How to fix iMessage that is not working on Apple iPhone XR, can’t send/receive iMessages [Troubleshooting Guide]

Aside from the traditional text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messaging functions, iOS devices also allow you to iMessages. It’s an embedded feature of Apple’s very own Messages app that lets you send and receive across different Apple devices through Wi-Fi or cellular data. The main distinction between regular SMS/MMS message and iMessage is on the requisite.

To send regular SMS/MMS, a messaging plan is required while iMessage only requires Wi-Fi or data connection. You can use your monthly bill as tangible proof for that. But the drawback with iMessage is that it only works between Apple devices. This means you can only send and receive iMessages from iPhones, iPads, iPod, and Mac computer but not from Android smartphones and other non-Apple devices.

If your device is connected to Wi-Fi internet, then using iMessage for SMS and MMS messaging would be a better choice. In iOS 12, iMessage receives a lot of new cool features and functions. While it’s a user-friendly interface, random issues are inevitable. To give you some inputs on how to troubleshoot iMessage problems in iOS 12, I’ve mapped some potential solutions below. Read on to learn what to do if iMessage suddenly stops working on your new iPhone XR.

Before troubleshooting, check your Internet connection by opening a browser app and then navigating to different websites. Alternatively, you can try launching some online apps and see if they’re just working fine. If they’re not, then you’re most likely dealing with an Internet problem and that could be the main reason why iMessage isn’t working on your iPhone. In that case, you need to deal with network connectivity issues first to get your iPhone back online. Otherwise, try these subsequent methods.

First solution: Toggle iMessage OFF and then back ON.

Like any other iOS features, iMessage may also encounter random issues and when this happens it can become inconsistent, if not totally dysfunctional. The simplest possible solution to this would be a restart on the feature or iPhone system itself. Here’s what you should do then.

First, restart your iPhone XR or do a soft reset with these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

After the phone boots up, retry create a test message to send and receive on your iPhone XR as iMessage. If that doesn’t work, toggle iMessage OFF and then ON again. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Then tap the button next to iMessage to turn the feature OFF.
  4. Reboot your iPhone while iMessage is turned OFF.
  5. Then go back to Settings-> Messages menu then turn iMessage back ON.

Once iMessage is enabled, try creating a test message and see if you can now send and receive iMessage on your device.

Second solution: Check and manage iMessage settings.

Even if you haven’t done some changes to your iPhone settings, it’s still important to ensure that everything is setup and configured properly on your device. That being said, check and manage iMessages settings on your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Scroll to and tap on Send & Receive. Doing so will open a list of phone numbers and email addresses that are to set to send and receive iMessages on your phone.
  4. Navigate to the section labelled with Start New Conversations From.
  5. Check and ensure that your phone number has checkmark next to it. If it isn’t checked, then you need to activate iMessage for your number by simply tapping on your phone number.

Reboot your iPhone after making necessary changes, then create a test iMessage to send and receive on your own phone number.

Third solution: Restart and refresh your Internet connection.

Restarting the Internet connection can help fix minor Internet problems that might have caused online apps and services to suddenly stop working. There are many ways to restart and refresh Internet connection on your iPhone. You can use the Wi-Fi toggle, the Airplane Mode trick, or switching to other Wi-Fi network available.

  1. To use the Wi-Fi trick, go to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu then toggle the switch next to Wi-Fi to turn OFF then tap again to turn Wi-Fi back ON.
  2. To use the Airplane Mode trick, simply head to your iPhone Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then tap the Airplane mode switch to turn the feature ON. All wireless radios on your phone are then disabled automatically. This means Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions are turned OFF. While Airplane Mode is turned ON, restart/soft reset your iPhone. After it reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again. Doing so re-enables Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other wireless functions of your iPhone.

These simple tweaks have been proven to do some wonders when dealing with various types of wireless connectivity issues causing conflict to wireless apps and services on the phone. And since iMessage is a pertinent service, performing this trick could potentially fix iMessage problems on your device as well.

Another option may consider resorting to is to switch to or use a different Wi-Fi network. This will fix the problem if it’s attributed to Internet connectivity errors from corrupted Wi-Fi network in use. If you haven’t set up other Wi-Fi networks, then you can just forget/delete your current Wi-Fi network and then set it up again. Forgetting a Wi-Fi network on an iPhone XR is carried out this way:

  1. Go to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu.
  2. If necessary, toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi ON.
  3. Find your Wi-Fi network (SSID) then tap the information (small i) icon next to the name of your Wi-Fi.
  4. Select the option to Forget This Network.
  5. If prompted, tap Forget Network to confirm action.

The selected Wi-Fi network will then be forgotten or deleted. At this point, restart your iPhone and then set up your Wi-Fi network as new. This allows your device to connect to the Wi-Fi network like it’s the first time.

Fourth solution: Sign out of iMessage then Sign in again.

Account-related issues can also inflict the same trouble. Fortunately, such problems can easily be remedied by signing out and back into to your account. To rule account-related errors, follow these steps to sign out of iMessage on your iPhone XR and then sign in again:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Tap the option to Send & Receive.
  4. Then tap on the Apple ID:[your Apple ID].
  5. Select Sign Out from the menu options.

Restart your iPhone then sign back into iMessage using the correct Apple ID and password.

After successfully signing back into iMessage, try creating a test iMessage to send and receive on your iPhone XR.

Fifth solution: Install new iOS updates.

Updates can also be considered a potential solution especially if the problem is attributed to some system errors and bugs. Software updates not only bring in new features but also embed fix patches that are coded to clear out bugs and malwares that might have caused system apps and services to fail. If your iPhone is connect to Wi-Fi Internet and has ample of memory/storage space, then you can install new updates wirelessly.

  • To check for new updates to download and install, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu on your iPhone XR.

An update notification will appear if a new iOS version is up for grabs. Before updating, back up all your important files for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen instructions to download and install new update on your device.

Other options

  • Reset all settings. You may resort to performing system resets if the problem continues after applying the previous workarounds. There may be some complex system errors like invalid settings that caused major errors on the phone’s wireless network features and services, including iMessage. If you wish to troubleshoot further, you can try carrying out a reset on all your iPhone settings. This reset clears all customized settings and then restores the original options and values on the phone. Any invalid configurations will therefore be eliminated. When the reset is finished, your iPhone reboots by itself and then loads the default options and values. This means you need to re-enable individual features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi so you can use them again on your phone.
  • Factory reset. If the previous reset doesn’t help, then you may opt for a full system reset instead. Your device may be experiencing fatal system errors that require a full system reset. After the reset, you will need to enable individual features and set up iMessage on your iPhone XR.

Contact Apple Support to escalate the problem and ask further assistance in performing more advanced solutions.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!