iMessage Waiting for Activation may come up when you try to activate iMessage on iPhone. You might also see this error when you have problems with FaceTime. Due to this, the entire process is stuck, and you can not make use of these essential communication services.
According to Apple, these are the different errors you might see:
- Waiting for activation
- Unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again
- Activation unsuccessful
- An error occurred during activation
- Could not sign in, please check your network connection
Most of the above problems have a similar fix. Interestingly the solutions below also work when you can not activate FaceTime. So, let us dive right in and get your iMessage working again!
Before you begin:
- Make sure your SIM is allowed to and able to send text messages, including international SMS
- Ensure iMessage and Facetime are not down from Apple’s server end
What To Do If iPhone Says iMessage Is “Waiting For Activation”
- Ensure iPhone has WiFi or Cellular Data Connection
- Turn Airplane Mode ON and OFF
- Ensure your iPhone has the Correct Date and Time
- Restart your iPhone
- Turn iMessage OFF and Then Back ON
- Sign out of your Apple ID and Sign-in back
- Update Carrier Settings on your iPhone
- Update your iPhone
- Reset Network Settings
Ensure iPhone has WiFi or Cellular Data Connection
One of the primary reasons why iMessage activation fails is due to the non-availability of the data connection. The first thing is to ensure that your device has a decent WiFi or mobile data connection. To check, open a browser or app like YouTube and try to visit a website or play a video.
Secondly, if you do not have WiFi, check that FaceTime and Phone App are allowed to use cellular data connection. For this open the Settings app and tap on Cellular. Scroll down, and under CELLULAR DATA, make sure that the toggle next to FaceTime and Phone is ON.
Turn Airplane Mode ON and OFF
Your iPhone may be facing temporary network issues. To address this, open the Settings app and turn on the toggle for Airplane Mode. Alternatively, you may also go to the Control Center and turn on AirPlane mode. Wait for 30 seconds and turn it back off.
Ensure your iPhone has the Correct Date and Time
Several issues arise when your iPhone isn’t set to an accurate time zone. To solve ‘iMessage waiting for activation’ error, you must have the correct date and time on your iPhone.
For this, open Settings app → General → Date & Time. Turn on the toggle for Set Automatically.
Restart your iPhone
Restarting a device fixes many small and temporary issues. To address problems in iMessage, you can restart your iPhone using the buttons. Or, open the Settings app → General → Shut Down → Drag the slide to power off slider to right. After a minute, use the power button to turn on your device.
Turn iMessage OFF and Then Back ON
This little trick has worked for several users to fix ‘iMessage Waiting for Activation’ error on iPhone running the latest iOS. So, I’m expecting it to get the job done for you as well.
- Open Settings and tap on Messages. Now turn off iMessage.
- Switch off your iPhone and wait for one minute. Now turn it back on
- Follow step #1 and turn ON iMessage. This should successfully fix the activation error.
Sign out of your Apple ID and Sign-in back
Still no success? It’s time to sign out your Apple ID from the iPhone and sign back in. Yeah, it does sound to be a bit funny and unnecessary. But believe me, it has clicked for some users and successfully fixed their iMessage activation woes. Hopefully, you may get through as well.
- In Settings app tap on Messages, and then tap on Send & Receive.
- Tap on the Apple ID and then tap Sign Out.
- Now reboot your iPhone
- Once, it backs to normal, Go to the Settings app, tap on Messages, and tap on your Apple ID. Tap on return. It will verify, and you will be signed in to iMessage successfully.
Note: If you do not see your Apple ID in step #4, enter it manually and sign in to reactivate iMessage.
Update Carrier Settings on your iPhone
Did you know that carrier providers regularly release updates to improve performance and even resolve some issues? So, check out if there is an update available for your iPhone. And if it’s waiting for you, go for it. It may fix the activation error for iMessage.
- Make sure Wi-Fi or Cellular is enabled on your device. Now, open Settings and tap on General → About.
- If there is an update available, you will get the option to update it
Note: When you insert a new SIM card into your iPhone, you need to download the settings for your new carrier. Most of the time, you get a pop-up asking you to update.
Update your iPhone
Apple releases periodic updates to fix various bugs. To update the software on your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app → General → Software Update.
Once you successfully update your device, waiting for the activation issue should be resolved.
Reset Network Settings
Before you proceed, you must know that this will erase saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, VPN, and such other network settings. However, personal data like music, photos, apps, etc. won’t be altered.
To do this, open the Settings app and tap on General. Next, scroll down and, from the end, tap on Reset.
Finally, tap on Reset Network Settings, enter your device passcode and confirm your action.
Once the reset completes, try to activate iMessage again. The issue will most likely be eliminated.
What To Do If You Still Get an iMessage Activation Error?
Even after following the above steps, if you continue to face the problem, it is time to contact your carrier support and Apple support. However, before you do that, allow your iPhone 24 hours to activate iMessages. Apple says that this service might take this much time on some occasions. So, please wait. And in case even after the waiting period, iMessage is not activated, make sure to contact them.
Here are the support numbers for most popular US carriers.
- AT&T: 1-(800)-331-0500
- Verizon: 1-(800)-922-0204
- T-Mobile: 1-(877)-746-0909
- Sprint: 1-(888)-211-4727
I hope one of the multiple solutions worked for you, and now you are enjoying iMessage on your iPhone. Please share your thoughts and let us know which method worked for you.
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