How to fix iMessage not working on Mac

How to fix iMessage not working on Mac

While iMessage on Mac is undoubtedly a useful feature, it’s not immune to bugs. Not only have there been complaints about sending messages, but some users have also reported issues receiving messages as well. 

The culprit could be a number of things; luckily, we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide to fix iMessage not working on your Mac.

  1. Restart your Mac
  2. Force quit Messages
  3. Sign out of Messages
  4. Enable your iMessage account
  5. Is your Mac connected to the internet?
  6. Rebuild Keychain Access on Mac
  7. Check both devices have same accounts
  8. Set Date and Time to automatic on Mac
  9. Keep your Mac updated to latest version
  10. Reset NVRAM

1. Restart your Mac

Restarting your Mac is by far the most tried and tested solution available to you. A fresh reboot can fix a myriad of problems, Mac iMessage issues included. Click the Apple logo in the menu bar, and then click Restart… 

Once your Mac starts up again, launch iMessage to see if it’s working as expected. If it’s not, stick around for the next tip.

2. Force quit Messages

  1. Click the Apple logo in the menu bar and select Force Quit… 
  2. Now, select Messages and then click Force Quit at the bottom of the screen.
Select Messages App and Click Force Quit on Mac

This will restart your iMessage app on Mac. Hopefully, this is the answer to your problems. Otherwise, there’s always tip number three.

3. Sign out of Messages

  1. Click Messages from the menu bar and select Preferences.

    Select Preferences in Messages Menu on Mac
  2. Now, in the iMessage tab, click the Sign Out option.

    Click on Sign Out in iMessage Tab on Mac

Now, sign in again and test iMessage to see whether it’s working or not.

4. Enable your iMessage account

If this option isn’t enabled, your iMessage won’t work no matter how hard you try! Open the Preferences window and select the Accounts tab. Now check the box that says Enable this Account option if it’s not already checked. You’re good to go!

Click on Enable This Account in iMessage

5. Is your Mac connected to the internet?

Make sure that your Mac is connected to the internet. Sometimes, it may show your Mac is connected when in reality there are issues blocking iMessage from working. Try reconnecting to the internet or restarting the router or Wi-Fi spot. Once done, open the browser and visit any website to see if it’s working.

6. Rebuild Keychain Access on Mac

This is a proven fix for when your Mac’s iMessage stops working on you.

  1. Head over to Launchpad and click Keychain Access.

    Click on Keychain Access in Launch Pad on Mac
  2. Now click File and lock the Keychain login.

    Click on Lock The Keychain Login in Keychain Access on Mac
  3. You’ll need to unlock it again after some time and enter the password once it asks.

Many users across various forums and websites swear by this approach, so we think it’s worth a shot. If your Mac’s iMessage still isn’t working, check out the next tip.

7. Check both devices have same accounts

To sync iMessage properly, you need to make sure that the Apple accounts on your Mac and iOS devices are the same. If they aren’t the same, Messages will fall out of sync with your iDevice and stop functioning.

To check on iOS or iPadOS, head over to Settings → Messages → Send and Receive. Check which account you’re using on your iPhone or iPad.

Open iMessage Account Details on iPhone

Mac users can check by navigating to Messages → Preferences → Select iMessage tab. Ensure that both accounts are the same. If not, iMessage will not be able to work on your Mac.

8. Set Date and Time to automatic on Mac

We’ve noticed that the Date and Time settings can cause a lot of problems. Setting them to automatic can solve the issues on your Mac, and the same goes for when you aren’t able to send or receive messages on iMessage on iPhone or iPad.

To fix this issue, click the Apple logo → System Preferences → Date & Time → Time Zone tab and then check the Set date and time automatically box if it isn’t already selected.

Select Set date and time automatically in Time Zone Tab on Mac

If it’s already selected, uncheck the box, wait a few seconds, and then select it again. This will set the time and date automatically. Now launch Messages and see if it works.

9. Keep your Mac updated to latest version

Keeping macOS up to date is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t run into any problems with your daily driver apps like Messages, Safari, etc.

Head to System Preferences → Software Update and check for the latest version. If a new version is available, click Upgrade Now.

10. Reset NVRAM

NVRAM, or non-volatile random-access memory, stores a small amount of memory which includes certain settings. To reset NVRAM, shut down your Mac first. When you turn it on, immediately hold Option + Command + P + R keys at the same for about 20 seconds.

You can release the keys once you hear the startup sound for the second time, or after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time. Make sure that you turn off the firmware password if your Mac is using it, otherwise, this combination of keys won’t do anything useful!

That’s it, folks!

I hope one of these tips fixed iMessage not working on your Mac. If nothing worked for you, it’s time to contact Apple support (but that should be your last option).

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