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How to fix Apple iPhone X that shows iMessage “Waiting for Activation” error (easy steps)

If you’re one of the owners of the Apple iPhone X or any iPhone for that matter, then you may have already known about iMessage; it’s the very heart of text messaging across Apple mobile devices. Needless to say, it should work the moment you turn your iPhone on and that’s actually the case with most of the owners but there are those who’ve been complaining about the “Waiting for Activation” after a few days or weeks of use.

In this post, we will tackle the activation problem with iMessage on your iPhone X. We will try the exhaustive troubleshooting procedure since there are several factors we need to consider to be able to determine why it’s happening. And yes, this problem might be due to several causes that’s why we really can’t pinpoint immediately what the culprit is. Continue reading as I will show you how to troubleshoot your iPhone X.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone X with iMessage Waiting for Activation


Just before you proceed with your troubleshooting, here are the things you need to do first:

  • Make sure your number is listed on Contacts. If you can’t see your own number, go to: Settings > Phone > My Number and key in your phone number.
  • Make sure that the Date and Time Zone in your iPhone is set correctly.
  • Check for possible iOS update and if there is, take time updating your iPhone X first before proceeding with your troubleshooting and that is only if the problem continues after the update.
  • Also, make sure that Airplane Mode is NOT on. You may try turning it ON and then back OFF.

Now, here’s what I suggest you do about this problem…

First solution: Restart your iPhone X

It’s possible that this problem is just due to a minor glitch in the system and affected iMessage so before anything else, make sure to restart your device to rule this possibility out first. After all, a normal reboot refreshes your phone’s memory, clear its RAM and reload all its apps, services and core functions.

Press and hold the side button and either one of the volume buttons and then, swipe the power icon from left to right across the words slide to power off — this will turn your iPhone off.

Wait a few seconds, then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the center of the display.

Once your iPhone becomes active, try to see if iMessage still shows the “Waiting for Activation” error and if it does, then try the next solution.

Second solution: Turn iMessage Off and then Back On

Any device that relies on its hardware and software to run properly may encounter glitch here and there. Such is the case with our mobile phones nowadays not to mention there could also be a hundred apps installed on them. Glitches happen all the time and it might be one of those cases. To rule the possibility that it’s just a glitch with iMessage, try turning it off and then back on.

To do this, go to Settings > Messages and then tap the switch next to iMessage at the top of the screen. When the switch is greyed out, it means it’s turned off but if it’s green, then it’s on. Wait for a few seconds after turning it off and then turn it back on. If the problem continues, then try the next solution.

Third solution: Sign out of your Apple ID and sign back in

It may seem like a no-brainer but I know a couple of users who were able to fix their iMessage problems by doing this. It will actually refresh your Apple ID and may resolve minor glitch and problems.

To sign out of your Apple ID, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and then tap your Apple ID at the top of the screen. Then, tap Sign Out.

To sign back in, tap Use Your Apple ID for iMessage at the top of the screen. Enter your Apple ID password to sign back into your Apple ID.

Fourth solution: Reset Network Settings

Before you do this, try going to Settings > General > About and wait for about 15 seconds to know if there’s an update coming from your carrier. This isn’t a firmware update but a settings update  that carriers push every now and then to make sure devices under their networks work perfectly. This is especially important if you rely on using cellular data in connecting to the internet.

If there’s an update, a pop-up will appear and all you have to do is tap on the Update button and wait for a few seconds while updates are being implemented. However, if there’s no update then proceed to resetting network settings in your iPhone X.

Go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Network Settings. When the confirmation alert pops up on the screen, tap Reset Network Settings.

This will bring the network and connectivity configurations back to their default settings. If this problem is due to a network issue, then this is all you need to do to fix it.

Fifth solution: Contact Apple Support

After doing the procedures above and the problem continues, try waiting it out for 24 hours because it may take that long to get iMessage activated. After such time and the issue continues, then try contacting Apple tech support so that they can also check something on their end.

I hope that this troubleshooting guide have helped you one way or another. If you have other issues that you want to share with us, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone X smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone X. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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