iMessage Not Working in iOS 11, 10, 9, or 8 on iPhone [How to Fix]

If iMessage is not working on your iPhone running iOS 11, iOS 10, 9, or 8, give these simple tricks a chance to troubleshoot the issue and let you enjoy messaging all over again.

Is iMessage not working on your iPhone in iOS 11, iOS 10, iOS 9 or iOS 8? Don’t stress out as it’s the sort of issue that many of us have encountered from time to time. Try out these viable solutions to fix the problem.

So, what could be the reason behind “iMessage not working on iPhone issue?” Well, it could be due to various reasons like wrongly configured settings, the carrier may not be supporting the message you are trying to send, poor internet connection, etc. Let’s dive right in with me to check out the tricks that can troubleshoot the issue!

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iMessage Not Working

iMessage is not working on iPhone in iOS 11, iOS 10, 9 or 8

Quick Tips

Delete old conversation: One user on the Support forum 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.

Set Date & Time Automatically: A reader, Wayne, has noted that setting the date to auto-updates fixes this issue. To do so, open Settings → General → Date & Time and toggle the switch on Set Automatically to ON.

If above tips have failed to get your job done, try out the following solutions.

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Solution #1. Check Internet Connection

First off, you must ensure you have a proper internet connection on your iOS device. iMessage may not work if there is poor Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

Turn ON/OFF Airplane Mode

On some occasions, you may be able to fix the network issue by just turning on/off Airplane Mode. Simply swipe up from the bottom of your device to access Control Center and then tap on Airplane Mode button.

Enable Airplane Mode on iPhone

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On your iPhone X, you need to swipe down from the top right corner and then tap on Airplane Mode button to turn it on. Wait for sometime and then turn it off.

Use Airplane Mode on iPhone X

Turn OFF/ON Wi-Fi/Cellular

Go to Setting → Wi-Fi/Cellular → Turn off the switch. Now, restart your iPhone.

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Just press and hold the sleep/wake button and then swipe to power off. Then, press and hold on the sleep/wake button to turn on your device.

On your iPhone X, you need to press and hold the side button and volume up/down button at once. Then, swipe to power off. Next, press and hold the side button again to turn on your device.

Once your device has restarted, turn on Wi-Fi/Cellular and try to send iMessage again.

Forget the Wi-Fi Network and Reconnect Your Device to It

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If you are using Wi-Fi, forget the network and reconnect your device to it.

Step #1. Open Settings app → Wi-Fi.

Step #2. Tap on the “i” button next to the network.

Step #3. Tap on Forget This Network and tap on Forget in the popup to confirm.

Forget Wi-Fi Network on iPhone in iOS 11

Reset Network Settings

Haven’t got the fix as yet? Try resetting the network settings on your device. It would wipe out the Wi-Fi passwords and login details.

Tap on Settings → General → Reset → Reset Network Settings.

Reset Network Settings in iOS 10 on iPhone

Solution #2. Turn OFF iMessages and then Turn ON Again

  • Head over to Settings Messages and turn OFF iMessage if it’s switched ON already.

Tap on Settings Then Messages on iPhoneTurn Off iMessage on iPhone

Then, force reboot your iPhone. To do so, press and hold the Home and sleep/wake buttons at once until Apple logo shows up on the screen.

On your iPhone X, you need to press and release volume down button, then press and release volume up button. Next, press and hold the side button until you see Apple logo appears on the screen.

Next, turn on iMessage and wait for the activation to finish. Wait for a while and then send an iMessage to someone. If it has started working again, it’s wonderful. If it hasn’t, move on to the next solution.

Solution #3: Sign Out of Apple ID and Sign Back In

Try signing out of Apple ID and then signing back in. It has done the trick for some users. So, don’t miss out on this one as well.

Step #1. Open Settings → Messages → Send & Receive.

Step #2. Tap on your Apple ID and tap on Sign Out.

Step #3. Next, quit Settings app. Wait for some time and then sign in to your Apple ID again.

Solution #4: Does Your Carrier Support the Type of Message You are Trying to Send

Make sure that your carrier supports the type of message you want to send. As for instance, some carriers may not support MMS. Also, if you are trying to send MMS, make sure you have enabled it. To do so, go to Settings → Messages → MMS.

Solution#5. Make Sure to Set your Phone Number to Send and Receive Message

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

Step #1. Go to Settings Messages Send & Receive.

Tap on Send and Receive from Message Settings on iPhone

Step #2. You should see your number and an associated Apple ID listed in this list. You can configure this list.

Apple ID And Phone Number Associated with iMessage

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.

Solution #6. Update iOS on your iPhone

The old version of iOS might be the culprit behind this mess. Many a time I have successfully fixed annoying issues like an autocorrect bug, the camera focus issue just by updating my device. Hence, I’d suggest you give this solution a chance as well.

Open Settings → General → Software Update. If there is an update on waiting, tap on Download and Install.

Update iOS 11.2 on iPhone

Solution #7: Restore Your Device and Set It Up as New

I don’t think you may have to travel so long to find the solution to this problem. But just in case, it hasn’t been resolved even after trying out all the aforementioned tricks, restore your iPhone using iTunes and then set it up as new. Before going for the kill, don’t fail to back up your device.

Simply connect your iPhone to your computer>fire up iTunes and hit the Restore button.

Restore iPhone X, 8 Plus or iPhone 8 from iTunes

The Bottom Line

The above-mentioned solutions have worked for many users—including me. Hence, I’m sure they will click for you as well.

Found this guide helpful? Do let us know that in the comments below.

You might want to check out: iPhone contacts disappeared, how to get back lost iCloud contacts on iPhone, and Bluetooth not working on iOS 10.

To easily access such helpful posts, download our iOS app and stay connected with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Dhvanesh Adhiyahttps://www.igeeksblog.com
Dhvanesh Adhiya is our editor-in-chief and reviewer who takes care of iGeeksBlog.com. He is passionate for wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.

73 COMMENTS

  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. I go into Settings > iCloud and I reenter my password. It will say “verifying” and then a check mark will appear next to my ID. That seems to fix the problem every time so far.

  7. I had the same problem and nothing was fixing it. I was about to do a factory reset but I decided to delete WhatsApp and Facebook messenger apps. Did that, reset the phone and it worked. Then I reinstall the apps and it still works.

    • Thanks for this tip. I was about to throw my iPhone through the wall!!!! I deleted the Facebook Messenger then restarted my iPhone and it asked for my AppleID and worked like a charm. #Savedmysanity

  8. iMessages will only come through on my macbook, and send only from e-mail on my phone but not from my phone number. I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of. Airplane mode, restarting, wifi, resets, deleting apps, I installed the new software update 8.1.1 and nothing has worked.

    I’m about ready to toss this thing in a wood chipper.

  9. My iphone5s won’t iMessage with iPhone 4s. It’s running on ios7.1.1. Will upgrading it to ios8 help? Thanks

  10. this morning i was goig to sed my dad a message on imessage. it did not go threw. facetime does not work.i can sign into my imessage on my old ipod and it works fine. its just on my ipod 5? what do i have to do? or do i have to wait until apple updates?

  11. I tried all of the options except rebooting… last resource, then this phone has had it… nothing but trouble for the last year… so sad…

  12. I’m not having any issues with my iPhone 6 but in the last week or so I’m having issues with my iPad. I have been sending and receiving iMessages between my sister and my daughter for a few years. Now I get a delivery error and don’t receive their iMessages. If I start a new message to them, their name comes up in red and if I hover over their name is says that they are not registered with iMessage. Like I said, I don’t have any issues sending an iMessage from my iPhone, just iPad.

    • I have a similar thing to DJ on my iPad from about 10 days ago, I cannot iMessage people with whom I have been, since getting my iPad Air in July 2014, Suddenly I can’t send or receive messages, even though at their end it says delivered or sent. When I try to message it says Not Delivered with an exclamation mark in red in a red circle. Invites me to Try Again but that’s never been successful. Also I can’t initiate Face Time, I think others can still FaceTime me. Changed my password, have reset Internet settings AND my iPad; BTW my Apple ID works with iCloud. Yes driving me NUTS & not in a nice way …

  13. i can confirm 1 thing: I had an iphone, upgraded it to iOS8 and could not “see” another iPhone in the message section as iMessage it was just message. in green, not blue. I had 2 messages (1 from my contact with iphone and another basic SMS). I deleted both of them. Then I wrote back to my iPhone contact … it immediately switched to blue … iMessage had come back. Looks weird, probably a bug. But it worked for me.

  14. Couldn’t turn iMessage on. Deleted Facebook Messenger, turned phone off and on and now iMessage working. Yayyy

  15. OK, I’ve got it fixed now, BUT it was VERY long-winded (5hrs approx. I kid you not!), and could not have done it on my own. I phoned Apple support line, after attempting the easiest fixes first without success, I was walked through deleting EVERYTHING from my iPad, restoring software and firmware, then restoring my data etc with testing between each restore, and hey presto, I’m good to go again! The wonderful chap who got me going said they don’t know why it happens.
    (Have noticed iMessages need a bit of encouragement to ‘come through’ to my end but will wait to see if that continues or goes away, before I go back to them if it needs a fix. I think they’d all run for cover if they knew I was phoning again, it took so long last time, but it was hardly my fault!)

  16. Okay so I can’t do this Step 1: Go to Settings → Messages → Send & Receive –

    I am running ios 8 on an iphone 5. It is brand new. When I enter into messages I see the following headings and subheadings – imessage, sms/mms(mms messaging, show subject field, character count & blocked) and message history (Keep messages). There is no ‘send and recieve option”!

    The problem I’m having is imessage is flicked to the off setting. When I try to flick it on, it just automatically flicks off again. Why!

  17. I have tried for hours to fix this issue on my iPad 2 FaceTime Activation … Could not sign in Please check your network connection.
    OK so my Facetime always worked and I haven’t been on it since getting my iPhone 6 back in Oct. Tried today to get on it via iPad and kept getting error. I tried the logging in and out thing. I tried the time zone thing. I tried he DNS thing, I tried all those. I resorted to wiping the damn thing and restoring it. I even removed the FB Messenger app and restated. NOTHING is working. 6 hours of my day is gone and I am going nuts. I have changed my passwords and everything. I am running iOS 8.1.2. I NEED HELP

  18. I’m having the same problem with my iPad Air. I’ve used iMessage since I got it over a year ago. Yesterday morning it had logged me out and I can’t get it to reactivate! I don’t even have the option to turn it on and off. There is just the log in with name and password and it won’t accept them. The same account rocks fine on my phone so I know it isn’t the iCloud address that is the problem. Everything else works fine. The update today did not help me either.

  19. Hi All, I have two IPhone 4S models which I manage concurrently (1 work, 1 personal) After upgrading my personal phone and my son’s 4S to IOS 8 (including latest vers. 3) I Message shut down and will not activate – the error message screen is same as per above in the post. However, my work phone and my Partner’s Iphone 4S are both still on IOS7.1.2 and work fine on IMessage – no problem at all. I am currently de-installing IOS8 from both my personal and son’s phones and will be reinstalling IOS 7.1.2 which appears to be the only truly compatible IOS for the 4S.

      • You wipe the phone/factory reset (AFTER performing a FULL Backup via iTunes – include all Apps & the docs/data/files contained in each one, via iCloud, and as well as a backup via Time Machine/eternal drive/passbook/etc.) and for the “downgraded” iOS reinstall, you locate & use the proper iOS version/release for both your iPhone model/year and to eliminate the problem(s) you’re trying to resolve. These can be found by painstaking research in the Apple Support Community & sites/forums for Developers and “Techno Freaks” (a group to which I proudly belong) in which critical files, such as popular iOS releases, &/or those regarded as “more stable”, as well as App files not included (&/or dropped/no longer supported) in the App Store/iTunes. Using iTunes on your Mac, download the iOS file you’ve carefully selected for your particular iPhone & needs, then install it your iPhone via iTunes.

        ***DO NOT USE WIFI/WIRELESS Method To INSTALL Critical Software Particularly an OPERATING SYSTEM (iOS) File/Release***

        Wireless downloads are at the mercy of an unreliable and inconsistent signal that allows or even creates errors & glitches, resulting in “bad copy” of the software & problems with the device.

        Ok…that was a VERY ROUGH explanation but I hope it’s still helpful.

  20. Hello Again, Further to my last post I was able to rectify the problem I was having with I Message after installing IOS8.1.3. to my 4S. Firstly, as IOS7.1.2 is no longer signed by Apple, I resorted to downgrading to and installing IOS8.1.2 which is still being signed by Apple. This resulted in all sub-menu items (such as “Send and Receive” ) reappearing in the Messages folder and I Message did actually activate no problem some 5 minutes after I toggled I Message to “on”. Many of these sub-menus were lost when the IOS8.1.3 was installed.
    One other thing to note was that my email address (which is my Apple ID) was recently assigned as a security email contact to my Son’s new Apple ID account (which has now been changed). I understand from my research that having your Apple ID assigned to more than one account in any way causes a verification conflict which basically disables I Message and Face Time.
    I hope this is of help to some one.

  21. Please help! Both facetime and imessage have stopped working and I can not access either through settings. I can get into settings ok and all the other thumbnails and toggles in settings work ok but when I click on messages or facetime they just highlight blue but it does not take me into their settings. I have tried on and off, reboot, signing in and out of icloud. Am I missing something??!

  22. Removing Facebook messenger was the only option that worked for me. That shitty app is a disgrace to Apple developers!

  23. removing email from send and received worked for me. i’ve been unable to send imessages for days, thank you for this fix! :)

  24. I have tried everything suggested and still no luck. Basically my iPhone 4 will send to some and not others, and isn’t receiving any at all! Really frustrated now…..

  25. YIPPEE!!! I finally fixed mine. Seems the text message forwarding on my iPhone/Messages in settings was somehow set to off. Turned it on and it works great with my iPad again. Hope this helps some of you. ????

    • Oh thank you! I think this is what worked for me. I also logged in to message on settings not the app on the iPad. I needed to log in because iOS 8 has the recent “messages” contacts at the top of my screen and it included someone who I am no longer friends with and it was irritating to see her name every time I used my iPad :/ I need to delete her….ha! Update: I erased all of the conversations and it still keeps her name as recents. I’ll have to search if that can be deleted somehow??

  26. Thanks!! Tried ’em all, but deleting about 30 of my message threads seemed to blow its nose, clear its head, and make it work again.

  27. Omg I have no idea what do to. It comes up with connect to iTunes, but I’m already connect and my iMessage and FaceTime are not working. The time and data are setting to the right shit, I AM STUCK SOMEONE HELP ME PLEASE,

  28. I have an iPhone 5c and I really need help ive tried everything and my imessage and facetime are not working/ my phone was turned off but the imessage and facetime has still worked until today I don’t know what to do can someone please help me ?

  29. HERE IS WHAT WORKED FOR ME === Goto General>>> Change Date/Time
    settings to AUTOMATIC / and your timezone… Worked for me after trying
    everything else imaginable on Iphone 6 -Verizon

  30. Trying to use imessage for 1st time&can’t sign in. Wanted to try “send & receive options” but that is not in settings…messages, I scrolled down an these options don’t seem to exist in my iphone 5s. What am I missing?

  31. On my iPhone 6, iOS 8.3, the date and time was set to “automatically”. I switched this off, and it fixed the problem. I can iMessage again!!

    • I can’t either, whether or I’m on wi-fi or not. The camera is next to the dialogue box & I’m not seeing any problems with accessing my pics&videos in Photos, but when I’m in Messenger, clicking on the camera icon doesn’t work at all. I tried seeing if I could just do a Select & Copy on a Photo, hoping it would go to my clipboard, but that doesn’t do anything. All it does is recognize that that photo already exists, so it doesn’t make a copy again. It does give me the option to go into Photo Messenger, but I haven’t even tried to do that, so I don’t know if that even works. I thought updating to ios9 was supposed to be something wonderful, but I’m frustrated. Help!!!

  32. Nephew couldn’t get into his imessage app at all, then a friend’s phone started doing the same thing. Ended up going into pictures, and sending a picture thru the gallery. It fixed the problem. Not sure how, but it worked. Hope this helps someone out there.

  33. Ok, So I have an iPhone 4… (whatever it is) and in my case, I had to restart my entire iPhone. Only because I hadn’t updated in years and without restarting I couldn’t get to the point of even wishing to update to iOS 8 lol. SO, once I did that, I realised I couldn’t use iMessage, tried everything you guys were saying… nothing.. so I really got to thinking, and this is what I did to finally get it working. Settings >> iCloud >> Sign Out >>Sign back in. So that seemed to get the Send/Receive option back, I selected my mobile number to be both, and HEY PRESTO… thank god… took literally 5 hours of thinking with this tiny brain of mine… totally worth it lol, really hope this can help some of you out, I know just how FRUSTRATING it can be! :) Happy iMessaging.

  34. SERIOUSLY LOVED THIS POST GUYS! :) MANY THANKS TO A PERSON IN NEED OF CONTACTING HER BEST FRIEND :) YOU JUST MADE MY LIFE 10 TIMES EASIER!!!!

  35. So basically i was bored so i made a bunch of paragraphs. It glitched and i tried txting with siri. Nuhing happenes. It didnt even let me in! I tried everything listed on the page! Nuthing! What should i do!

  36. I am on iphone 4s with update ios9, and it made me re sign in to imessage, but it will sit there, verifying for like 5 minutes and then tell me that it can’t connect to imessage servers. Any help?

    • I had a similar problem – called Apple Support and the tech suggested resetting my network settings back to factory. Settings – General – Reset – Network Settings – it had worked for others. Make sure you know your network password to rejoin. The bad news is that iMessage continues to periodically crashes and I have to repeat the exercise, but it is relatively quick.

  37. 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?

  38. Sms not working on ios 9 iphone. Imessage works fine, just not sms. None of the above worked, any suggestions?

  39. none of the above solutions worked for me… i have and iphone 4…and…my imsg service it just stop working… i tried everything….that is described… but nothing works..please help

  40. None of these worked for my iPad. In fact, there is NO option to turn iMessage On or Off. It just keeps asking me to sign in. Apple support said they will have to get an engineer involved. (iMessaging and FaceTime were working FINE last night, but then suddenly stopped working this morning, with no changes at all to the settings.)

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