For a lot of users – including us here at iGB – iMessage often goes berserk and doesn’t work at all. With a limited text plan, that’s kind of really frustrating. iMessage alternatives like WhatsApp are great but some of our friends use only iMessage and it gets quite irritating if you’re unable to send an iMessage.

The quirky thing about iMessage not working is that you can’t fix a particular reason to it. We have tried plenty of solutions – some work, some don’t and it’s all so random that we really don’t know what fixes the issue precisely.

iMessage Waiting For Activation

So we’ve listed everything that we try whenever something goes wrong with iMessage. Note that sometimes, it’s Apple’s servers that cause the issue, sometimes the other person is not on iMessage at all and sometimes, things aren’t configured properly.

Here are possible fixes, if iMessage is not working on iPhone running iOS 8 or iOS 7:

1. Check Network Settings / Wi-Fi Proxies

iMessage works on the network (3G/Wi-Fi). Occasionally, iMessage doesn’t work even if there is an active connection but it’s weak. For Wi-fi, make sure you’re closer to the source/router and if you are on 3G and the thing ain’t working, try restarting the cellular connections.

Also, make sure proxies don’t hinder the network flow.

Less than a handful of people face iMessage issues due to network problems so in all cases, this isn’t your problem. Jump to the next one.

2. Turn OFF and then Turn ON Again

  • Head over to Settings Messages and turn OFF iMessage if it’s switched ON already.
  • Switch it ON back again and wait for the activation to finish. Make sure there’s an active network.
  • Wait for a while and then send an iMessage to someone using an iPhone with an active network. Make sure you send the message only to an iMessage-user.
  • Should this not work, you might have to sign out of Apple ID (go to Send & Receive) and then re-sign in again. Repeat the turn OFF-ON after this.

3. Send & Receive Options

In many cases, it’s the problem with these options.

Step 1: Go to Settings Messages Send & Receive
Step 2: You should see your number and an associated Apple ID listed in this list. You can configure this list.
Step 3: You’ll have to try a variety of methods to get iMessage working again. These would include:

  • Removing the email ID and using only the Phone number
  • selecting either email or iPhone to test if iMessage works with any of these
  • select an email AND a phone number. After this, you’ll see another section “Start New Conversion from:” – select your phone number for this.

One user on the Support forums noted that deleting old texts got iMessage working again. Strange, yes, but sometimes stuff like this works. Another user did a restore (and set up the iPhone as NEW) and iMessage worked just fine.

A reader, Wayne, has also noted that you’ll have to set the date to auto-updates. This has fixed the issues surrounding iMessage (and FaceTime, too). In order to do this, go to Settings -> General Date & Time and toggle the switch on Set Automatically to ON.


  1. Could this be due to “throttling?” As in the case for me, I still have an unlimited data plan from AT&T, and I notice every once in a while my iMessages will not work, either on 3G or wifi. At&T “throttles” a consumers (with the unlimited data plan) data bandwith after so many gigs have been used in a billing cycyle, in result the remainder of that particular billing cycle a consumer using there iPhone would notice reduced DL and UL speeds, buffering of videos from Netflix, YouTube, etc. Could this “throttle” also affect the iMessage?

  2. Thanks, i had same problem like my imessage was not working but when i unchecked my apple id and used only my network number instead it start working!

  3. iMessages were working on my iPad but not my iPhone. All I did was turn my phone off and then on again. That seemed to clear up the problem.

  4. I think there is something wrong with iMessage servers and they haven’t caught on to it yet. Me, my husband, my cousins, and my aunt all have iMessage and use it quite frequently. None of us ever had an issue. Then on Sept 28, we started getting spotty service with iMessage. I couldn’t send out. I wouldn’t get messages and my aunt wouldn’t get messages from my cousin (not just me as the center of the problem haha). We aren’t even on the same cell provider yet everything worked fine until that Sat.

    I just tried unlinking my email, turning phone off and then back on. Now iMessage works again. However, it was working intermittently by itself (Sunday it worked just fine without me doing anything). I’m glad you have the various fixes that have worked, as this whole thing was driving me nutty. It was disrupting communications in my family haha.

  5. My iMessage isn’t working ever since my mom got her iPad but it works on every body’s else works it’s says that my Apple ID is wrong but I know for a fact that’s it’s right

  6. Nothing has worked for me , mine stopped working on sept 28 , will not activate iMessage or FaceTime . No phone number listed , not showing start conversations with . Will not let me send any iPhone text messages if I turn iMessage off so I have to have it waiting for activation , then after about 24 hours it will say unable to activate . And I start the process of activation all over again. So done with this phone !