How To Fix Apple iPad Air 3 iMessage Not Working

Apple’s built-in messaging service called iMessage allows you to send messages with photos, videos, audio files, and location. To use this service, iMessage has to be activated on your iPad Air beforehand. Your iPad Air must also be connected to the Internet either through Wi-Fi or cellular data. To avoid incurring huge charges though, better use Wi-Fi for the services on your iPad Air 3.

Both regular messages and iMessages reside in the Messages app but the difference is that regular messages are sent with a fee while iMessages are sent for free (for as long as the device is connected to the Internet). In short, iMessages require data while regular messages require account credits or text messaging plan. iMessage only works on Apple devices such as Macs, iPods, iPhones and iPads.

But there are times when iMessage won’t work as it should. So, in this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your iPad Air 3 that’s having some issues with iMessage. We will consider every possibility and rule them out one by one. If you’re one of the owners whose having this issue, continue reading as this post may be able to help you.

Troubleshooting iMessage problems on your iPad Air 3

Before troubleshooting, visit the Apple Support system status page and check if iMessage is available. If the service status shows an ongoing system issue, its status indicator appears in yellow or gray. In this case, the problem is not on your end so there’s no need to troubleshoot. All you have to do is to wait until Apple engineers resolve the issue. If everything is working fine, the status indicator appears green. With this status, iMessage should be working as intended on your iOS device but if it doesn’t, something must be preventing it from functioning. And this is what you need to rule out. Performing any of the follow procedures will help you rule out individual factors that may be stopping iMessage on your iPad Air 3. Don’t forget to test the service after performing each method to determine whether or not the problem is fixed. You may start whenever you’re all set to troubleshoot your device.

First solution: Restart Messages app

As mentioned earlier, iMessage is embedded into the built-in Messages app on your iPad Air. In other words, Messages serves as a parent app for iMessage. This means that if something goes wrong with Messages, chances are that iMessage is also not working. Thus, it’s important to start working on the parent app first. To clear out minor in-app glitches with Messages, close and restart the app with these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen and press the Home key twice to view recent applications.
  2. Swipe the Messages app preview upward to close it.
  3. Do the same to close/quit all other background apps on your iPad.
  4. After closing Messages and other background apps, tap the Home screen or press the Home key to go back to the Home screen.

Then open the Messages app and try creating a sample message to send as iMessage.

Second solution: Reboot your iPad Air (soft reset)

If restarting Messages doesn’t solve the problem, try to reboot your device then. Doing so will eliminate minor software issues that might have caused the Messages or iMessage service to experience random flaws. To soft reset/reboot your iPad Air 3, simply refer to these steps:

  1. Press and hold down the Power/Top button for a few seconds until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your device.
  3. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power/Top button until the Apple logo appears.

Allow your iPad to finish rebooting and once it’s ready, open Messages then see if iMessage is already working.

Third solution: Manage date and time settings

Other factors to consider looking into when dealing with messaging issues are the date and time settings on your iPad Air. If your device is using incorrect date and time information, chances are that network-related apps and services may not be able to work properly. And that could also affect iMessages. To make sure that this isn’t causing you this trouble, check and manage date and time settings on your iPad Air 3 with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Date & Time.
  4. Enable the option to Set Automatically.

Doing so will command iPad to get the correct time correct time over the network and updates it based on the time zone of your current location.

Fourth solution: Activate iMessage in iCloud

It is imperative to enable Messages in iCloud so it can sync messages between your Apple devices. To manage this setting on your iPad Air 3, simply follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID banner.
  3. Next, tap on iCloud.
  4. Navigate to the Apps Using iCloud section.
  5. Then toggle the Messages switch to turn it ON.

After enabling Messages in iCloud, toggle iMessages off and on with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Scroll down to iMessages then tap the switch to turn it OFF.
  4. Reboot your iPad Air.
  5. Go back to Settings-> Messages menu.
  6. Then toggle the switch to turn on iMessage again.

Wait for iMessage to enable and once it’s ready, test to see if it is already working as intended.

Fifth solution: Update iOS, carrier settings on your iPad Air

Installing updates can also help fix the problem if it’s attributed to some system bugs. Updates rolled out by Apple usually contain fix patches to address existing issues. If you haven’t set your iPad Air to auto-update, then you need to manually download and install new iOS update when available.

  • To check for iOS update on your iPad Air 3, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.

Another update that you should consider implementing is the so-called carrier settings update. These are updates that are pushed by your service provider/carrier. Like iOS updates, carrier updates not only offer new features but also embeds patches to fix network errors that caused problems to network services including iMessage.

  • To check for carrier update, go to Settings-> General-> About menu then scroll to the Carrier section.

Follow the onscreen instructions to implement available updates on your iPad Air. Once the update is finished, reboot your device to apply the recent system changes.

Sixth solution: Reset network settings

To rule out complex network errors that caused iMessage to stop working, try to reset network settings on your iPad Air 3. This will erase all your current network connections and customized network settings then restore the default network options and values. You will also be disconnected from your Wi-Fi network, so be sure to take note of your Wi-Fi password because you will need to enter that later to reconnect to Wi-Fi. Once you’re all set, proceed with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings. This will reset all your Wi-Fi, cellular, and VPN settings.
  5. If prompted, tap Reset to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your iPad Air.

Wait for your iPad to finish resetting network settings and then restarts itself. When it’s finished booting up, turn on Wi-Fi then set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network like the first time.

Seventh solution: Sign out and back into iMessage

Logging out and back into your account can also help clear out minor login flaws that might have caused iMessage to act up. Here’s how to do this on your iPad Air 3:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Message.
  3. Scroll to Send & Receive section then tap on your Apple ID.
  4. If prompted, tap Sign Out.
  5. Toggle the turn off iMessage.
  6. Reboot your iPad Air.
  7. Go back to Settings-> Messages menu.
  8. Then tap the switch to turn iMessage back ON.

Once iMessage is reactivated, create a sample message to send and receive as iMessage on your iPad Air 3 and see if things are working fine already.

Still couldn’t get iMessage to work on your iPad Air 3

Contact your network service provider/carrier for further assistance and to make sure that your account is provisioned for iMessage services. Also ensure that there no ongoing outages that could possibly affect network services. Or you may also escalate the problem to Apple Support so that they can verify the current status of the services straight from the system logs.

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