Some iPhone owners have been complaining due to iMessage not working issue that reportedly started without apparent reason. While such problem is very annoying, it’s not really a serious issue and you may be able to fix it on your own by following the procedures below. So, continue reading as this article may be able to help you.
Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that the date and time on your iPhone are correct. Network services such as calling and texting functions are carried out real-time hence, may possibly glitch if the date and time settings aren’t properly set. It’s recommended to set the date and time to automatic so that the information will be based on the time zone of your current location.
Another thing to check is your phone’s Internet connection. A stable internet connection either through Wi-Fi or cellular data is needed for iMessage to work on your iPhone. Without a stable Internet connection, you won’t be able to send iMessages. To check if your phone has Internet access, open your browser app and navigate to different websites. If all pages are loading as intended, then that means the Internet is working and therefore isn’t the cause of the problem. If you’re using cellular data for Internet, make sure that your phone has stable 3G or 4G signal. Otherwise, you’ll likely have trouble using network services including iMessage on your device.
First solution: Restart Messages app and your iPhone.
If this is the first time you encounter an error with iMessage or failed to send iMessage on your iPhone, then it could be just a random app glitch, particularly on its parent app which is the Messages app. To clear out these glitches, restarting the Messages app is recommended. That said, force quit/force close the Messages app or stop it from running on your iPhone and then open it again.
If you’re using an iPhone X or later models, follow these steps to clear out suspended apps, including Messages:
- Go to the Home screen to get started.
- Then swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then pause slightly in the middle.
- Swipe right or left to find Messages app.
- Then swipe up on the Messages app card/preview to close it.
If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier models, this is how you clear out background apps:
- Double-press the Home button to view your most recently used apps.
- Then navigate through app previews by swiping left or right.
- And to close the app, swipe up on it’s preview.
Force closing an app is recommended to fix unresponsive apps as well as those that are experiencing random crashes.
After restarting Messages app, try and see if iMessage is already working. If iMessage is still not working, restart/soft reset your iPhone. That said, turn your iPhone off for a few seconds and then turn it back on.
Performing a soft reset is usually needed to clear out minor system errors inflicted by random firmware crashes. There’s no need to back up files beforehand because this process doesn’t affect any saved information on the phone storage.
Second solution: Turn iMessage off and on.
For you to send and receive iMessage on your iPhone, the service has to be enabled first-hand. But if iMessage is already enabled but it doesn’t work as intended, try to restart or turn iMessage off and then on again. Here’s how:
- From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Tap Messages.
- Toggle the switch next to iMessage to turn the feature OFF and then back ON again.
Also care to check the phone number or email address inputted in the Send & Receive From section.
- You can view this information by going to Settings-> Messages menu, then scroll down to the Send & Receive option below. Then tap on it to view which phone number or email address is used for sending and receiving of iMessages on your phone.
If necessary, update the information using the correct phone number or email address. If the iMessage not working issue still persists after this, then move on to the next solution.
Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.
The so-called Airplane Mode trick has been proven effective in dealing with various types of problems affecting wireless services. It works by giving a quick restart on the phone’s wireless radios and thereby eliminates minor flaws. This too might be able to solve your iMessage problem. If you wish to give this tweak a try, then here’s how it’s done:
- Tap Settings from your Home screen.
- Select Airplane Mode.
- Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn ON. Doing so disables wireless radios of your phone, hence wireless functions are turned off automatically.
- While Airplane mode is enabled, restart/soft reset your iPhone.
- As soon as it boots up, go back to Settings-> Airplane mode menu.
- Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again.
- Allow your phone to reconnect to Wi-Fi or re-enable Cellular Data (if you’re using data for iMessages).
Once your internet connection is restored, try creating a sample message to send as iMessage on your iPhone. If it’s still not working, try the next applicable method.
Fourth solution: Update carrier settings on your iPhone.
Carrier updates usually contain network fixes. These updates are rolled out by your carrier or service provider and are programmed to enhance network-related services. Some carrier updates are mandatory while others are optional. Mandatory updates are automatically implemented on your device while optional updates require manual installation. To check for and install new carrier update on your iPhone, simply refer to these steps:
- From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap About.
Navigate to the Carriers section to view more information of any new carrier update for your iPhone. Once you’re all set, follow the onscreen prompts to install carrier settings update on your iPhone.
Aside from carrier settings update, also care to check if there’s a new iOS version available for your iPhone. Generally, iOS updates are pushed to get rid of bug-inflicted issues on the phone including those affecting network services like iMessage. Here’s how to check for OTA updates on your iPhone:
- Tap Settings from your Home screen.
- Tap General.
- Tap Software Update.
An update notification will be displayed on the screen if a new iOS version is up for grabs. Before updating, check and ensure that your iPhone has ample of storage space, at least 50 percent battery life, and most importantly, stable Internet access. You may also have to consider backing up some important files beforehand, for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen commands to download and install the update on your phone.
After updating, reboot your iPhone to ensure that all new system changes are properly applied. Doing so will likewise refresh the apps and system functions, thus preventing them from acting up following the recent system transition.
Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone.
If your iPhone is encountering network connectivity issues, chances are that network-related services aren’t working as intended. To make sure that this isn’t preventing iMessage from working on your iPhone, reset network settings on your iPhone. Doing so clears all your current network configurations including saved Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections, APNs, and other relevant information along with any erratic settings or invalid options. Thus, it will allow your iPhone to establish a fresh network connection. Here’s how to reset network settings on your iPhone:
- Tap Settings from the Home screen.
- Select General.
- Scroll down and tap on Reset.
- Select the option to Reset network settings.
- Type in your device passcode to continue.
- Then tap Reset settings to confirm that you want to reset the phone’s network settings to default.
After the reset your iPhone restarts automatically and then loads the default network options and values. To get back online and use online services including iMessage, you will need to set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network or enable Cellular Data on your iPhone.
Last resort: Factory reset/master reset.
If none of the previous methods is able to fix the problem and iMessage is still not working on your iPhone up to this point, performing a factory reset or master reset on your iPhone is likely needed. Your iPhone might have encountered fatal system errors that require full system reset. This however should only be considered as the last resort given the fact that it wipes out everything from your phone system including your downloaded apps, contacts information, and customized settings. On the positive note, you can set your iPhone as new and free from any sort of system error. Just be sure to back up your files beforehand so you’d be able to recover them later on. Once you’re all set, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone through settings:
- From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Tap General.
- Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
- Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
- Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
- Then tap the option to confirm that you want to erase and restore your iPhone to its factory defaults.
Wait until the reset is finished and for your iPhone to restart. After it reboots, use the start-up wizard to set your device as new.
You can also use iTunes to manually erase your iPhone and restore its factory default settings. To get this done, you will need to secure a Windows or Mac computer that has the latest version of iTunes and operating system.
Is iMessage still not working on your iPhone?
Check the iMessage server and make sure that the service isn’t down. Apple offers a real-time System status page where you can view the current status of its online services including iMessage. From this page, you can see whether or not the service is down or active. To view this page, go to the official website of Apple support and then navigate to the System Status page. Find iMessage and see if the radio button before it appears green or gray. The service is active if it’s green and down if it’s gray. While it rarely occurs to Apple’s services to experience downtimes, it can’t be avoided. Service downtimes are usually due to temporary network outages and scheduled maintenance.
To make sure that the problem isn’t attributed to any account-related issue, contact your service provider/carrier for further verification. Otherwise, contact Apple Support to escalate the problem for further assistance in fixing and restoring iMessage functions of your iPhone. In the meantime, you can continue to send messages to your contacts via normal SMS.
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!
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