As is always the case, it looks like a large part of the web is up in flames about  iMessage and Facetime activation problems in iOS 7. I know it’s exciting to get iOS 7 right on time and get started with everything right away but accept the fact that servers get clogged up too.

A lot of people are stuck at the ‘Waiting for Activation’ part in iMessage and/or Facetime after upgrading to iOS 7. I want to tell you that it’s mostly a server issue and you’ve got to wait a while before fixing it. You can try a few things mentioned below but patience is a virtue that’s most required right about now.

Deselect, Turn off and Re-activate
According to PeteW01 who posted on the support forum, it looks like you can solve the issue by deselecting the email addresses in iMessage and Facetime and re-activating the services after a while.

Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation in iOS 7

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive
  • Deselect all email addresses from the list
  • Go back and Turn off iMessage
  • Repeat the process for ‘FaceTime’ settings (Settings -> FaceTime). Deselect email id and turn off.
  • Wait for about 5-10 minutes. Then, activate both iMessage and FaceTime.

Hopefully, this should work to fix the iMessage activation issue.

Change Networks and Try
Chances of getting a network error are very low but just for the heck of it, you can try changing the network. If you’re on your home Wi-fi, try some other network when you try to activate iMessage and Facetime. It’s possible that iMessage might get activated once you change the network but don’t count on this much. If it’s a server clogging issue, it’s going to take a while.

Reset Network Settings
This has worked for a handful of people so you can try it.

Go to Settings → General → Reset and Reset Network settings. This will wipe data about networks so you’ll have to reconnect to the Wi-fi network you were on.

There’s a chance that reconnecting to the Wi-fi network solves the iMessage and Facetime activation problem for you.

Turn OFF, Remove SIM, Re-insert SIM and Turn ON
Perhaps, the last thing you can try before hitting a roadblock is to do a manual reset of sorts.

Turn off your iPhone, remove the SIM card from the tray and the re-insert the SIM card into the tray. Push it in and restart the iPhone.

Wait for a while as the carrier gets connected. Now, connect to the Wi-fi network. Turn off Cellular data. Make sure you can send text messages and then, finally, turn ON iMessage.

Nothing Works: Wait. Patiently.
If the procedure above doesn’t work to fix iMessage and Facetime issues, all you do is wait it out.

Like I said before, it’s mostly a server issue what with millions of people trying to activate iMessage and Facetime. This can take a day or two to fix itself.

A lot of people are just plainly impatient. It’s understandable if iMessage/Facetime is a business requirement that you can’t do without but for many people it’s just a communication tool. It’s bad that you picked the wrong time to upgrade but if you’re patient and if you understand that there are limitations to what servers can handle, you’ll wait and see that iMessage/Facetime activates successfully in a short time.

  • HAN BAE

    it should not be this complex; this issue has been around for years and Apple hasn’t addressed it correctly.

  • HAN BAE

    waiting for activation ?? what does that even mean? is there an Apple person sitting at a super computer at headquarters and all they do is imessages/Facetime Activations ?

  • Aaron

    Ok i have tried it all and when i re checked my FaceTime and saw that it worked i went back to iMessage and it required me to sign in with my Apple ID but didnt let me sign in saying i needed to check my network connection and now my FaceTime and iMessage are doing that and idk what to do! Help?

  • Niki

    Hi. Just to add my two cents worth. I have scoured the internet for a week and tried every suggestion I could find on how to fix this problem. I was ready to send my phone back and swear off iphones forever. I thought I would just send an imessage to my sister and see what happens. She received it. So even though it says “Waiting for activation”, it is actually working. I do not know why but I have been able to use it all day. I am going to try Facetime later and will see if that works. Hope this helps.

    • Tatil_S

      Nope. It just means they can “call” you at your email addresses, but they will not be connected if they try to reach you at your mobile number. You also will not be able to activate text message or phone call forwarding to your Mac or iPad.

  • Jake Wells

    It’s now been…16 days, up here in Canada and mine is still waiting for that activation. I’m not sure at what point a server error isn’t an error.

    • Matt

      My wife and I had the same issue, but it was fixed by turning off cellular data. I turned it off on her phone, sent myself a message, and I received a iMessage from her Apple ID Email address. Now I’m saving that info, and iMessage works like a charm. :) Hope this helps.

  • Alejandro Aguilar

    mine has bee trying to activate for 5 days… patience is not an option anymore

  • Noah

    Now that it’s been five days, any word as to whether the situation’s been resolved? I’m continuing to get a network error, so if your theory’s right and it’s just a matter of server overload, perhaps it’s just taking awhile.

  • Malana Goodrich

    patience. forgot about that option. thanks.