iPhone Lags When Trying to Send an iMessage or Text

Technology plays a central role in our lives, so that communication glitches can be more than annoying. iMessage problems can disrupt our conversations, causing confusion and frustration.

Encountering issues with your iMessage system on your Apple devices is not uncommon. It could be a matter of server trouble, application errors, or even device settings needing a tweak. This guide walks you through diagnosing and rectifying these issues, from checking your data connection and updating iOS to ensuring your settings are correctly configured for iMessage use.

Armed with these troubleshooting techniques, you’ll be on your way to seamless chatting in no time, making iMessage problems a thing of the past. So, let’s delve into the world of iMessage troubleshooting!

Underlying Causes of iMessage Lag

iMessage lag or delay can be attributed to a variety of reasons. Among the most common are issues with Apple’s iMessage server, problems with the Messages app, or incorrect settings configurations. Let’s delve into these problems and provide practical solutions to your iMessage or text functioning as expected.

iMessage Server Issues

apple system status services

In rare instances, the iMessage server itself could be down, causing delays for anyone trying to send an iMessage. To check if this is the problem, you can visit Apple’s System Status page. If the server is down, you might have to wait until Apple resolves the issue. However, you can switch to sending regular text messages (green-bubble texts) instead of iMessages (blue-bubble texts).

Data Connection Problems

iphone carrier restrictions mms messaging network connections

iMessage requires a stable data connection, 3G, 4G, 5G, or Wi-Fi. A weak or non-existent data connection can lead to difficulties when sending iMessages. To verify your data connection, perform a quick internet search using Safari. If you’re having connectivity issues, try toggling your iPhone’s Airplane Mode on and off to refresh your connection.

Incorrect iMessage Settings

iMessage Waiting For Activation Error

If your iMessage needs to be set up correctly, you might experience lag when sending a message. Navigate to Settings > Messages and ensure iMessage is turned on. Also, verify that your phone is correctly set up to receive iMessages by checking the addresses and mobile numbers listed under “Send & Receive.”

Outdated iOS Software

remove virus malware iphone update

Another cause of iMessage lag could be outdated iOS software. Make sure your iPhone is running on the latest version of iOS. If not, you should update it by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Installing the latest updates can resolve many issues, including iMessage lag.

Inefficient Network Settings

Sometimes, inefficient network settings hamper iMessage functionality. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings to reset these. It would help if you re-entered your Wi-Fi passwords after this reset.

Incorrect Time Zone Settings

Incorrect time zone settings might also cause iMessage lag. To adjust this, go to Settings > General > Date & Time and set your time zone to update automatically.

Overloaded Messages App

If your Messages app contains numerous photos and videos, it could slow down, causing a lag when sending iMessages or texts. Deleting some messages, especially those with multiple photos, might solve this problem.

How to Fix iMessage Lag

When you encounter an iMessage lag, the first step is to determine the root cause of the problem. Once you’ve identified the underlying issue, you can take appropriate measures to fix it. Here are step-by-step solutions for each potential issue:

  1. Server issue: If the iMessage server is down, wait for Apple to resolve the issue. In the meantime, send regular text messages instead of iMessages.
  2. Data connection problems: If you’re having issues with your data connection, turn on Airplane Mode and then turn it off to refresh your connection. Alternatively, you can connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  3. Resetting Network Settings: You can reset your network settings if none of the previous solutions work. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  4. Checking iMessage settings: Ensure your phone is set up correctly to receive iMessages. Go to Settings > Messages and check the addresses and mobile numbers you have listed in Send & Receive.
  5. Signing out and signing back into iMessage: If the issue isn’t with activation, try signing out of iMessage and signing back in. Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and tap on your Apple ID at the top of the page, then choose Sign Out. After signing out, sign back in and check if the problem is resolved.
  6. Delete some messages: If your Messages app is slow due to many photos and videos, try deleting some to speed it up.
  7. Full reset: As a last resort, perform a full reset on your device. In Settings, go to General > Reset.
  8. Ask Apple: If all else fails, schedule an appointment with an Apple Store Genius for further help.
  9. iMessage activation issues: If you see error messages when trying to activate iMessage, ensure your network connection is stable and try again.
  10. Recipient’s settings: If you’re having trouble sending iMessages to a friend, they might need to check their settings or activate iMessage on their device.
  11. Lost or accidentally deleted Messages: Refer to a separate tutorial on how to retrieve deleted text messages.
  12. Messages not appearing or out of order on other devices: If your iMessages aren’t syncing properly, ensure you’re signed into the same Apple ID on each device and that iMessage is enabled.

Final thoughts

We’ve discussed many ways to fix iMessage when it’s not working on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Remember, the problem might be as simple as a server hiccup, or you might need to dig deeper into your settings. If your messages are gone, don’t panic! There are ways to bring them back. And remember, sometimes it might be an issue with your friend’s device, not yours. So, don’t hesitate to ask them to check their settings too.

Most importantly, if you’re stuck, don’t worry! The Apple Store is there to help you out. So, stay patient, keep trying, and soon your messages will zoom their way to your friends again!


  1. Why isn’t my iMessage working?

    There could be several reasons. It might be an issue with Apple’s iMessage server, a problem with the Messages app, or your settings might need adjusting. You may also need a stronger data connection or Wi-Fi signal, as iMessage needs this to work.

  2. What should I do if iMessage isn’t working?

    Start with basic troubleshooting. Check if you have a good data connection or Wi-Fi signal. Turn Airplane mode on and off, or even restart your iPhone. You should also check if your iOS is up-to-date, as outdated software can cause issues.

  3. What can I do if my iMessages aren’t being delivered?

    If iMessages aren’t delivered, you can send the message as a text instead. If you press hard on the message not being delivered, you should see an option to “Send as Text.”

  4. What if I accidentally deleted an important iMessage?

    Don’t worry, there are several ways to retrieve lost or deleted iMessages. You can retrieve them from an iCloud backup, from the iCloud website, contact your phone provider, retrieve them from an iTunes backup, or use a third-party app.

  5. How can I ensure iMessages are delivered to my new iPhone or device?

    Make sure to activate iMessage on your new device. Go to Settings > Messages, then turn on iMessage. Also, ensure all the email addresses and phone numbers you want to associate with that iMessage account are ticked in the ‘Send & Receive’ settings.

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