iMessage Not Working on iPhone – How to Fix the Common Issues (Guide)

If you are an iOS user, there is a good chance you are in the habit of using iMessage to connect to your friends and family also using iOS device. If there is a problem with iMessage, you may lose your primary mode of communication. In this guide we will learn to fix iMessage problems on iPhone. The troubleshooting steps, however, work equally well on other iOS devices too.

Case 1: Check if iMessage is Disabled

In order for iMessage to work, it must be enabled. Your iOS device comes with this application enabled by default. However, sometimes we accidentally disable it and it stops working. Enabling iMessage is extremely easy. Here are the simple steps:

  1. Run the Settings app from the iOS home screen
  2. Select ‘Messages’
  3. Tap on the slider next to iMessage to turn it on (please note that if iMessage is already enabled, tapping on the slider will turn it off)

 

If iMessage was disabled, enabling it should get it working. However, if it still does not work, follow other troubleshooting steps in this guide.

Case 2: iMessage Server is Down

Apple has separate servers for different applications. If other Apple apps are working on your iOS device but iOS is not, there is a chance that the iMessage server is down. When the server is down, all the iMessage users connected to it face the connectivity issue. Such cases are rare but not unseen. For instance, iMessage server went down in February 2017 causing widespread issues.

You can visit the following link to check the server status: https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

The green dot next to the iMessage server means that the server is working fine. Red dot would mean it is not.

Note: This link is only for Apple servers in the US. It may vary slightly depending upon the region where you are located. For instance, if you are an iOS user in the UK, you can use the following link: https://www.apple.com/uk/support/systemstatus/

Case 3: There is a problem with data connectivity on your device

Although iMessage and SMS appear together in the same app, they are both technically very different. While SMS does not need you to be connected to the internet, iMessage doesn’t work without it.

If your device isn’t connected to the data network, you will not be able to use iMessage. In case you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, make sure that it is working. If you are using iMessage over the mobile data network, you will need to ensure that there is data connectivity. You can open Safari web browser and try to access a web page. If the web page doesn’t open, it means there is a problem with data. You can contact your Wi-Fi provider or mobile service company to troubleshoot internet issues.

If Safari successfully downloads the web page, there is no issue with data. Proceed to the next iMessage troubleshooting method.

Case 4: Turn iMessage Off and ON

In Case 1, we learnt how to turn iMessage on if it is disabled. Here we will do something different. Even if iMessage is enabled, we will turn it off and then back on. Follow these steps:

  1.  Run the Settings app from the iOS home screen
  2. Select ‘Messages’
  3. Tap on the slider next to iMessage to turn it off
  4. Wait for a couple of minutes
  5. Turn iMessage back on

Case 5: Reboot your iOS Device

This may sound very basic but rebooting works magically sometimes. This is why it would be a good idea to turn your iOS device off and turn it back on. It will take only a few minutes.

Rebooting the device refreshes the firmware as well as the apps. When the apps are refreshed they start working normally. When you are turning the phone off, keep it turned off for a couple of minutes before turning it back on.

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