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 on your iPhone running iOS 9 or iOS 8 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 ActivationSo 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 9 or iOS 8:

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.

  • Joe P

    Have iph6 – updated to ios9 – when using groups, it only stays active for 1 person in group – must re-spectfy group & tap done to see group again, where’s previously these steps were not required – why has the Apple become so rotten?