How to fix iMessage that suddenly stops working, message threads merged on your Apple iPhone XR [Troubleshooting Guide]

The release of iOS 12 platform brings both positive and negative effects to the receiving iOS devices. Just recently, reports about an iMessage bug from iOS 12 have emerged and it seemed to be a widespread post-update problem as more and more iOS owners are affected. Reports have it that the newly introduced iMessage threads/chats streamline feature resulted to iMessages threads and individual conversations being merged. So it’s like iMessages from two or more different contacts are merged into one single thread.

Most of the affected users are those sharing or using the same Apple IDs. This along with other widespread issues affecting iMessage such as delivery failed and scrambled messages are to be addressed in this context. Read on to find out what to do if iMessage suddenly keeps crashing, stops working, or showing other adverse symptoms on your new Apple iPhone XR.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XR with iMessage that’s not working properly

If you’re having troubles sending and receiving iMessages on your iPhone XR, check your Internet connection first. In order to use iMessage on your iPhone, a stable Internet access through Wi-Fi or cellular data network is required. On top of that, your account must also be subscribed to a text-messaging plan. You can talk to your wireless carrier for more details regarding iMessage requirements if necessary. Also consider checking the current Apple server status for iMessage service. This information can be found on the Apple Support page status page. If all the requirements are met but you’re still having trouble using iMessage on your iPhone XR, move on and refer to these troubleshooting methods.

First solution: Quit then restart messaging app.

If you previously used the messaging app and haven’t closed it, the app must have stayed running in the background and possibly crashed. As a result, message-related functions, particularly iMessage suddenly become unstable. To fix the problem, forcing the messaging app to close and restart is recommended. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to the Home screen then swipe your finger up and then pause.
  2. Swipe right or left to navigate through the apps preview.
  3. Then swipe up on the Messages app preview to close it.

After force closing the Messages app, turn iMessage off, soft reset your iPhone XR, and turn iMessage back on. Here’s how the trick is done:

  1. Go to Settings-> Messages-> then tap the iMessage switch to turn the feature off.
  2. With iMessage turned off, restart your iPhone XR to clear out random errors affecting iMessage and to erase junk files from the phone memory.
  3. After your phone reboots, go back to Settings-> Messages-> then turn iMessage back on.

Try creating a sample message to send as iMessage and see if it’s already working properly this time.

Second solution: Check and manage date and time settings on your iPhone XR.

Incorrect date and time settings on the phone can also cause trouble with iMessage. This is often the case for iMessages that are out of order given that the timestamps are incorrect. To rule this out, check and manage date and time settings on your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Go to Settings-> General-> Date & Time menu.
  2. Tap to turn on the option to Set Automatically.

If automatic date and time settings are already enabled, turn it off then manually set the date and time based on your current time zone. Be sure to select the correct date and time.

  • To check if your device shows and uses the correct time zone, head over to Settings-> General-> Date & Time-> Time Zone menu.

After fixing your iPhone date and time settings, create a sample iMessage to send and receive and see if it’s already working and delivered as intended.

Third solution: Install the latest iOS update for your iPhone XR.

A lot of people were complaining about some sort of iMessage bug following the iOS 12 platform transition. Apple typically takes care of such post-update issues through minor updates containing the required fix patch. Thus, updating the phone software to the latest version available is highly recommended. So here’s what you should do then:

  • Go to your iPhone Settings-> General-> Software update menu. Read the update details and whenever you’re all set, tap the Download and Install option below the message.

Keep your iPhone connected to the Internet until the update is finished then perform a soft reset after installing the update. See if that fixes the iMessage problem on your iPhone XR.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XR.

Aside from incorrect date and time, other misconfigured options and invalid customizations may also affect the phone’s messaging functions. If you started to have troubles with iMessage after customizing some options or modifying your iPhone settings, then there may be some errors that need to be corrected. As resolution, reset all settings on your iPhone XR to erase all customized settings and restore the default values and options. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and then tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm settings reset.

Allow your device to complete the reset and then restarts by itself. After it reboots, enable necessary features you want to use including Wi-Fi and cellular data on your iPhone XR. Also make sure that iMessage is turned on. Then test to see if your iPhone XR iMessage is already working properly.

Fifth solution: Sign out and back in to iMessage on your iPhone XR.

Account-related issues like invalid account details in use are also among the underlying causes. To rule this out, try signing out of your iMessage account and then sign in again with these steps:

  1. Open Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Scroll to and then tap on Send & Receive.
  4. Tap on your Apple ID.
  5. Select the option to Sign Out.

Restart/soft reset your iPhone XR then sign back into iMessage. Make sure you entered the correct Apple ID and password this time. To see if iMessage is working, create a sample message then send it to your own number or email address. If the message is successfully delivered and received on your device, then iMessage is already working fine and the problem is solved. Otherwise, consider other options.

Other Suggestions

  • Delete faulty thread and start a new one. In the case wherein iMessage threads are merged, deleting the affected thread and creating a new one can also be considered a temporary solution to the problem. So what you need to do is identify the message thread on the Messages app main menu and then slide the chat/thread from right to left. Doing so will show up the option to Delete. Tap to delete the faulty thread and then create a new message to send to a specific contact like it’s the first time you do so. This should separate the iMessage thread.
  • Factory reset/master reset. Among the last options and potential solutions you can resort to if iMessage still failed to work would be a factory reset or master reset on your iPhone XR. This will wipe everything from your iPhone settings including any errors and system bugs that might have inflicted trouble with the iMessage functions. After the reset you can set up iMessage as new on your iPhone XR. But before you reset your iPhone, back up all your critical files to iCloud or iTunes so you can just restore them later when needed. You can reset your iPhone XR to its factory defaults via settings menu or using iTunes on a computer.

Escalate the problem

To help speed up the release of an official fix patch from Apple, escalate the problem to your device carrier or Apple Support. Let them know of how you end up with the iMessage problem and what you’ve done so far to fix it on your end.

Also ask your wireless carrier to verify and ensure that your account is provisioned with the correct messaging plan.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XR 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 XR. 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.