press and hold the Sleep/Wake to turn on.
- Turn off iMessage and FaceTime. Go to Settings > Phone. Check if your number is reflected in My Number and restart your device.
- Settings > General > Restrictions > Accounts and make sure that you selected “Allow Changes” and enable the FaceTime to work.
- Reset your network settings: Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings
- Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. But please note that this option will delete all your data and media.
If above tips do not help, please try the following (extreme solution)
Reset iPhone to Factory Settings
Disable iMessage (Settings > Messages) and back up your device (iTunes or iCloud) and tap Settings > General > Reset and select “Erase all content and settings”.
This will delete everything. When iOS setup assistant start, select “Set Up as New iPhone”. Sign in to your Apple ID with iMessage and then restore your device from your backup.
Most users was able to setup their iMessage in the first try, however, some were not able to do so. Hopefully, these methods will help you overcome this activation issue. Let us know your progress in the comment section below.