14 Best Ways to Fix iMessage Not Working On iPhone and iPad

iMessage is one of the biggest selling points of the iPhone, especially in countries like the US. If all your family and friends use an iPhone, you surely wouldn’t want to be the only green bubble that sticks out. However, even if you have an Apple device, iMessage may not be working on your iPhone at times leaving you disconnected from your close ones.

iMessage not working on iPhone and iPad

Are your messages green even if you’re texting someone with an iPhone? Is your iPhone not sending messages? Don’t worry, we’ll help you solve the problem. Here are some of the best ways to fix Apple iMessage not working on your iPhone or iPad.

Why Is My iMessage Not Working

iMessage is an online service which means it relies on your phone’s internet connection to work. Sometimes, there may be an issue hindering your iPhone or iPad to connect to the network. Even if your network is fine, it’s possible that there are certain settings on your iPhone that may be preventing iMessage to work as intended. We’ll go through all the possible issues and provide resolutions to address all of them.

Top 12 Fixes for iMessage Not Working on iPhone and iPad

1. Check if iMessage Is Down

Before we get to any of the solutions, it’s important to make sure the problem is at your end and not at Apple’s. Sometimes, it’s possible that the iMessage servers are down which is why your iPhone’s iMessage is not working. So if you’re wondering why isn’t my iMessage working even though all the parameters are fine, it’s time to check Apple’s server status. To check if iMessage is down, head over to Apple’s System Status website and look for the light next to iMessage.

If the light is red, iMessage is down and you will have to wait for it to get back online. If the light is green, everything is fine with iMessage’s servers. Proceed with further steps to fix it.

2. Toggle Airplane Mode

If you’re wondering — Why is my iMessage not working — one of the primary reasons is due to a patchy network. One of the quickest ways of restoring network connectivity on your iPhone is to toggle the Airplane mode on and off. This will force your iPhone to establish a connection to the nearest tower which is beneficial if you’re using mobile data.

Swipe down (or swipe up, depending on your iPhone model) from the top-right corner of your screen to open the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad. Then, enable Airplane mode. Wait for a few seconds and turn it off. Your iPhone/iPad will connect to mobile data or Wi-Fi like earlier, and iMessage should be up and running.

3. Ensure You Have an Active Internet Connection

iMessage works over an active internet connection on your iPhone or iPad. So, it’s important to be connected to a Wi-Fi network or use mobile data to send messages, photos, or just about any data via iMessage. It’s recommended that you use a stable Wi-Fi connection with good speeds for seamless connectivity.

If iMessage has stopped working on your iPhone when using mobile data, make sure you’re using either 4G or 5G networks and that the area you’re in has good signal strength. Or else, try to get hold of a public Wi-Fi network temporarily to send your messages. The lack of a good connection might also be one of the reasons why your iMessage isn’t sending photos and videos.

4. Check Send & Receive Addresses

Your iPhone has a certain number of phone numbers and email IDs that it can use to send and receive texts via iMessage. If your current phone number or email ID isn’t one of them, iMessage will not work on your iPhone or iPad. If your iMessage is not sending messages, here’s how to check your Send & Receive Addresses and update them.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Scroll down and tap on Messages.

Step 2: Tap on Send & Receive.

Here, you can see the phone numbers and email IDs that you can use for iMessage. If your details aren’t up to date, chances are that your iCloud and iMessage accounts do not match. Follow the guide mentioned in the link and you should have the right settings for iMessage. This is how you can fix your iMessage when it’s not working due to the Send & Receive address mismatch.

If you don’t have a mobile number and your iPhone isn’t sending text messages, you can also use iMessage on an iPhone or iPad without a SIM card.

5. Remove and Reinsert Your SIM Card

Here’s another simple solution for when iMessage on iPhone is not working. Remove your SIM card from the iPhone and reinsert it after a while. This will essentially reset iMessage on your iPhone. When you insert your SIM card again, the iMessage activation process will begin after the iPhone registers to a network.

6. Reset iMessage and Restart the iPhone or iPad

This step is an extended procedure of the previous method. If reinserting your SIM card didn’t do the trick, or if iMessage is turned off on your phone, here’s how to turn the iMessage service back on.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Scroll down and tap on Messages.

Step 2: Tap on the iMessage toggle to turn it off.

Step 3: Wait for a few seconds and turn it back on. This will re-enable the service.

Step 4: Now, restart your iPhone/iPad. Here’s how to do it-

  • For iPhone X and Above/iPads without a Home Button: Press and hold the volume up button + side button till you see the power off slider. Slide it to turn off your iPhone. Then, press and hold the side button to turn it on.
  • For all other iPhones and iPads with a Home Button: Press and hold the power button till you see the power off slider. Slide it to turn off your phone. Then, press and hold the side button to turn it on.

Once your iPhone/iPad restarts, it should automatically start the iMessage registration.

7. Ensure You Have an Active Plan on Your SIM

This is mainly for when iMessage is not working on a new iPhone. When you insert a SIM into your iPhone, Apple sends an automatic SMS from your mobile number to activate iMessage for the first time. Failure to send this SMS will result in iMessage not working.

So, ensure you have an active plan on your SIM that can send text messages. If you have a prepaid connection, ensure you have sufficient balance to send a text message. If you don’t, recharge with the bare minimum amount so that it can send the activation message for iMessage to activate on your iPhone.

8. Check if the Recipient Is Using iMessage

In order for you to send an iMessage to someone, the other party also needs to be using iMessage. What this means is your text bubbles will appear blue only if the recipient is also using an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, or an Apple product and is registered for iMessage. So, ensure that the person you’re texting is also using iMessage by following this simple method.

Step 1: Open the Messages app on your iPhone. Tap on New Message in the top-right corner.

Step 2: Enter the recipient’s phone number or email ID.

If their name appears in blue, it means they’re using iMessage. If it appears in green, they’re not using iMessage, and hence, whatever you send will be delivered in the form of SMS.

9. Disable the ‘Send As SMS’ Toggle

The iPhone and iPad have a feature that automatically sends a message via SMS if iMessage isn’t available. Sometimes, enabling this toggle can lead to your messages being sent via SMS by default instead of iMessage even if your network connection is slightly erratic. So, it’s best to disable this toggle to ensure all your messages are sent via iMessage only.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Scroll down and tap on Messages.

Step 2: Find the Send as SMS toggle and disable it.

iMessage should now work on your iPhone and iPad as intended.

10. Delete Old Messages

If you’re able to send iMessages but unable to receive them, it could be that your iPhone has run out of storage, and hence, there’s no space to store new messages. The best way to tackle this issue is to delete older messages to make way for new ones.

Step 1: Open the Messages app on your iPhone. Tap on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.

Step 2: Now, choose the Select Messages option.

Step 3: Select all the messages you wish to delete. Hit the Delete button in the bottom-right corner.

You should now start receiving new messages.

11. Update Your iPhone/iPad to the Latest Version

At times, a particular software version may cause issues with the functioning of iMessage. Updating your iPhone/iPad to the latest iOS/iPadOS version can help fix the iMessage not working issue.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Navigate to the General section.

Step 2: Tap on Software Update.

Step 3: If a new update is available, it will be listed there. Select Install and wait for the installation to complete.

12. Set the Date and Time to Automatically Update

Have you switched on an old iPhone? Or is your iPhone running on an older date and time? There have been reports of iMessage not working when the date and time of the iPhone were set incorrectly.

So, try setting the date and time as per iPhone’s automatic setting to mitigate iMessage from ceasing to work Here’s how to set the date and time on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone and proceed to the General option. Now, select ‘Date and Time’.

Step 2: Turn on the toggle beside Set Automatically. If the toggle is already turned on, turn it off. Then, switch the toggle on again.

iPhone restart fix 3

13. Try Using iMessage on a Mac or a Different Device

Having several Apple devices means you’ve probably logged in with the same Apple ID on your Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch. If that’s indeed the case, try sending an iMessage via your Mac or Apple Watch to see if it goes through.

If it does, it probably means there’s something off with your iPhone’s network settings and it needs a reset. Follow the steps below to reset your iPhone’s network parameters and then try enabling iMessage again.

14. Reset Network Settings

If none of the above solutions worked for you, resetting the network settings on your iPhone/iPad could come in handy. This will reset all network parameters such as saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, data plans, etc. You will have to set them up again manually. While it may seem cumbersome, it can help fix the issue with iMessage on your device.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Navigate to the General section.

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom. Tap on ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone’.

Step 3: Select the Reset option here.

Step 4: Now, select Reset Network Settings. Ensure you don’t select any other option or it may wipe your iPhone’s storage entirely.

Connect to your Wi-Fi network once again and try using iMessage. The above fixes should get your iMessage up and running again. Have more questions? Move on to the next section.

FAQs About iMessage on iPhone

1. Why are my iMessages green?

When an iMessage fails to send, it gets delivered to the recipient via SMS. In such a case, your iMessage will appear in a green bubble instead of the usual blue.

2. How do you refresh iMessage on your iPhone?

iMessage syncs every time you connect to a Wi-Fi network. You don’t have to manually refresh iMessage as all new incoming messages are automatically synced.

3. Why are my messages not updating on my iPhone?

If there’s an issue with your network, the messages on your iPhone will not update.

4. Can you have 2 iMessage accounts?

Absolutely! You can link more than 1 phone number or email ID with iMessage. All the IDs that are linked to your Apple account can be used with iMessage as well.

5. Why is iMessage not working for one contact?

It’s important to note that both parties need to be connected to the internet and must be registered on iMessage for it to work. If the contact you’re texting is offline, hasn’t registered for iMessage, or uses an Android device, iMessage will not work.

6. Am I blocked if an iMessage is sent as a text?

Although it is one of the possibilities, it doesn’t imply that you’re blocked. It could just be that iMessage isn’t working the way it should on your iPhone. Just follow the steps mentioned above and you should be able to fix it.

Keep the Green Bubbles Away

You may be disconnected from your friends and family if iMessage is not working on your iPhone or iPad. However, it’s quite simple to fix if you followed the instructions carefully. Get back online and join the conversation without being the odd one out with green bubbles.

Last updated on 21 August, 2023

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