iMessage is a built-in instant messaging (IM) service in iPhone/iPad/Mac/Apple Watch. Different from text messaging (SMS) and multimedia messaging (MMS), iMessage uses network data to send messages instead of text messaging plan. SMS will automatically start working when iMessage is not working in iOS devices. So in your message app, you will see the blue bubble for the iMessages and the green bubble for SMS.
Most iPhone/iPad user, will got problem “iMessage not working” sometimes when accessing message on iOS. Don’t panic, other users have the similar problem as you do. The good news is that you can solve iMessage not working issue easily!
Generally speaking, iMessage not working problems include: iMessage not delivered; not receiving iMessage; iMessages not showing up, etc. This article summarizes 6 easy methods for you to troubleshoot and solve it.
First of all, you can check if the iMessage service is currently down on the Apple System Status page. If the server for iMessage is down or under maintenance, iMessage will not work for anyone. This may not be common, but it happens occasionally, such as the system went down in 15 February, 2017.
The available services will be listed on this page. If iMessage service doesn’t work properly, it isn’t in the list on this page. If unfortunately, something wrong happens to the iMessage service, you will have to wait until Apple solves the problem.
Note: if your can’t send iMessages to any of your contacts, it seems likely to be your problem. If you can’t send iMessages to only one contact, it could be a problem on his end. Maybe he doesn’t use iMessages.
You can also try this to check if it’s the problem on your end or not: find your friend whose iMessage works normally on his iPhone/iPad (it should not be difficult to figure out), and send him a message. If the bubble is blue, then your iMessage works fine; if the bubble is green, then your iMessage is not working, and your iPhone is sending text messages using your text messaging plan.
Make sure that you have turned on iMessage and the related settings are correctly set up in your device. The iMessage service will simply not working if it’s turned off.
Note: All the screenshots below are shown on iOS 10, but the fixes apply to other iOS versions as well.
Turn on iMessage service
1) Go to Settings > Messages on your iOS device. If iMessage is turned off, tap the button next to iMessage to turn it on. If it’s turned on already, you can skip to the next step directly.
2) Tap Send & Receive on the same page, make sure to check your phone number under START NEW CONVERSIONS FROM. If there isn’t a checkmark next to your phone number, tap on your phone number to activate iMessage for your phone number.
3) Try to send iMessages again to see if it works.
Restart iMessage service
If it doesn’t work after you turn on iMessage, you can try to restart your iMessage service. iMessage service can help you to regain the connection to the iMessage server and make it work again.
1) Go to Settings > Messages, uncheck the button next to iMessage to turn it off.
2) Press and hold the sleep/wake button, then slide the red slider to power off your device.
3) Press and hold the sleep/wake button, and wait for it to start.
4) Go to Settings > Messages, check the button next to iMessage to turn it on again.
5) Try to send iMessage again to see if it works.
Sign out iMessage and sign in again
If you can’t use iMessage after restarting iMessage service, please try signing out iMessage, and then sign in again. Signing out and in again your Apple ID can help to solve this issue as well. Follow these instructions:
1) Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive, tap your Apple ID on the top of your screen.
2) Tap Sign Out.
3) Tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage on the top of your screen, then tap Sign In to sign in your iMessage again.
4) Try your iMessage to see if it works.
iMessage needs Internet connections to work properly, including 3G, 4G or WiFi network. Issues with network connections can also cause problems with iMessage, so you need to make sure that your network connections work normally on your iPhone/iPad.
You can check your network connectivity by searching something in your browser, such as Safari on your iPhone/iPad. If you see no results, it should be a problem with your network connection.
Tips: If your network stops working suddenly, or slows down to a crawl, you can turn on Airplane Mode and turn it off to see if your network restarts to work.
Reset your network settings
Furthermore, you can also try to reset your network to factory default to solve the iMessage issue. Try the steps below:
Note: Resetting your network means that all the saved network settings will be erased, so please make sure you remember your WiFi network passwords. And you will need to enter your WiFi passwords after restarting your device.
1) Go to Settings > General > Reset.
2) Choose Reset Network Settings, then enter your Passcode to finish.
3) Try to send iMessages again to see if it works.
Tips: If you still don’t have the network connections on your iPhone/iPad, you can still send out your message as SMS by following these steps:
1) Go to Settings > Messages > Send as SMS, and make sure to turn on Send as SMS (it is usually turned on by default).
2) In your message app, press and hold the undelivered message, and choose Send as Text Message. Then you can send out your messages successfully using your text messaging plan.
Obviously it’s critical to have the correct time zone for the iMessages to work. So it’s necessary to check your Date and Time settings on your iPhone/iPad.
1) Go to Settings > General > Date & Time, then tap Set Automatically to turn it on.
3) Reboot your iPhone/iPad and try iMessage again to see if it works.
If your iOS version is too old to use, some features may stop working. In addition, Apple usually releases updates in order to fix some issues with iMessage or other features. So you can check to see if there is available iOS updates.
Note: You need to connect your device to WiFi network so that you can install the iOS update.
1) Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
2) Choose Download and Install if there is any update. And follow the instructions to update your iOS version.
3) Try iMessage again after restarting your device.
If unfortunately, none of the methods above works for your problem, you may need to contact Apple Support to look into details.
You can go to the Apple Store nearby to repair your device. Or you can get supports on Apple Support online to save your time.
These are all the troubleshooting methods to fix iMessage not working issue. What is the method that helps? If your issue still persists, share with us below and we will see what more we can do to help.