How to fix Apple iPhone XR that cannot send iMessages

iMessage is a proprietary messaging app owned by Apple that lets iPhone users send and receive SMS, contact details, photos, videos, documents and other contents to or from another iPhone user over Wi-Fi or cellular data network along with valid Apple ID credentials. For as long as you’ve met all the given requirements, iMessage should be working as intended. Nonetheless, there are still other factors that could hinder you from using iMessage on your iPhone. And any of these factors could make you unable to send iMessages on your device. To give you some input, I’ve laid out some handy solutions for you to refer to whenever you have trouble sending iMessages on your iPhone XR. Read on for more detailed solutions.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XR Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

Troubleshooting iPhone XR that can’t send iMessages

Performing these procedures will help eliminate software-related factors that affect its iMessage functions and make your iPhone XR unable to send iMessages. Don’t forget to create a sample message to send and receive as iMessage using your own email or contact information as the recipient.

First solution: Refresh iMessage. 

Firmware crashes on your iOS system could be the main reason why you cannot send iMessages on your iPhone XR. Should it be just a minor issue affecting the phone’s stock Messages or iMessage function, turning iMessage off and back on will likely be able to rectify the glitch and gets your iPhone back up and ready for iMessaging again. With that said, consider this as the first potential solution to try on:

  1. From the Home screen, select Settings.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Toggle the switch to turn off iMessage.
  4. Perform a soft reset on your iPhone XR. You may perform the usual reboot process by pressing the Power/Slide button until the Slide to Power off button appears. Drag the slider to the right to turn off your phone. Wait for 30 seconds then turn on your  phone by pressing the Power/Side button again. 
  5. After the reboot process is done, go back to Settings > Messages.
  6. Toggle the switch again to turn iMessage on

Wait for the iMessage to re-activate then open the Messages app to check if iMessage is already working as intended. 

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XR that cannot set up email account, email setup error

Second solution: Manage and configure date and time settings. 

Incorrect or invalid date and time settings may also cause iMessage to fail or trigger some errors. If you recently had an iOS update on your iPhone XR, then it might have changed the time and date information. To ensure that this is not the reason why you cannot send iMessages, check and manage your date and time settings with these steps:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on Date & Time
  4. If necessary, tap to enable Automatic date and time settings. If automatic time and date option is already selected, try try to manually set the date and time based on your time zone and location. 

To check the correct time zone, simply set your iPhone XR to use its current location. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy
  2. Tap Location Services.
  3. Select System Services
  4. Tap the option to Set Time Zone

To check if your iPhone is showing the correct Time Zone, carry out these steps instead:

  1. Access Settings > General.
  2. Select Date & Time
  3. Tap Time Zone.

After making all these changes on your phone’s date and time settings, perform a soft reset to refresh your phone’s memory and operating system. Then launch the Message app to create another sample message to send as iMessage from and to your own device.

Third solution: Sign out and then sign in your iMessage account.

Account-related issues are also among the factors to consider ruling out when dealing with iMessage sending and receiving errors on your iPhone. Signing out and back into your iMessage account helps in removing invalid logins from expired sessions. This therefore rectifies account-related errors that might be preventing you from sending iMessages on your iPhone XR. Just follow these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings
  2. Select Messages
  3. Go to the Send & Receive section. 
  4. Tap on Apple ID:[your Apple ID/email address].
  5. Select Sign Out option.
  6. After you’ve successfully signed out from iMessage, reset or reboot your iPhone XR. 

Sign in back into iMessage as soon as the reboot process is finished. Be sure to use the same Apple ID you’ve entered when logging into the Apple ID account page. Then retry sending sample message as iMessage to check if the issue has been resolved. 

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XR. 

Network-related errors are also among the factors that can affect your iPhone’s iMessage functions. Performing a reset network settings can therefore be considered among the next possible solution. This will clear out network connectivity errors that might have caused troubles with your iPhone’s network services including iMessage. This also wipes out all current network configurations and then restores the default network values and options. Invalid or incorrect network settings saved on your device that might have caused iMessage errors are likewise eliminated. Prior to performing this procedure, be sure to take note of your Wi-Fi password as you will need to re-enter it after the reset. Once you’re ready, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to then select Reset
  4. Tap Reset network settings from the options provided.
  5. If asked, enter your device passcode. 
  6. Tap the option to confirm network settings. 

Let your device finish resetting the network settings and restore its default network configurations. After the reset network settings is complete, your iPhone should reboot automatically. Wait for it to finish its boot up sequence and get back online. By then you can try sending a sample iMessage to see if it’s already successful.

Fifth solution: Reset your iPhone XR to default factory settings. 

Carrying out a master reset is usually deemed among the last options if none of the previous methods is able to resolve the issue and your iPhone still cannot send iMessages. This reset will delete any complex errors from your iPhone’s system and then restores the default factory settings. To avoid losing critical data permanently, be sure to back up all your files from your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes as you would prefer. Once you’re backup is secured, you can proceed to these steps:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Select General
  3. Scroll down to and then select Reset
  4. Tap the option to Erase all contents and settings. This will delete all contents, customized settings and data from your iPhone XR.
  5. When prompted, enter your device passcode. 
  6. Tap the option to confirm factory settings reset. 

Your device will reboot automatically after the reset is done. Once it boots up, continue to the initial setup process and set up your iPhone XR as new. Enable iMessage on your iPhone again then see if you’re able to send iMessages. 

Still cannot send iMessages on your iPhone XR?

If still the problem persists after you have performed all the given procedures, contacting your carrier will be your next option. There might be some problems on their end that needs to be resolved so as to get your iPhone’s iMessage services to work properly again. Your carrier’s support team can give you further assistance and walk you through in carrying out more advanced solutions that are needed to resolve the issue.

You can also escalate this matter to Apple support especially if you’ve started to experience the issue after installing an iOS update. This will let them know about such post-update problem and consider it among the bases for releasing yet another fix patch for your iPhone XR.

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