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iMessage Not Working – Step-By-Step Troubleshooting Guide

How to Fix iMessage

As an iPhone user, the benefit of having iMessage to send texts is great. iMessage allows anyone with an iPhone to send text messages between iPhones using available plan data. This can be convenient when trying to avoid using up the number of texts on a phone plan. iMessage also allows you to have an instant connection to the person you’re messaging with – this includes the ability to see when a message gets delivered, when the other person is typing, and the ability to send messages with effects.

Check If iMessage Is On 

Check if iMessage is On

When acquiring a new iPhone, or when cellular service has lapsed for a period of time, it is necessary to check first if iMessage is on. 

  1. First, start by clicking on the Settings icon on your phone.
  2. Scroll down the page until you see the Messages tab and click on it.
  3. The first option at the top of the page should say iMessage. Make sure this option is toggled on and the switch is green.
  4. If for some reason this switch is inactive, check first to see if your phone is in airplane mode by going back to the Settings menu and ensuring Airplane Mode (at the top of the page) is toggled off.
  5. Finally, make sure either Wi-Fi or cellular data are on. For Wi-Fi, click on the Wi-Fi tab in the main settings menu. If a wireless network is nearby, connect to it and enter the password if applicable. For cellular data, start by clicking on Cellular and ensuring the Cellular Data option is toggled on.

Check Cellular Data

It is easy to test whether Wi-Fi or cellular data are working by opening Safari and attempting to go to a website. If neither Wi-Fi or cellular data are working, this should be remedied before moving further to ensure that internet connection is not the issue.

If the above steps have not worked, don’t worry! One of the following solutions should hopefully help sort out the problem.

Solution 1: Reboot Your Phone 

Sometimes when your iPhone has not been restarted in a bit, things can start to act weird. This is the first strategy to try because sometimes the solution is just that simple. It’s time to reboot!

  1. Go back to Settings> Messages and turn iMessage off.
  2. For earlier iPhone models, restart your phone by holding down the lock key located on the right side of the phone and swiping right when prompted. For iPhone X models, hold down the volume up key and the lock key at the same time and swipe right when prompted. This shuts the phone down until you turn it back on.
  3. After 10-20 seconds, hold down the lock key again to restart the phone.
  4. Once the phone is back on, go back to Settings > Messages again and turn iMessage on.
  5. Test if iMessage is working or not by sending off a text to another iPhone user. If the message sends and turns blue, iMessage is working!

Solution 2: Ensure Send & Receive is Configured 

iMessage Send and Receive

In some cases, address options are not configured correctly and end in serious frustration for everyone involved. Luckily, this is an easy fix!

  1. While in the Settings > Messages menu, click on the Send & Receive option further down the page. This brings up a menu of phone numbers and addresses your phone is currently capable of both sending and receiving messages from. Make sure that the numbers and emails you want to send and receive texts from have a small check mark next to them.
  2. Test if iMessage is working or not by sending off a text to another iPhone user. If the message sends and turns blue, iMessage is configured correctly!

Solution 3: Sign Out & Sign In 

If you have recently changed your Apple ID or password, this option might do the trick. These changes can prompt your Apple ID to unlink from your phone since your login information is not the same as when you originally logged in. 

  1. While in the same Send & Receive menu as above, click the top tab outlined in blue with your Apple ID email.
  2. Once clicked, a pop-up window should show up. Click Sign Out to temporarily sign out of your iMessage account.
  3. After a few seconds, sign back in again with your Apple ID to see if this fixed the problem.
  4. Test if iMessage is working or not by sending off a text to another iPhone user. If the message sends and turns blue, iMessage is working! 

Solution 4: Reset Network Settings 

Reset Network Setting

Both your phone and Wi-Fi connections require a reboot at times. It happens! Both routers and phones are small computers that are trying to stay in sync with each other, and a restart can help ensure this is not the problem. 

  1. Go back to the basic Settings menu as first described.
  2. Click on the General tab and scroll all the way down to the bottom to the option that says Reset. Don’t worry, your phone won’t reset just yet!
  3. Clicking Reset sends you to a menu of reset options. In this case, click Reset Network Settings. This will require you to log back into any Wi-Fi network you’ve recently used, but it will hopefully help erase any errors that are stopping your iMessage from working.
  4. Test if iMessage is working or not by sending off a text to another iPhone user. If the message sends and turns blue, iMessage is working!

Solution 5: Check for a Software Update 

Software updates often provide minor updates and bug fixes for issues that users have. If none of the above options have worked, this may be the ultimate fix if iMessage not working is a recent problem. 

  1. Go back to Settings > General and click Software Update (the second option down). This looks to see if there is a software update ready to be downloaded to your phone.
  2. If there is an update, click Install Now in blue.
  3. Your iPhone will download the update and then install it, which may require keeping your phone plugged in to the charger to ensure it has enough battery life to do so. Keep an eye on it. Your iPhone will restart once or twice during this process.
  4. After the restart, test if iMessage is working or not by sending off a text to another iPhone user. If the message sends and turns blue, iMessage is now working! 

Solution 6: Contact Apple Support 

If none of the above options have worked, there might be a deeper issue going on that requires further attention. In this case, it is advised that you contact Apple Support either by phone at 1-800-275-2273 or by finding the nearest Apple retail store in order to figure out what is going on. These issues happen from time to time, and Apple will be able to help you address whatever might be going on with your iPhone.

For more information on Apple Support, click here: https://support.apple.com/contact