How to fix iMessage that is not working on an Apple iPhone XR [Troubleshooting Guide]

If you own an Apple device, you can exclusively send messages to other iOS devices and Apple computers using Apple’s very own messaging system called iMessage. It’s a free service that doesn’t use data limits set by Telcos for normal messaging services. The messages are sent over Wi-Fi or cellular data network, thus Wi-Fi or Cellular Data must be enabled on your device.

Sending and receiving iMessages on an iPhone are now made better and simpler with the latest iOS 12 platform. However, some people are still facing random errors when using iMessage on their iPhones. Highlighted below are simple solutions and workarounds that are used to deal with iMessage problems on the new iPhone XR handset. If you own this same device and need some help with iMessage that’s not working, read on to learn how to fix it.

Now, before anything else, if you have other issues with your phone, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already provided solutions to hundreds of problems reported by our readers. Odds are that we may have already provided a solution to the problem you currently have so try to find issues that are similar with yours on that page and feel free to use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

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

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that the date and time on your iPhone XR are correct. If necessary, set your phone to use automatic date and time, based on your current time zone. Also make sure that FaceTime is disabled. If iMessage still doesn’t work or prompts an error, then try these standard solutions. Don’t forget to test iMessage after performing each method to determine if the problem is resolved. Otherwise, try other options.

First solution: Remove and reinstall your SIM card.

Some people who have problems with iMessage found remedy by reinstalling and/or replacing the SIM card. To see if this workaround gives you the same positive outcome, try reinstalling your SIM card with these steps:

  1. Turn off your iPhone XR.
  2. When it’s turned off, insert the SIM eject tool into the small hole on the SIM tray to eject it.
  3. Gently pull the tray out.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the card slot.
  5. Examine the card for any visible signs of damage. If it shows some signs of damaged, request a new SIM card replacement from your carrier.  If the SIM card looks all good, place it back into the SIM card slot. Make sure it’s properly seated.
  6. Push the SIM tray back into the phone then secure and lock it.
  7. When the tray is locked, turn your iPhone on again.

Try using iMessage again and see if it the problem is fixed. If not, then move on to the next solution.

Other people who have had trouble using iMessage managed to get permanent solutions by replacing the SIM card. Contact your service provider/carrier if this is a possible option for you too.

Second solution: Quit then restart Messages app on your iPhone XR.

If this is the first instance for iMessage to fail on your iPhone XR, then this could be just a random glitch on the Messages app. To clear this out, try these steps to restart and refresh Messages on your iPhone XR:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe your finger up and then pause.
  2. Swipe right or left to navigate through the apps preview until you find Messages.
  3. Then swipe up on the Messages app preview to close it.
  4. Restart your iPhone XR. A soft reset or force restart will do.

After your phone boots up, open Messages then test and see if iMessage is already working.

Third solution: Toggle iMessage off and then back on.

To rule out corrupted iMessage data from the underlying cause, toggling iMessage off and on again can help. It’s another way to restart and refresh iMessage services on your device. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from Home.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Toggle the iMessage switch to turn it off.
  4. Restart your iPhone XR.
  5. Go back to Settings-> Messages menu.
  6. Then toggle the iMessage switch to turn the feature back on.

Create a sample message to send and receive as iMessage and see if it works. If you’re still getting the same error, then try the next possible solution.

Fourth solution: Turn Messages in the Cloud off and on.

This workaround has also helped others when dealing with iMessage problems on their iPhones and iPads. It turned out that this has cleared out account-related issues that somehow caused conflict with iMessage and other Messages functions on the device. To see if it works wonder to you as well, try carrying out these steps:

  1. Tap on Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap to select your Apple ID profile.
  3. Select iCloud.
  4. Scroll down to the Apps Using iCloud section then tap to turn Messages off or on.

In iOS 12, this feature is turned on by default. If you don’t like it that way, then simply turn it off.

Fifth solution: Configure your iPhone XR to send and receive iMessages.

Also make sure your that your iPhone is set to send and receive iMessages. Failure to configure the details for this function would result to not being able to send or receive iMessages on your device. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Scroll to and tap Send & Receive.

Review the phone/contact number and Apple ID details. Make sure your phone number and Apple ID’s email address are present and are checked under You Can Receive iMessages To and Reply From. If necessary, update your contact information.

If you’re troubled with the merged threads, then you should learn to adapt with it because that’s among the new features and changes brought by iOS 12. All shared Apple ID Messages are therefore combined into a single conversation thread and into a single grouped notification. This means that you will only get to see the last one notification or message sent. As workaround, use separate Apple IDs instead of sharing a single Apple ID and sign up everyone into a Family Sharing account.

Other options

  • Reset network settings. Performing a network settings reset can also help get rid of network-related errors that might have caused iMessage to fail or stop working on your iPhone XR. To do so, head to Settings-> General-> Reset menu, and then select the option to Reset all settings. Be sure to reconnect to Wi-Fi internet or cellular data to use online apps and services including iMessages on your iPhone again.
  • Factory reset. This can be considered among the last options if none of the prior workarounds is able to get iMessage to work again on your iPhone XR. Note that this reset erases everything from your phone system thus creating backups is recommended. You can carry out a factory reset through iPhone XR Settings-> General-> Reset menu, and then select the option to Erase all content and settings. Or you can do the alternative method through iTunes on a computer. Before to set up your iPhone XR to send and receive iMessages again. And don’t forget to reconnect your iPhone to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data network. Most importantly, enable iMessage in Messages.

So you’ve done all the aforementioned procedures but still end up having an iMessage that is not working on your iPhone XR. If that’s the case, you should now consider escalating to your carrier or Apple Support for other recommendations. You can also ask them to check the current status of iMessage on their system as it’s also possible that the problem isn’t on your end.

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.

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