Tired of iMessage waiting for activation error in iOS 10, iOS 9, or iOS 8.x on iPhone? Or is it just draining the last ounce of patience left in you? Despite our “been there done that” experience, we're equally skeptic about how to activate iMessage.
Sometimes it works just perfectly, but sometimes it drives us crazy. There are quite a lot of fixes recommended almost everywhere but most of it doesn't work. That's what prompted us to test with a lot of iPhones and we ended up activating iMessage successfully.
Before You Start To Fix iMessage “Waiting for Activation” Issue on iPhone running iOS 10, iOS 9, or iOS 8.x:
Before you start trying out all these methods to get iMessage activated, you'll need to sort these things out:
- Make sure in the Phone app, you've got your number listed. On top of ‘Contacts,' you should see your number listed (My Number:). If not, you'll need to go to Settings → Phone → My Number and enter your number.
- Similarly, go to Settings → FaceTime → and make sure you have selected both your phone number and Apple ID under You Can Be Reached by FaceTime At.
- Make sure Date & Time (under General) are correct. Set to “Set Automatically” make sure the Time Zone is correct and the iPhone holds the right time.
- Also, make sure you've got a working network. Wi-fi issues can cause iMessage activation problems so have cellular enabled.
For some users, the message sent out for activation goes out as an international SMS. Make sure your carrier permits these and you have sufficient amount to send them.
Solution #1. Check Out Internet Connection
Both iMessage and FaceTime require a very good internet connection to work properly. Hence, make sure your internet connection is up to the mark.
Open Settings → Wi-Fi/Cellular → turn off the switch, reboot your device and turn on Wi-Fi/Cellular.
If it doesn't work, then try to reset network settings. It will delete all the existing network settings and return them to factory settings. Settings → General → Reset → Reset Network Settings.
Solution #2. Contact Your Carrier
First of all, make sure that your carrier supports iMessage or not. Contact your Carrier support team and verify any limiting condition on your for iMessage, blocks, or filters on text messages.
Solution #3. Airplane Mode
As strange as it sounds, may be you should try this method if nothing else works. We found the airplane mode activation mode in one of the discussions. It sounds simple and if it solves, that'd be good, right?
Here's how it works:
Step #1. Go to Settings → scroll down and tap on Messages and turn off iMessage (also disable FaceTime)
Step #2. Turn on the Airplane mode. Wifi will be turned OFF automatically.
Step #3: Turn ON Wifi.
Step #4. Head back to Messages and turn-on iMessage.
Step #5. You'll be prompted for your Apple ID if you haven't added it yet. (else, you don't get any notification)
Step #6. Now, head back to Settings and turn OFF Airplane mode.
Step #7. Mostly, you'll be shown a notification that says ‘Your carrier may charge for SMS' – Tap on OK
Step #8. If not, go to Messages, turn OFF iMessage and then turn it ON again.
Step #9. In a short while, iMessage should get activated.
Step #10. You'll see a grayed out number and an email ID. A little later, the number should be checked and that's it. (This worked for us, seriously.)
Solution #4. Update Your iPhone's Carrier Settings
Step #1. Make sure Wi-Fi or Cellular is enabled on your device. Open Settings → General.
Step #2. Tap on About. If there is any update available, you will get the option to update it.
You can see the version of the carrier settings next to Carrier.
When you insert a new SIM card into your iPhone, you need to download the carrier setting for your new carrier.
Solution #5. Apple ID Sign-out, Sign-in
Sometimes, you just need to sign out of your Apple ID and then log in again.
Step #1. Under Settings → Message, scroll down to where it says ‘Send & Receive' and tap on it.
Step #2. Tap on the Apple ID and then press Sign Out.
Step #3. Switch off iMessage now.
Step #4. Wait for a while (turn on/off Wifi) and then switch ON iMessage.
Step #5. Enter your Apple ID details now and try to reactivate iMessage
Solution #6. If Nothing Works…
If all the solutions as mentioned above have failed to fix the problem, then update your device to the latest version. Tap on Settings → General → Software Update.
If there is no update available, then restore your iPhone with iTunes. Make sure to take a backup of your device before restoring it. Should this fail, you might have to restore the iPhone as new.
You can also contact Apple for help if the problem continues even after the software update or restoring your device.
Also, contact your carrier to ensure you can send/receive SMS.
Watch out how to fix iMessage Not Working issue on your iPhone:
Apple tries to let users enjoy a seamless iMessage experience, but one thing that's clear is that setting up and activating iMessage doesn't usually work smoothly for all users. Try these methods and let us know if any of it worked. And we're looking for more solutions too so let us know.
I'm sure the above solutions can help you fix the iMessage/FaceTime activation error on your iOS device. Being a common problem which many iPhone users (including me) have encountered at some point or the other, it should get resolved—without much pain.
You might also want to check out these posts: iPhone contacts disappeared issue, iMessage not working, how to get back lost iCloud contacts, Bluetooth not working, and Wi-Fi not working on iPhone and iPad.