iMessage Waiting for Activation on iPhone? Here’s the Fix!

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:

What To Do If iPhone Says iMessage Is “Waiting For Activation”

  1. Ensure iPhone has WiFi or Cellular Data Connection
  2. Turn Airplane Mode ON and OFF
  3. Ensure your iPhone has the Correct Date and Time
  4. Restart your iPhone
  5. Turn iMessage OFF and Then Back ON
  6. Sign out of your Apple ID and Sign-in back
  7. Update Carrier Settings on your iPhone
  8. Update your iPhone
  9. 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.

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 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.

turn on airplane mode on iphone

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 → GeneralDate & Time. Turn on the toggle for Set Automatically.

Set Date and Time to Automatic on iPhone

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 → GeneralShut 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.

  1. Open Settings and tap on Messages. Now turn off iMessage.
  2. Switch off your iPhone and wait for one minute. Now turn it back on
  3. Follow step #1 and turn ON iMessage. This should successfully fix the activation error.Toggle iMessage on iPhone


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.

  1. In Settings app tap on Messages, and then tap on Send & Receive.Tap on Send and Receive in iMessage on iPhone
  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
  3. Now reboot your iPhone
  4. 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.Sign Into iMessage with Apple IDFix 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.

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.

  1. Make sure Wi-Fi or Cellular is enabled on your device. Now, open Settings and tap on GeneralAbout.Open Settings and Tap on General Then Tap on About on iPhone
  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.

Update your iPhone

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

open settings tap on general and then tap on 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.

open settings tap on general and then tap reset on iphone

Finally, tap on Reset Network Settings, enter your device passcode and confirm your action.

reset network settings on iphone

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

Signing off…

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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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of 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.