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How to Fix the Most Common iMessage Problems

Multiple factors can be the culprit if you suddenly can’t receive or send iMessages. Apple offers free, encrypted and unlimited messaging through its own service. A major difference to services such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is that iMessage texting is limited to Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. This is a tutorial on how to fix iMessage issues, or problems with the Messages app on iPhone.

Finding the root of your iMessage problem

The first thing to look out for, is whether your wireless internet or cellular data connection is working. Is your WiFi enabled? Are you in Airplane mode? Open up your “Safari” app and load up a bunch of fresh webpages to see whether you are connected to the internet. An internet connection is a prerequisite to texting with iMessage. If your browser isn’t working properly, you are most likely experiencing connection problems that are unrelated to iMessage.

How to check if iMessage is down for everyone

Apple is a very reliable vendor and supplier of internet services. Once in a while, however, there is unexpected downtime and/or maintenance work that leaves you with temporary issues. You can check whether Apple is currently maintaining the system or having some other sort of problem by visiting the Apple Services, Store, and iCloud page – or simply System Status Page (external link).

Most of the time, all of the services will show a green status icon for “operational”. The detailed timeline at the bottom of the status page displays any reported problems and their duration. If iMessage is among the listed issues, your best bet is to wait until Apple resolves the issue on their side.

Apple System Status

Method 1: Rebooting your iPhone

A simple reboot fixes many software problems and temporary hardware glitches. Before you try any complicated fixes for iMessage, go ahead and fully restart your iPhone. We have a guide that explains how to hard reset your device. Here’s a quick description in case you are in a hurry: Press and hold both the Home Button and Power Button on your iPhone until you see the Apple logo. Check if iMessage is delivering your text messages after the restart.

Method 2: Turning off iMessage on every device, then re-enabling it

Some users find it helpful to disable iMessage on all of their iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macs within the settings of iOS and Mac OS X. After re-enabling it on all devices, iMessage tends to fix itself and start working again. This fix is especially relevant if you own multiple Apple products that are connected to the same Apple ID.

Settings > Messages > iMessage (disable)

Open up your “Settings” app and navigate to the “Messages” section, then disable the switch titled “iMessage”. Do this for all of your devices. If you own a Mac, keep reading.

disable iMessage on iPhone

MacBook or iMac: Messages > Settings > Accounts > Enable this Account (disable)

On Mac OS X, open your “Messages” app and enter the settings panel via the menu bar. Click on the “Accounts” icon and make sure your iMessage account is selected on the left hand side. Remove the checkmark from the “Enable this Account” checkbox. Wait a short while, then re-enable iMessage on all of your devices.

disable iMessage on Mac


Method 3: Check your Date & Time settings

Settings > General > Date & Time

Many system services in iOS and Mac OS X presuppose that your time and date settings are correct. Otherwise you might encounter strange behavior, iMessage is affected by this too. Double-check your time zone. Make sure that your iPhone is allowed to automatically set the date & time, as this will result in the most precise setting. See the below screenshot for reference:

Date and Time SettingsMethod 4: Reset Network Settings

Settings > General > Reset > Network Settings

Another common culprit that leads to iMessage issues are the so-called network settings. These consist of stored information about your WiFi logins and other network-related data. By resetting this area of your iOS directly on the iPhone, we can rule out the possibility that something in there is causing your iMessage trouble.

Go to the “General” section of your “Settings” app and look for “Reset”, then pick the “Network Settings”. Note that this will delete all stored passwords for wireless networks, which you will have to re-enter afterwards. Keeping them handy beforehand is a smart thing to do.

Reset Network Settings iPhone