How To Fix iMessage Waiting For Activation Error on iPhone

The ‘iMessage waiting for activation’ error on your Apple iPhone could be just a result of a minor problem with the app you use or a sign of a firmware problem. Things like this can happen anytime and all you can do about it is troubleshoot your device to learn more about the problem and hopefully fix it.

This post highlights possible solutions to iMessage waiting for activation error. We will try to consider every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can figure out what the issue really is. Read on to learn what to do if you encounter the same error when trying to activate iMessage on your iPhone.

Things needed to start using iMessage on your iPhone

Apple’s very own instant messaging service, iMessage allows you to send text, photo, video, audio, and other files to anyone else using iMessage on other Apple devices. Unlike standard SMS messaging, iMessage does not cost you anything to use it. All it needs is your data connection as messages are sent via Wi-Fi or cellular data.

Here are the basic requirements to start using iMessage on your iOS device:

  1. Internet connection. A stable Internet access is one of the key requisites for iMessage to work on your iPhone. Thus check and ensure that your iPhone has it. Otherwise, you will need to deal with Internet connectivity issues first.
  2. Correct date and time. Also ensure that your iPhone’s date and time are correct. If you haven’t already, set the date and time to automatic. Just head over to Settings-> General-> Date & Time menu and then select the option to Set Automatically. With this setting, your device will utilize the date and time information based on your current location timezone.
  3. Server availability. It is also imperative to check the current status of the Apple server, particularly for iMessage. Simply visit the official website of Apple and then navigate to the system status page. On this page, you will see a list of all Apple services including iMessage along with their respective status indicator in a form of a radio button before each of them. If the radio button appears green, it means that the service is currently up and available. If it’s gray, it means that the service is currently down and unavailable. If the status indicator for iMessage appears gray, then there’s not much can be done on your end but to wait until Apple engineers are done fixing whatever problems affecting the iMessage server. Apparently, there is no problem on your iPhone and so you don’t need to troubleshoot. But if the iMessage status is green or available but couldn’t get to activate on your iPhone, then that’s when you should rule out software-related factors on your device.
  4. Credits/account balance. Verify and ensure that you have sufficient credits or balance in your phone carrier. Some people who have had trouble activating iMessage later found that a top-up is still needed. For more details on this, contact your carrier.

To get started using iMessage, you need to set it up on your device. In order to do this, you will need a valid Apple ID that will be link to your iMessage account. Once you have that information ready, go to Settings-> Messages and turn on the iMessage switch to activate the feature. In normal circumstance, iMessage should already be working as intended after enabling it. But if you’re not lucky, you’ll be prompted with some errors including the iMessage waiting for activation. If that happens, then you can utilize the following solutions to correct the error.

Possible solutions to iMessage waiting for activation error

Time Needed : 15 minutes

After performing each of the following procedures, head back to Messages settings then retry activating iMessage and see if the problem is fixed.

  1. Turn Wi-Fi off and on then soft reset your device

    Minor internet problems may be the main reason as to why you’re getting the iMessage waiting for activation error while attempting to set up the service. To clear out such random issues, turn off Wi-Fi for a few seconds and then turn it on again. It’s like refreshing your Internet connection, thereby eliminating random Internet flaws. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHere’s how it’s done: From the Home screen, tap u003cstrongu003eSettingsu003c/strongu003e u003e u003cstrongu003eWi-Fiu003c/strongu003e. Then toggle the u003cstrongu003eWi-Fi switchu003c/strongu003e to turn the feature off and then back on again. u003cbru003eu003cimg src=u0022 alt=u0022iMessage Waiting For Activation Erroru0022 key=u002247953u0022/u003e

  2. Disable iMessage and enable again.

    Sometimes, the error can occur among other random in-app flaws with the built-in Messages app or iMessage itself. To rectify such flaws, turn iMessage off for a few seconds and then turn it back on again. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHere’s how:u003cbru003e1. From the Home screen, tap u003cstrongu003eSettings.u003c/strongu003eu003cbru003e2. Tap u003cstrongu003eMessagesu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e3. Select u003cstrongu003eiMessage u003c/strongu003ethen toggle the switch to turn it u003cstrongu003eOFF.u003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e4. Restart your iPhone (soft reset).u003cbru003e5. Go back to u003cstrongu003eSettings-u003e Messages-u003e iMessageu003c/strongu003e menu.u003cbru003e6. Then toggle the switch to turn iMessage u003cstrongu003eONu003c/strongu003e. u003cbru003eu003cimg src=u0022 alt=u0022iMessage Waiting For Activation Erroru0022 key=u002247954u0022/u003e

  3. Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

    Another simple solution to random issues affecting wireless network services including iMessage is the so-called Airplane mode trick. It’s been among the widely used tweaks to deal with wireless connection errors on an iPhone. Performing this trick might be able to solve the iMessage activation error you’re dealing with. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf you wish to try it, then here’s how it works:u003cbru003e1. Tap u003cstrongu003eSettings u003c/strongu003efrom the Home screen.u003cbru003e2. Select u003cstrongu003eAirplane Mode.u003c/strongu003eu003cbru003e3. Toggle the u003cstrongu003eAirplane Mode switchu003c/strongu003e to turn it u003cstrongu003eONu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e4. While it’s turned on, reboot your iPhone.u003cbru003e5. Go back to u003cstrongu003eSettings-u003e Airplane Modeu003c/strongu003e menu.u003cbru003e6. Then tap the switch to turn u003cstrongu003eAirplane Mode OFFu003c/strongu003e again. u003cbru003eu003cimg src=u0022 alt=u0022iMessage Waiting For Activation Erroru0022 key=u002247956u0022/u003e

  4. Update carrier settings or iOS to the latest version available.

    Updates can also be considered solutions to software-related errors on an iPhone. In this case, the updates you can try utilizing are carrier settings and iOS updates. Carrier settings update are pushed by your carrier to enhance and optimize network services on your device. They are also used to address network-related errors including iMessage. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eConsidering that your iPhone can connect to the Internet, follow these steps to install new carrier updates:u003cbru003e1. From the Home screen, tap u003cstrongu003eSettingsu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e2. Select u003cstrongu003eGeneralu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e3. Tap u003cstrongu003eAboutu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e4. Scroll to the u003cstrongu003eCarrier u003c/strongu003esection and then see if there’s a new carrier update notification. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eInstalling the latest iOS version available for your iPhone may also be considered among the possible solutions as updates usually contain bug fixes. If the error is attributed to some sort of system bugs, then an iOS update will likely be able to address it. If your iPhone has stable Internet access, then you can update its software via over-the-air or wirelessly. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHere’s how to check for an iOS update on your iPhone:u003cbru003e1. Tap u003cstrongu003eSettings u003c/strongu003efrom Home.u003cbru003e2. Tap u003cstrongu003eGeneralu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e3. Tap u003cstrongu003eSoftware Update.u003c/strongu003e u003cbru003eu003cbru003e An notification will show up if a new iOS version is available for your iPhone. Read and review the message to learn what the update offers and its system requirements. Once you’re all set, follow the onscreen instructions to start downloading and installing the update on your phone.u003cbru003eReboot your device after updating to apply the recent system changes. Then try to activate iMessage and see if it goes through already. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eu003cimg key=u002247962u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022iMessage Waiting For Activation Erroru0022u003e

  5. Sign out of iMessage then sign in again.

    Account-related issues may also be the underlying cause of the problem. Often times, problems like this occur as minor glitch and therefore, can easily be remedied by signing out and back into iMessage. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSo here’s what you should try doing next:u003cbru003e1. Go to the Home screen to get started.u003cbru003e2. Next, tap on u003cstrongu003eSettingsu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e3. Tap u003cstrongu003eMessagesu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e4. Scroll down to the u003cstrongu003eSend u0026amp; Receive u003c/strongu003esection.u003cbru003e5. Then tap on your Apple ID.u003cbru003e6. Select the option to u003cstrongu003eSign Out.u003c/strongu003eu003cbru003e7. Then turn off iMessage. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eWhile iMessage is turned off, soft reset/restart your iPhone.u003cbru003eWhen your iPhone is finished rebooting, go back to u003cstrongu003eSettings-u003e Messages-u003e u003c/strongu003ethen turn on iMessage again.u003cbru003eIf you’re still prompted with the iMessage waiting for activation error, then you may have to consider doing resets at this point.u003cbru003eu003cbru003e u003cimg src=u0022 alt=u0022iMessage Waiting For Activation Erroru0022 key=u002247964u0022/u003e

  6. Reset network settings on your iPhone.

    Network errors that could not be rectified by the previous network solutions usually require resets. At this point, the next possible solution to try is a network settings reset on your phone. This erases all your current network configurations and server settings on the phone. Any errors affecting network functions including iMessage will also be cleared out in the process. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHere’s how it’s done:u003cbru003e1. Tap u003cstrongu003eSettings u003c/strongu003efrom your Home screen.u003cbru003e2. Tap u003cstrongu003eGeneralu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e3. Scroll down and tap u003cstrongu003eResetu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e4. Choose the option to u003cstrongu003eReset network settings.u003c/strongu003eu003cbru003e5. Enter your passcode when asked to continue.u003cbru003e6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your phone.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe phone should restart when the reset is finished and then loads up the default network configuration. To get back online and use online apps and services, you will need to set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. u003cimg key=u002247965u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022iMessage Waiting For Activation Erroru0022u003e

  7. Factory Reset or restore your iPhone.

    The last option to consider if the iMessage waiting for activation error continues is a factory reset or iOS restore on your iPhone. This reset erases everything from your device including saved data and personal information. That said, creating backups beforehand is recommended. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eComplex system errors that caused persistent errors are likewise eliminated in the process, thus giving your phone a clean fresh start. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eA faster way to factory reset an iPhone is through settings, with these steps:u003cbru003e1. From the Home screen, tap on u003cstrongu003eSettingsu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e2. Tap u003cstrongu003eGeneralu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e3. Scroll down and tap u003cstrongu003eResetu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003e4. Select the option to u003cstrongu003eErase all content and settings.u003c/strongu003eu003cbru003e5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.u003cbru003e6. Then confirm full system reset.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eYou can also use iTunes to restore your iPhone from a previous iOS backup. This can be deemed as the last resort if the iMessage waiting for activation error was triggered by an iOS update and that it persisted. To get started, you will need to secure a Windows or MAc computer that has the latest version of iTunes app installed. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eOnce everything is set, proceed with these steps:u003cbru003e1. Launch the iTunes app on your computer.u003cbru003e2. While iTunes is running, connect your iPhone to the computer using the Apple-supplied cable or Lightning cable that came with it.u003cbru003e3. If prompted to enter your device passcode or u003cstrongu003eTrust This Computeru003c/strongu003e, simply follow the onscreen instructions to proceed.u003cbru003e4. Select your u003cstrongu003eiPhone u003c/strongu003ewhen it shows up in iTunes.u003cbru003e5. Navigate to the u003cstrongu003eSummary u003c/strongu003esection.u003cbru003e6. To back up files before restoring, just click the u003cstrongu003eBack Up iPhone u003c/strongu003ebutton.u003cbru003e7. Then click the button to u003cstrongu003eRestore [iPhone].u003c/strongu003eu003cbru003e8. Finally, if prompted with a warning message, click the u003cstrongu003eRestore u003c/strongu003ebutton to confirm.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAllow your device to finish restoring and then disconnect it from the computer. u003cbru003eu003cimg src=u0022 alt=u0022iMessage Waiting For Activation Erroru0022 key=u002247968u0022/u003e

  • iOS 13.3
  • iPhone

If you’re still getting the same iMessage waiting for activation error, after exhausting all possible solutions, contact your carrier to escalate the problem and request further assistance in activating iMessage on your device. Just let them know exactly of what you’ve done so far in an attempt to solve the problem on your end. Alternatively, you may opt to report the issue straight to Apple Support so that they can double-check the current status of iMessage on their end.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the iMessage waiting for activation error on your Apple iPhone. 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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