Some owners of the Apple iPhone XS have been complaining because Messages stopped working all of the sudden after they’ve updated their devices to iOS 12.2. On March 25, Apple rolled out the latest iOS update for iPhone 5s and later iPhones and iPad devices. The update is pushed to address a denial of service issue inflicted by processing a maliciously crafted vcf file or string, which eventually led to issues with Contacts, CoreCrypto, Exchange ActiveSync, FaceTime, Feedback Assistant, and other iOS services.
Originally, the update is designed to bring in new system enhancements to the receiving devices but due to some factors, minor troubles may also emerge. That said, there is a tendency for some devices to experience some post-update problems following the iOS 12.2 implementation.
In case you’ve upgraded your iPhone XS to iOS 12.2 and ended up with Messages errors and sudden malfunctions, I’ve lined up some applicable workarounds and potential solutions for you to try on. Read further to learn what to do if your iPhone XS Messages app stopped working after iOS 12.2. Update installation.
Why Messages stopped working after iOS update
Aside from post-update bugs, there are also other factors that must be considered looking into when dealing with Messages issues on your iPhone XS. And these would include incorrect settings, misconfigured messaging options, in-app glitches, network-related issues as well as corrupted SIM card. In some cases, account-related issues are the underlying causes. Generally, these are software-related and therefore can be resolved at home by some workarounds.
Before troubleshooting the problem, check and ensure that your iPhone is getting a stable network connection for both cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Also check and make sure that the date and time settings are properly configured. If necessary, use automatic date and time settings to use date and time information based on your current location’s time zone. If the problem is only on message sending, then you might as well consider checking your account status. Outgoing services are usually affected by account-related issues. You can contact your network service provider to verify your account status and services.
First solution: Clear out Messages app then restart your iPhone
If you’ve used or opened Messages before or during the update installation, there is a tendency that the app had crashed and is no longer working. In that case, restarting the app will solve the problem. Here’s how it’s done:
- Swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen and then pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
- Then swipe right or left to navigate through the app previews.
- Swipe up on the Messages app card/preview to close it.
If multiple apps are opened and left suspended in the background, quit them all using the same method then perform a soft reset or restart your iPhone XS with these steps:
- Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
- Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
- After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the iPhone reboots.
Allow your phone to finish restarting. Once it boots up, launch the Messages app again and see if it’s already working as intended.
Performing a soft reset is the simplest way to get rid of minor software errors that caused certain apps and services to suddenly act or completely malfunction. Minor iOS update errors are likewise rectified by this method.
Second solution: Install pending app updates
Rogue apps can also cause other apps including Messages to act up. Often times, apps that would go rogue from an iOS update are those that aren’t updated. Hence, it’s highly recommended to keep apps up-to-date. If you haven’t set your apps to auto-update, chances are that you’ve missed to install some critical app updates. In that case, manually installing pending app updates on your iPhone XS can possibly solve the problem. To do so, simply refer to these steps:
- Tap to open the App Store from the Home screen.
- Scroll down then tap the Updates tab. A list of apps with pending updates will then show up on the following screen.
- Tap the Update button next to the name of each app to update individual apps.
- If multiple app updates are available, tap the Update All button on the upper right.
- Wait until all your apps are finished updating. Once finished, restart your iPhone to apply the recent changes and to refresh apps and system memory.
Then retry loading Messages and see if the problem is gone. If Messages stopped working due to compatibility issues, then this procedure should fix it.
Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off
Network-related errors can also affect the phone’s messaging function. If the recent update had caused problems to network services particularly messaging, then performing the Airplane mode trick may be able to help. This clears out random problems affecting wireless services and a lot of people have used it as temporary, if not ultimate remedy. Here’s how it works:
- Navigate to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
- Toggle the Airplane mode switch to turn the feature ON. Doing so turns off all wireless features and functions of your iPhone XS.
- Restart/soft reset your iPhone while Airplane mode is enabled.
- When the iPhone reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane mode menu then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again. Wireless radios and relevant functions are likewise reactivated on your device.
Wait for your iPhone to re-establish wireless network connections and once it’s connected, retry loading Messages and see how it works. If Messages stopped working due to network-related problems, it should already be working now. If not, then try the next procedure.
Fourth solution: Enable SMS, MMS and Group Messaging options
The update might have turned off some of your previous settings including SMS, MMS and Group Messaging. If any of these options is disabled, then the service won’t be able to function. To rule this out, check your iPhone settings and make sure all these options are still enabled. If they’re already enabled, toggle them OFF and back ON to refresh. Here’s how:
- From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Tap on Messages .
- Turn on the switch next to Send as SMS and MMS Messaging respectively.
- Also make sure that Group Messaging is enabled for group messages to work as intended on your device.
Try and see if that solves the problem. If not, then proceed to the next method.
Fifth solution: Reset network settings
Network settings errors caused by the recent update may be the underlying cause of the problem. To clear this out, you can perform a network settings reset on your iPhone XS to erase your current network settings and to restore the default network values and options. Any erratic configuration will likewise be deleted. Here’s how it’s done:
- From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Select General.
- Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
- Select the option to Reset network settings.
- If prompted, enter your passcode then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm network settings reset.
After the reset, your device should reboot by itself. As soon as it boots up, set up your Wi-Fi networks and reconnect your device to reactivate network services.
Sixth solution: Turn Messages off and on in iCloud
Another tweak that can help fix problems with Messages functions is by toggling Messages off and on in your iCloud settings. It’s another way of restarting iCloud related services, particularly Messages. If you wish to try this, then simply refer to these steps:
- Tap on Settings, from your Home screen.
- Select your Apple ID Profile on the upper side of the screen.
- Tap on iCloud.
- Navigate to apps using iCloud section then select Messages.
- Toggle the switch next to Messages OFF and then back ON again.
See if that solves the problem with your iPhone XS Messages app.
Seventh solution: Reinstall your SIM card
Some updates caused the SIM card system to become corrupted and stopped working. In this case, reinstalling the SIM card on your iPhone XS can potentially solve the problem. By reinstalling means that you will remove the SIM card from your device and then place it back. Before you remove the SIM card, be sure to power off your device to prevent damaging the SIM card or device itself. Then proceed to these steps:
- While your phone is turned off, insert the SIM ejector into the provided hole on the SIM tray.
- Gently push the ejector tool until the tray pops out.
- Pull the tray out from the phone then remove the SIM card.
- Check the SIM card for any visible signs of damage like liquid traces and scratches.
- If everything looks good, place the SIM card back into the slot. Be sure to position the SIM card in the same orientation before it was removed.
- When the SIM card is secured, push the tray back into the phone.
- Lock the tray in place and then turn your iPhone back on.
If you’re having trouble with iMessages, continue with these workarounds:
Eighth solution: Toggle iMessage OFF and ON again
If the problem only occurs to iMessages, then it’s likely due to some random glitches and post-update errors to iMessage. In this case, turning iMessage off and on can help fix it. Here’s how it’s done:
- From the Home screen, tap Settings.
- Select Messages.
- Tap iMessage.
- Toggle the switch next to iMessage to turn the feature OFF and then ON again.
Restart the messaging app then see if that fixes the problem. If Messages stopped working due to iMessage, then this should address that.
Ninth solution: Set and manage your phone number and Apple ID email address
As mentioned earlier, some settings are automatically overridden after an iOS update. To make sure that your phone is still set to receive and send iMessages with the correct number, follow these steps to review the Send & Receive details:
- Tap Settings, from your Home screen.
- Select Messages.
- Tap on Send & Receive.
- Make sure that your phone number and Apple ID email address is set and selected under “You can receive iMessages to and reply from” section. If it isn’t checked, then tap to check it.
After making necessary changes, restart the messaging app and try creating a sample message to send and receive to your own number as iMessage.
Tenth solution: Modify DNS settings (optional)
Other people who have dealt with the same iMessage problem following an iOS update were able to solve it by modifying the DNS settings on their iPhone. If you wish to give it a shot, then here’s how it’s done:
- Tap Settings from the Home screen.
- Tap Wi-Fi.
- Find your wireless (Wi-Fi) connection then tap on the information (i) icon next to it.
- Then select the DHCP tab.
- Tap on the DNS tab and then enter 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 into the provided field.
This is Google’s public DNS, which is deemed to be more secure and faster than that of your ISP’s.
If none of the aforementioned procedures worked and your iPhone XS Messages is still not working as intended, then you may have to consider resorting to iOS restore. The problem could be due to a complex system error, which has likely corrupted the phone’s messaging system. To correct such post-update errors, performing a recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore is usually needed. Should you wish to proceed, back up all your important files and contents beforehand as they will also be wiped out in the process. You can back up your files to iCloud or to iTunes on a computer. Once your backup files are secured, you can proceed with a recovery or DFU mode restore.
A step-by-step guide on how to perform a recovery mode restore and DFU mode restore on the iPhone XS can be found on this site’s tutorials section. Just visit the iPhone XS troubleshooting page for more information.
Still couldn’t get Messages to work on your iPhone XS
Using iTunes alternatives can also be considered among the last resort if none of the above procedures is able to fix your iPhone XS Messages application. Like iTunes, you can use these alternative tools to repair a corrupted iOS and/or built-in applications from the recent iOS update implementation.
Or you can also escalate the problem to your carrier or directly contact Apple Support to report the issue for official recommendations. Reporting a post-update issue is the initial step towards obtaining the required fix patch. By doing so, Apple will be notified that a certain problem exist and therefore make further assessments on their end. If found and confirmed to be an iOS bug, then that’s when they’d decide to create a fix patch.
I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix Messages stopped working issue on your Apple iPhone XS. 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!