iMessage Waiting for Activation in iOS 13 on iPhone

You may face an error that says “iMessage waiting for activation,” while you try to activate iMessage on iPhone running iOS 13, at times it may also say,

  • Unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again.
  • Activation unsuccessful,
  • An error occurred during activation, or
  • Could not sign in, please check your network connection.

There is nothing to worry about when you come across these FaceTime and iMessage waiting for activation errors in iOS 13. Most of the time, it is just a matter of small fix like putting your iPhone in airplane mode or restarting it. If these work for you; bravo! If not, let us look at all the real solutions and get your iMessage working again.

Before you begin to fix FaceTime and iMessage waiting for activation error:

Tips to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation Error on iPhone

Update iOS on your iPhone

Apple releases periodic updates to fix various bugs. To update software on your iPhone or iPad, open Settings app → GeneralSoftware Update.

Once you successfully update your device, waiting for activation issue should be resolved.

Make sure you’ve got your number listed in the Phone App

For this open Settings app → PhoneMy Number. Make sure it is added and shows here.

Tap on Settings then Phone then My Number on iPhone

Also, open the Contacts app, tap on My Card, and ensure your number is here. If not, tap on Edit from top right and add your phone number.

Tap on Contacts and Edit My Card on iPhone


ALSO READ: How to Fix iPhone Activation Error


Ensure that FaceTime and Phone App are allowed to use Cellular Data

Make sure Cellular Data for Phone and FaceTime app is not turned off: If you are not using Wi-Fi and relying on mobile data, launch Settings appCellular → scroll down and check that mobile data for FaceTime and Phone is not turned off.

Tap on Settings Celllular or Mobile Data then Enable it for Phone and FaceTime

Turn Airplane Mode ON and OFF

Your iPhone may be facing some slight temporary network issues. To address this, open Settings app and turn on the toggle for Airplane Mode. Alternatively, go to 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 the 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 → GeneralDate & Time. Turn on the toggle for Set Automatically.

Set Date and Time to Automatic on iPhone

Reboot your iPhone

Restarting a device fixes many small and temporary issues. To address problems in iMessage, please switch off your iPhone and switch it back on.

  • To reboot your iPhone 8, iPhone X, and iPhone 11 Series, press and release Volume Up button, press and release Volume Down Button, and Press and Hold Side Button.

How to Reboot iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8

  • To reboot iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, press and hold Volume Down and Power button untill screen shows the Apple Logo.

Reboot iPhone 7-7 Plus

  • To reboot iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6, press and hold home button and Power button untill you see the Apple Logo.

How to Restart-Reboot iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

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 iOS 13. So, I’m expecting it to get the job done for you as well.

Step #1. Open Settings and tap on Messages. Now turn off iMessage.

Step #2. Switch off your iPhone and wait for one minute. Now turn it back on.

Step #3. Follow step #1 and turn ON iMessage. This should successfully fix the activation error.

Toggle iMessage on iPhone

Update Carrier Settings on your iPhone

Did you know that carrier provider 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.

Step #1. Make sure Wi-Fi or Cellular is enabled on your device. Now, open Settings and tap on GeneralAbout.

Step #2. 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.

Turn off Content and Privacy Restrictions

We have a detailed post talking about Screen Time for iOS 13.

To ensure that iMessage activates without any hassle, open Settings app → Screen TimeContent & Privacy Restrictions and make sure the toggle is OFF.

Turn off Content and Privacy Restrictions to Solve iMessage Activation Error on iPhone

If you do not turn it off, scroll down and at least ensure that Account Changes is set to Allow.

Eject iPhone SIM Card and Reinsert it

This is just a recommendation that may work and successfully solve your iPhone’s iMessage issue. Use the sim ejector tool and take out the SIM card. Wait for a few seconds and insert the card back.

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.

Step #1. In Settings app tap on Messages, and then tap on Send & Receive.

Tap on Send and Receive in iMessage on iPhone

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

Tap on Apple ID and Sign Out to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation Issue

Step #3. Now reboot your iPhone.

Step #4. Once, it backs to normal, Go to 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.

Sign Into iMessage with Apple ID

Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation on iPhone

Note: If you do not see your Apple ID in step #4, enter it manually and sign in to reactivate iMessage.

Reset and Restore your iPhone

Tough times call for harsh measures! So, we are going to wipe out all the existing content and settings and restore the device as new. But before going for this radical solution, ensure your iPhone is fully backed up.

First, try the less severe option. See how to reset network settings on your iPhone.

If the above method does not work, reset and restore your iPhone completely. For this: Open Settings app → General → Tap on Reset → Tap on Erase All Content and SettingsEnter iPhone Passcode → then confirm. Next up, set up your device as desired.

Tap on General then Reset on iPhone

Erase iPhone to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation

To restore your iPhone via Finder or iTunes, connect the device to your computer → use Finder or iTunes → select the device → hit Restore iPhone and confirm.

Here are some detailed resources to help you:

Watch out how to fix iMessage Not Working issue on your iPhone:

Last Resort – Contact Carrier Support and Apple Support

As a last resort, you may try contacting your carrier support. They will let you know the details about your account. If the issue is from their end, they’ll share this too. 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

Contact Apple Support – To be straightforward, they may not be able to help you much on chat or call. Support agent will ask you to perform the things we already mentioned above. But still, give it a shot. The better idea is to visit a physical Apple Store. The representative will most likely put your iPhone in DFU mode and try to fix the issue.

iMessage Activation Error Fixed!

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.

You will like to read…

 

iMessage Waiting for Activation

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Jignesh Padhiyarhttps://www.igeeksblog.com
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.

136 COMMENTS

  1. i tried airplane mode but it didn’t work the first time. When i went to date and time I had to change it to set automatically then airplane mode worked like a charm! even though my time was right it needed to be on “set automatically”

  2. i could not do it, because as the primary condition says, my number should display under my name in contacts. However it does not appear even after I am done with the phone>my number method.

  3. just so y’all who are jailbroken know if you give up all hope don’t upgrade and lose your jb, get the tweak called remote messages ios-(your ios) from cydia it wont help with your phone but it’ll give you the opportunity to use your computer until a perm. fix is out there. just a heads up from soulbound ^_^

  4. Make sure you can send international text to apple otherwise you cant activate imessage i have found this out from Apple and confronting AldiMobile which tell me i have to pay more money just to send 1 text to activate imessage.

  5. For me it was the VPN settings. I had downloaded the “TunnelBear” app which I had forgotten to turn off. After turning off the VPN option I finally got my imessage to work again. Settings -> General -> VPN. Make sure that it is not trying to connect. If it is, turn it off.

  6. Here’s a fun variation on the problem: whether I go into Airplane mode or not, iMessage and FaceTime will not accept the password I’m entering for my Apple ID. And yes, I have verified that it is the correct password. Those two dialogs are literally the only places on or off my iPhone where my Apple ID and password are not accepted.

    I don’t think Apple should be writing software anymore.

  7. I just fixed my i6. Simple. Sign out of account. Turm off wifi. Turn off messaging. Turn off phone. Turn on phone and turn on messaging sign in. Turn on wifi and it worked.

  8. This shit works as hell, after trying out all sorts of things. This airplane mode stuff coupled with wifi made all the things work for both the facetime and imessage services. I was even able to change the phone number, thanks guys. thumbs up.

  9. Haha strange as it sounds, after hours of trying many things, i came to this site, read the airplane mode trickt, did it and my imesage problem instantly fixed. Have no idea how and why. But thanks.

  10. thank you so much for this!!! I’m in colombia traveling for three months and relying on my imessages and was desperate for a solution! #3 worked for me! Gracias!

  11. The airplane mode worked for me. i just got a new phone and different number. although the old number is still showing up (greyed out) it is working after switching on the airplane mode. i was skeptical but it worked!

  12. Did not work any of the given tricks. Just a waste of time. I bought an iphone for facetime and imsg but this inconvenience of apple disappointed me. Now what?!

  13. I’ve followed this twice now, with success, but I’ve had to do the airplane thing AND log out log in thing to get it working. next time I’ll try the log out log in without first doing the airplane mode thing.

  14. I’m currently visiting Brazil and iMessage stopped working as soon as I got here (it works for everyone else in my family). I tried method 2 the first time and it worked for about 2 hours. But when I tried sending a message later, iMessage stopped workin. Method 2 didn’t work when I tried it again, and method 3 didn’t work either. So I decided to reset network settings and it finally worked. But for some reason, I’m only able to message one person. All messages to other people keep failing and I have no idea why. I don’t know if this was the case the first time because I only messaged one person that time.

    • Same for me – imessage AND facetime both still say waiting for activation BUT I got a message on my laptop saying that my iphone had signed into imessage and another one saying my iphone had signed into facetime AND my phone number turned from grey to black in the ‘send and receive’ list so I’m just ignoring the ‘waiting for activation’ message on my phone.

  15. I have tried everything. Even went to Apple, and they could not get it to work, so gave me a new phone. Still does not work. Now gonna push for another new phone from the carrier i bought it from, but not an apple. I am sure once I leave apple….and therefore Itunes… I will be a happy man.

  16. No No No. The solution above does not work. The problem is the iOS, not a setting, so the only way is to delete everything and set up as new. Trust me, I did this and it worked like charm:
    1/ Plug your phone into your computer, do a full back up
    2/ Unplug your iPhone, go to Settings –> General —> Reset –> Erase All Content and Settings
    (This step will wipe out everything in your phone, so make sure you have performed a full backup)
    3/ When your phone is on again after the reset, choose to restore iphone via iTunes, then plug into your computer, choose the backup you want to restore your phone to.
    (this step will take about 10-15 minutes)
    4/ When your phone is done with back up and is on again, go to Settings –> General –> Reset –> Reset all network settings
    5/ DONE, you’re iMessage and Facetime should be on the next time your phone is on.

  17. I’ve been trying all these steps for long hours now and still have no luck. I did a hard reset as well. My phone number simply doesn’t appear. I cannot even see “Start a new conversation from”. I recently changed carriers, from B back to A. A used to work just fine before. Switched to B as I went abroad, everything worked there. When I came back and switched to A, everything stopped working! Please help!!!

      • I spent 6 hours with Apple’s rep chatting. As per their instructions, I’ve switched off iMessage, leaving it off for 3 days. They said that should take the number off of their servers. Let’s see what happens.

          • ah wow :
            Well my options:
            Give is a restore
            turn off imessage for 1-3 days and then turn on
            try resetting network settings
            contact ur carrier
            For me i got lucky when in Australia. I was about to go sleep, i turned on imessage and leaved it to be. After waking up in morning, imessage was successful and i was so damn happy!.

  18. This what worked for meAfter doing “Before You Start To Fix iMessage “Waiting for Activation” Issue”,
    sync to itunes
    turn off imessage and facetime.
    Restart phone.
    Turn on imessage.
    Restart phone
    Turn on facetime

  19. For the ones who tried everything (inc. reset and/or restore) but still couldn’t activate iMessage and FaceTime with their cellular number, I strongly suggest you to major on your mobile phone network operator. Even if you have an active international sms plan that charges the activation sms’s, there might be a problem(I have no idea why but some kind of line forwarding/redirecting problem) about your line. Especially the ones who travels internationally much. For your information…

  20. hello guys
    i m not updating my iphone in wifi.i m doing it through itunes.and when ever i try to activate my iphone to 7.1.2 its showing a popup IPHONE COULDNT BE ACTIVATED DUE AN UNKNOWN ERROR 8000000004 its showing me from past 3 days please tell me the solution guys

  21. I had a guy approach me about this same issue. I just went to General – Reset – Reset Network Connections…the phone rebooted and was able to log in. Might work for some of you.

  22. Having tried all the fixes none actual got iMessage to work correctly. Getting iMessage to work via your apple id is one thing but getting it to work sending via your iPhone number seems to be the main problem. The difference being that apple id looks like an email and the other looks like an SMS. I have found that using the SIM card from an iPhone 5 and putting it into an iPhone 6 will stop iMessage from activating. Got a new replacement SIM from my carrier and as soon as i activated the new one (deactivate the old) iMessage fired up immediately. Worked on two phones. Seems that the activation may be getting conflicting info from the iPhone.

  23. I tried both. The second one my number appeared but then it just left. It still says waiting for activation. Is it because my phone was cut off two weeks ago. I was still able to receive iMessages at that number until I reset my phone.

  24. None of these techniques worked for me over the last 36 hours, but I figured one out that did:

    I finally just tried again and succeeded. I made sure “”MMS Messaging” and “Group Messaging” were both off. I then turned iMessage off and back on again. It immediately activated iMessage and stayed activated after I switched them both back on too.

  25. Hi ! I just found out for the network carrier “Airtel” that it takes 24 hours from the time of SIM activation to enable SMS services in case of a SIM swap. I had swapped my micro sim for nano sim and hence this delay. The carrier confirmed that though I would be able to receive / make calls, the messaging activation takes 24 hours. Anyways thanks a ton for providing solutions for this issue.

  26. Hi I justfixed my iMessage activation error problem Yay!!!! I tried all the log in and out advice in these blogs sites but it did nothing to fix it. The problem after weeks of investigations and a replacement sim, trip to the genius desk, calls to the carrier, callls to the service provider, new hardware, etc..you name it I tried it… was actually with the port service between carriers. When your number is ported the new carrier has to tell all the other carriers that they now have your phone number for routing. When my number got ported no one told vodaphone, or told them and they didn’t act on it. So anyway I actually wasn’t receiving any calls or texts from vodaphone customers as well as not being able to activate iMessage and Facetime. Anyway once the vodaphone issue was fixed my iMessage activated straight away and I got in touch with all the people in my phone book with a 0414 vodaphone prefix and explained what had happened.

    • Hi Jana77, just wondering what you asked Vodafone when you called? I am having the exact same issue after switching from Vodafone to O2 (O2 handled the whole change over).

  27. Hello,
    Great article…this is the farthest I’ve gotten so far, but am still having one more issues and am hoping you can help me.

    Just got iPhone 5s, followed all the instructions above, however under Settings–>Phone–> My Number it says Unknown and will not let me add my number.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Many thanks!

  28. I went crazy with my iPhone 6 and iMessage. Nothing worked. Than I changed the carrier and within seconds, iMessage was activated and the sms forwarding to my iPad Air 2 can be used. The signal of the new carrier is much stronger, maybe this was the reason for the activation problems! I changed from Cellcard Cambodia to Smart Cambodia and of course my phone number changed unfortunately too.

  29. I can’t even turn iMessage on cause every time I try to turn it on it instantly says “an error has occurred” and when I press “ok” it says waiting for activation. I don’t have a SIM card in my iPhone 4s so I don’t have a phone number meaning none of these obviously won’t work but I tried anyways and guess what? It didn’t work. Please help, I don’t know what to do and I need some way to text people.

  30. How about if I want to use my old iPhone 4s as an ipod? I recently upgraded and want to give my mom my old phone so she can facetime with us. I erased/reset the 4s and signed in with her apple id. It is set to receive messages and facetime at her email address. I can’t get the imessage and facetime to activate, it has the ‘waiting for activation’ message. I read other places to connect the phone to a computer with itunes, I have done that as well and it still isn’t working. Ideas??

  31. iphone 5, has th wrong mobile number in the “send and Receive” how do I change that mobile number. I message is waiting for activation. the right mobile number is in the contacts and settings

  32. Just got iPhone 6 I’m trying to reactive iMessage on my iPod touch. When I click verify it just spins. Am I supposed to get a text message on my iPhone with a verification link???

  33. None of these worked for me, instead I tried doing them at the same time. First, I signed out of both iMessage and FaceTime and turned them off. Next, I restarted my phone, (held the home button and the lock botton) and then when I turned my phone on again, it prompted me to ‘sign into imessage’ and my phone number was activated!!!

  34. My phone is currently deactivated bcuz I am stationed overseas.. This may sounds stupid, but is the reason why mine isn’t working is bcuz my phone is deactivated? I’ve tried everything and my phone number continues to stay gray.

  35. After trying for a long time i finally got it!!! I cant thank you enough! wile it was Activating i tried to text another iPhone and it finally sent! Thank you veeery much! i will pass this along to friends!

  36. Here’s what worked for me: Go to . Click on the “Manage my ID” button. Make sure your email address and phone number are correct. Then click the “Save Changes” button. I didn’t change anything but as soon as I clicked the “Save Changes” button, my iMessages instantly activated. Thank God I’m bald or I would have pulled all my hair out until I did this.

  37. I had this problem, and found that the problem disappeared after sending only one message as plain SMS (so green message). After that, Blue iMEssages suddenly also got sent…

  38. Go into settings, click on messages, scroll down to ” send & receive’ and make sure the number shown is yours. Click on “send & receive” then click on ” use your apple ID for message”, this is to make sure your apple ID is correct and if it isn’t this where you will change it. Back out and go into “general”, scroll all the way to the bottom and click on “reset” then click on “reset network settings”. This worked for me hope it helps.

  39. I have GPP from sprint to tmobile. I did the update because I didn’t know I couldn’t please advise!!! I got to work the calls using the Irose patch. but I can’t get to work data and SMS.
    if anyone knows
    thank you

  40. the reboot seems to work best, but i keep having to do it several times. i get knocked off imessage once or twice an hour. my internet connection is solid. i hope i won’t have to continue rebooting my phone like this

  41. Just to let all know, even though my phone says it is waiting on activation for iMessage and FaceTime, I can send messages and use FaceTime, I tested it with my husbands phone, he hasn’t upgraded to iOS 7 yet

    • my iphone5 says waiting for activation. Sending messages works for some phones but not all. One friend has a iphone4s and she receives my messages but i cannot receive her messages. Another friend of mine, we have no problem sending messages back and forth. Dont know what is wrong.

  42. I found that the problem with iMessage not activating was an error during the installation of iOS 7 to my device as it worked on my iPad but not my iPhone. Also, I was not receiving push notifications on my iPhone. A restore of the phone so that it re-installed iOS 7 and restore from backup was the only thing that fixed it.

  43. neither worked, i dont want to restore to factory settings but i’m almost ready to. it will not verify my phone number (all grey digits) in FaceTime and wont even show the number in the iMessage

    • I can’t even add my number in Settings > Phone > My number, as it’s greyed out. Another slowclap for Apple. What’s the point in such a large scale beta rollout when issues like this are still unresolved when the full release rolls around? Absolute garbage.

      Thanks for the tips though. I’ve tried all of them, and despite the fact they didn’t fix my issue, they’ve clearly worked for others :)

  44. #1 and #2 didn’t work for me. And I’m bit ready to Ho through the trouble of wiping/restoring!

    I’ll see whether apple techs have another solutions.

    Thx for s recommendations though.

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