If you’re asking “Why is my iMessage not working?” and are confused with hundreds of solutions out there, look no further! Find below the proven fixes to resolve the error quickly and make iMessage work again.
iMessage is one of the best-secured messaging platforms you can use on your iPhone or iPad. Apple uses end-to-end encryption to ensure total anonymity of the message content during electronic and wireless transmission.
The messaging app enables you to receive online and cellular text messages (SMS) and multimedia messages (MMS). Thus, for convenience, Apple’s trust, and security benefits, iMessage is possibly the default messaging app on your iPhone or iPad.
If the application isn’t working as it should, you might lose important messages from home, school, or work. Don’t take chances! Instead, try the following fixes to resolve the iMessage issue right now!
Also read: How do I Fix FaceTime or iMessage Waiting for Activation?
What Is iMessage Not Working Error?
iMessage errors could include anything from being unable to send any messages to activation issues. Find below the frequently occurring issues of Apple iMessage:
- Getting texts with green background
- Activation delays
- Could not sign in, please check your network connection error
- An error occurred during activation
- Unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again.
Also read: How to Tell if You’re Sending an iMessage or a Text Message
When you face any iMessage issues listed or not listed above, try the following troubleshooting for a quick remedy:
1. Check the iMessage Service Status
The iMessage issue could be simply from Apple’s side. There’s nothing you can do if the iMessage server or service is nonfunctional. Quickly visit the Apple System Status portal and check if iMessage shows a solid green circle or not. If it’s yellow or red, wait until Apple fixes all iMessage service-related problems.
2. Don’t Use Shared Apple IDs
When you face the “iMessage not working” issue, you must remove all shared Apple IDs from your iPhone or iPad. It’s because another device might already be using your Apple ID for iMessage, hence the iMessage server denying your services.
Here’s what you can do:
- Go to Messages on the Settings app of your iPhone or iPad.
- Inside Messages, tap Send & Receive.
- If there is more than one Apple ID or mobile number, find out which one is shared.
- Once you confirm the shared Apple ID and mobile number, tap on each of these iMessage addresses.
- Tap Sign Out on the iMessage Account pop-up.
- Once you remove all shared addresses, try sending and receiving texts using iMessage.
3. Check Cellular Network Plan Validity
If you’re unable to use iMessage for texting using the cellular network, the subscription might have expired. Open your cell service provider’s app and check your subscription status. If the plan has already expired, recharge or subscribe.
4. Disable and Re-enable iMessage
When you’re stuck on iMessage errors like Waiting for activation, Activation unsuccessful, An error occurred during activation, or outgoing messages not working, here’s what you should do:
- Open Settings and go to Messages.
- Inside Messages settings, you should see the iMessage toggle button.
- When it’s green, tap once to deactivate it on your iPhone or iPad.
- Now, perform the steps mentioned in method six.
- Enable iMessage again from Settings > Messages.
5. Set Device Date and Time to Automatic
iMessage servers may not be able to provide efficient services if you set the device date and time manually. To fix this, here’s what you should do:
- Open Settings on iPad or iPhone.
- Go to the General section.
- Scroll until you find Date & Time setting. Tap on it.
- Touch the toggle for Set Automatically.
6. Force Close iMessage Using App Switcher
Usually, you don’t close any apps on your iPhone or iPad. Apple suggests not closing apps forcibly. The device has an intelligent algorithm to keep apps running without affecting the device’s performance. However, if an app isn’t working, you can close the app from the background of the device. Here’s how it’s done:
- When on the iMessage app, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and lift your finger when you come to the middle of the screen.
- This opens the App Switcher screen on an iPhone or iPad.
- Locate iMessage on this screen and swipe the app up to close it.
- Now, open iMessage again from Home Screen or Dock.
7. Modify iMessage Settings
Try the following iMessage settings optimization to fix messaging app errors:
- Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and ensure the appropriate Apple ID and a mobile number have been checked.
- Go back to the Messages settings screen and make sure to turn on the following:
- Send as SMS
- MMS Messaging
8. Toggle iMessage On and Off From iCloud
iCloud sync plays a key role in the functionality of iMessage. You can disable and re-enable iMessage on iCloud to fix the “iMessage not working” issue. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open the iOS Settings app and touch your Apple ID avatar.
- Inside the Apple ID screen, tap on iCloud.
- Go to the Apps Using iCloud section and tap Show All.
- Now, you should see the Messages section. Tap on it.
- Disable the Sync this iPhone or iPad option.
- Force close iMessage and Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
- Open Settings again and enable iMessage on iCloud.
- Now, run the iMessage app and see if you can receive or send messages.
9. Reset Network Settings
iMessage is a Wi-Fi and cellular network (4G and 5G) dependent app. If the device networks aren’t working, iMessage will stop its operation. If you’re unsure about network health, it’s better you do the network settings reset on your Apple smartphone or tablet. You’ll need to manually enter the Wi-Fi password after doing this, so keep the password handy before resetting the network. Once ready, try the following:
- Open Settings and go to General.
- Scroll through the General settings menu until you find Transfer or Reset iPad. Once found, tap on it.
- Now, touch the Reset option.
- Tap Reset Network Settings on the pop-up that shows up.
- Enter the device password or PIN to complete the process.
- Now, connect to Wi-Fi, 4G, or 5G, and see if iMessage is working or not.
10. Sign Out From Apple ID and Sign In Again
You can remove the Apple ID from your iPhone/iPad and add Apple ID again to fix any ongoing issues with iMessage. Here’s how:
- From Settings, touch the Apple ID.
- Scroll down the Apple ID screen until you find the Sign Out button.
- Tap Sign Out.
- Next, you’ll need to enter the Apple ID passcode.
- This deactivates the Find My iPhone or iPad feature as well.
- In the next screen, iOS will ask you whether you want to save a copy of the iCloud backup on the device.
- Tap Yes to store data locally.
- Tap Sign Out again.
- iOS will complete the process and come to the Settings screen again.
- This time, you’ll get the Sign in to Apple ID option.
- Now, sign in again using your Apple ID.
Test the iMessage app now and see if it’s working or not.
Also read: How to Fix Messages in iCloud Not Available Error
11. Alternate iMessage Address Between Mobile Number and Apple ID
If there are mobile numbers and Apple IDs inside the Settings > Messages > Send & Receive section, perform the following steps:
- Tap the mobile number.
- You’ll see a pop-up with the Remove button. Tap it.
- Apple ID should be the only address on iMessage now.
- Test the iMessage app.
- If it’s working, add the mobile number again.
- You can repeat the step and this time touch your Apple ID to remove it.
- Now, test iMessage only with the mobile number as send and receive address.
12. Clean Up iMessage
Using iMessage for many years causes the accumulation of thousands of messages on the app. This could cause iMessage to perform slower than normal performance. If possible, you can delete some texts from the app. Erasing the in-app content can help you speed up the functionality of the messaging app.
13. Update iPhone or iPad
iOS updates resolve various known errors in hardware and software. Therefore, you must always put the device in automatic update mode. If the device wasn’t in auto-update mode, follow these steps to update the device now:
- Launch the Settings app.
- If there are any iOS updates, you should see an update notification just below the Apple ID initials or avatar. It should also read Software Update Available with a red bubble. Tap on that.
- Alternatively, you could touch General on Apple Settings app.
- Tap Software Update to find the pending updates window.
- If there are any updates, tap Download and Install.
Sometimes, there won’t be any updates when you regularly apply Apple updates. In that case, other troubleshooting methods should help you fix the “iMessage not working” issue.
14. Force Restart iPhone or iPad
Force restarting an iPhone/iPad helps you to fix operating system-level issues that cause an app to malfunction. Here’s what you should do:
- On iOS 14 and above, press and release the volume up button quickly.
- Also, press and quickly release the volume down button.
- Now long press the side button (top or touch ID button for iPad) until the Apple logo appears.
- As soon as you see the Apple logo, let go of the side button.
- In between, you’ll also see the Slide to power off button.
These are some of the ways you can confidently try on your iPhone or iPad to fix most iMessage errors mentioned at the beginning of the article. Try the troubleshooting methods in the way they appear to save you from trying unnecessary steps. If you tried all the above with no satisfactory results, contact Apple Support for advanced technical assistance on the matter.
Share your experience of resolving the “iMessage not working” error by commenting below. If you find this iMessage troubleshooting article helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends and followers from social media handles.
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