iMessage not working on iPhone? Here’s 7 ways to fix it!

One of the common problems encountered by iPhone users is with iMessage. In fact, many people have had raised such complaint following a release of an iOS update, major or minor versions. Often times, the problem is tied to software glitches if not, network problems. Fortunately, there are various ways to fix the iMessage problem at home. Highlighted below are some of the most effective solutions. Read on to learn what to do if iMessage is not working.

Before anything else, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then drop in on our iPhone Help Guides pages for we have already solved some of the most common problems with this device. Try to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our workarounds and solutions.

Troubleshooting iPhone with iMessage not working problem

Before troubleshooting, check the date and time on your phone and make sure they are correct. If necessary, set the date and time to automatic to ensure that the phone has the correct date and time information based on the time zone of your current location.

Also test your Internet connection. If your iPhone is experiencing Internet connectivity issues, iMessage and other network-related services are likewise affected. To test, open a browser then navigate through different websites to see if they’re loading successfully.

Finally, check the current status of iMessage from the Apple System status page. You can view that page by going to the official Apple website.

First solution: Quit and restart Messages app then reboot iPhone to fix iMessage issue.

The parent app for iMessage is the built-in Messages on your iPhone. This means that it is connected to Messages. Hence, if something goes wrong with Messages, then iMessage may also stop working. To fix this problem, restarting the parent app can help. So this is what you should do first.

If you’re using iPhone X or later model, follow these steps to close the app:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe your finger up and then pause.
  2. Navigate the apps preview by swiping either left or right.
  3. Then swipe up on the Messages app preview to close it.
  4. Do this to the rest of the running apps in the background to prevent them from causing conflict with Messages.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus or earlier model, close the app with these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen and press the Home key twice to view recent applications.
  2. Swipe the Messages app preview upward to close it.
  3. Do the same to close/quit all other background apps on your phone.
  4. After closing Messages and other background apps, tap the Home screen or press the Home key to go back to the Home screen.

Once you’re done closing Messages and other background apps, try loading the app again and see if it is already working. If iMessage still doesn’t work, reboot your iPhone to clear out errant caches that might have caused conflicts. Just refer to these steps to reboot or soft reset your iPhone.

If you’re using an iPhone X or later model, follow these steps to reboot or soft reset:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or earlier iPhones (with a Home button), use this method to reboot/soft reset:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.

When your phone is finished rebooting, open Messages and test to see if iMessage is already working properly again.

Second solution: Turn iMessage off and on again.

Refreshing the service is also another simple solution you can try next if the previous method didn’t solve the problem. Just follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Scroll down to iMessages then tap the switch to turn it OFF.
  4. Reboot your iPad Air.
  5. Go back to Settings-> Messages menu.
  6. Then toggle the switch to turn iMessage back ON again.

imessage not working enable imessage

Don’t forget to test to see if it is working this time.

Third solution: Enable Messages in iCloud.

To make sure that your messages are able to sync, follow these steps to turn on Messages in iCloud. Doing so will likewise correct minor syncing errors that caused iMessage to fail. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID banner.
  3. Next, tap on iCloud.
  4. Navigate to the Apps Using iCloud section.
  5. Then toggle the Messages switch to turn it ON.

Fourth solution: Sign out and back into iMessage.

Account and login issues are also among the possible causes. To rule this out, sign out and back into your iMessage account on your iPhone with these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen to get started.
  2. Next, tap on Settings.
  3. Tap Messages.
  4. Scroll down to the Send & Receive section.
  5. Then tap on your Apple ID.
  6. Select the option to Sign Out.
  7. Then turn off iMessage.
  8. While iMessage is turned off, soft reset/restart your iPhone.
  9. When your iPhone is finished rebooting, go back to Settings-> Messages-> then turn on iMessage again.

Fifth solution: Update carrier settings to fix iMessage not working problem on your iPhone.

Carrier settings updates may also be able to solve the problem if network errors are causing iMessage to stop working. Carrier updates are usually rolled out to bring in network enhancements and patches to fix and address network-related issues on the device. If your iPhone has Internet access, follow these steps to check and install new carrier update:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Scroll to the Carrier section and then see if there’s a new carrier update notification.

Reboot the phone after installing the update to save and apply the recent network system changes.

Sixth solution: Update your iPhone software.

Aside from carrier updates, installing the latest iOS version available for your iPhone can also give ultimate solution if the iMessage problem is attributed to system flaws. Software updates released by Apple periodically not only bring in new features but also embed some dedicated fix patch that are programmed to eliminate existing system errors that caused conflicts to certain features and services including iMessage. To check for iOS update, your phone must have stable Internet access so that it can communicate with the Apple server. Then proceed with these steps to get started:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

Back up your iPhone data before updating for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen prompts to download and install the update on your iPhone. When the update is finished, reboot your phone to saved the recent platform changes and to prevent apps from acting up.

Seventh solution: Reset network settings.

Network errors that are too complex may not be corrected by the previous procedures and therefore requires a network reset. Performing a network settings reset will clear out all your current network settings and server configurations. Saved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections are also deleted. If you wish to try it, then you may proceed with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.
  4. Choose the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your phone.

The phone restarts automatically when the reset is finished and then loads up the default network options and values. To use online apps and services, you will need to enable Wi-Fi, set up your Wi-Fi network to reconnect to. Once you’re back online, test iMessage to see if it’s already working as intended.

Other options

You may opt to troubleshoot further if iMessage is still not working up to this point. And the next option you can try is a factory reset or master reset. This will erase everything from your iPhone included your downloaded apps and contents, customized settings, and personal information stored on the internal storage. Thus, creating a backup is recommended before you proceed. Once you’re all set, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone via Settings menu:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then confirm full system reset.

You can also use iTunes to manually erase your iPhone and restore its factory default settings on a computer.

Still couldn’t get iMessage to work on your iPhone?

Contact your carrier to verify if your account is provisioned for iMessage. Also ensure that your account has sufficient credits or balance. For some people who have had experience problems with it, requesting a top-up was the key to fixing it. Talk to your carrier for more details. Meanwhile, if you weren’t able to view the current status of the service from the system status page, you can contact Apple Support and ask them to check their system logs for any outages affecting the service at the moment.

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We are committed to helping our readers fix the problems with their phones as well as learn how to properly use their devices. So, if you have other issues, you may visit our Help Guides page so you can check by yourself the articles we’ve already published that contain solutions to common problems. Also, we do create videos to demonstrate how things are done on your phone. Visit our Youtube Channel and please subscribe to it. Thanks.