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Why Is My iMessage Not Working [iOS 16 Supported]

Gorilla updated on Dec 29, 2022 | Home > iOS & Mac Topics

iMessage, an instant messaging tool, was developed by Apple Inc. and released in 2011. With iMessage apps, you can collaborate with others in a conversation, use stickers to decorate your messages, share music, etc. It is only available for Apple products and applicable to macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS systems. 

If this is your first time using this service, you need to activate it first. For the detailed steps, refer to: How to Set up and Activate iMessage on iPhone X/8/8 Plus

Part 1. Why is My iMessage Not Working


What would you do if you identify that your iMessage is not working and you cannot receive or send text messages? First, you should find out why your iMessage is not working and then learn how to manage the problem. To explore why does it not work, you have to understand how it works.

As an instant messaging service, the difference between iMessage and SMS/MMS is noticeable. When you use iMessage to send a text, it appears in blue text bubbles. While if the person to that you sent the message to doesn't have an Apple device, the text will be automatically sent as an SMS message and appear in green bubbles. This discrepancy occurs because iMessages send texts, photos, or videos to another iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac over Wi-Fi or cellular-data networks.

iMessage and SMS message

There are many potential reasons why iMessage stops working. In general, it is divided into the following four aspects:

  • The network is not connected.
  • Wrong configuration in the settings.
  • The operating system is too old to run the iMessage app.
  • There's something wrong with the iMessage program or its server.

Since the different operating systems and interfaces, we will discuss the messages app from two sections - iMessage on both iPhone/iPad and Mac. To figure it out, let's check them one by one.

Part 2. How to Fix iMessage Not Working on iPhone/iPad

Given the difference between iMessage and regular instant messaging services, when you come across nonworking iMessage, you cannot confuse the case of iMessage with other instant messaging services like SMS or MMS. 

To troubleshoot the iMessage on your iPhone or iPad, check the network on your iPhone/iPad first.

Method 1. Check your network when iMessage not working

Once you activate the service and you want to send a text, but it doesn't work, the first thing is to check your network. Unlike regular instant messaging services, iMessages send texts over the internet. So ensure you are connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular data network. You can also check if the network signal is weak. The iMessage may also not work if it is weak or unstable.

Check the network

Method 2. Check the iMessage is configured correctly

Sometimes, you may have inadvertently changed the iMessage settings, and you are not entirely aware of that. You also cannot use iMessage in that case. 

Here's how to check the settings of your iMessage:

Step 1. Go to Settings.

Step 2. Select Messages.

Step 3. Click Send & Receive.

Step 4. Here you can see a list of email addresses and phone numbers that can send and receive messages in your iMessage. Check whether all the numbers and email addresses you need are enabled.

Check the settings

Method 3. Update the operating system of your Apple device

Check your iOS system for updates on your iPhone/iPad. An old and incompatible operating system can also not run some devices of new versions. 

Step 1. From Settings, click General.

Step 2. Tap Software Update.

Step 3. Check that your iOS is up to date. If it prompts you to update, follow its instructions to update to the latest version.

Then, you can restart your iMessage to see if you can use the service normally. By the way, you may turn on automatic updates to prevent old versions once and for all.

Method 4. Turn off iMessage and restart your iPhone

If you try many methods when the iPhone is powered on, and you still cannot find effective solutions for iMessages not working, you may want to attempt to turn off the app and reboot your iPhone. 

Step 1. From Settings, tap Messages, and toggle off the slider of iMessage.

Step 2. Reboot your Apple device.

Step 3. Go to Settings > Messages > Toggle on iMessage.

In this way, we can confirm whether some errors happen in the application and lead to iMessages not working on iPhones. If that is the case, once you power on, the software will restart again and can be used normally.

Part 3. How to Fix iMessage Not Working on Mac

Checking the Internet and the system version mentioned before are also used to troubleshoot the iMessage on your Mac. If your iMessage on your Mac is still not working, then you can reboot your Mac and check that the date and time are set correctly on your Mac.

If all the methods above don't work, you can still follow the method below to clear the message cache:

Step 1. Open Finder on your Mac and then press Command + Shift + G simultaneously.

Step 2. In the text box that appears enter this command: ~/Library/Messages/

Step 3. Delete files in the Messages folder named chat.db, chat.db-shm, or chat.db-wal

Part 4. Bonus - Contact Apple Support

Apple Support

If you have tried every method you can think of, and your iMessage on your iPhone/iPad and Mac is still not working, contact Apple Support for help. No matter the problem in using Apple products, you can contact the Apple Support Team for help anytime. 


To avoid data loss, if you want to back up your iMessage data from iPhone or iPad to a Mac, you can learn how to transfer your iMessage data for free. Here we exclusively write a guide for iOS 11 iMessage Not Working. If your device happens to be an iOS 11 system, then you can get it here!

In short, when you run into iMessage not working on your Mac or your iPhone, follow the solutions mentioned above one by one, and you will get it over quickly.

FAQs about iMessage Not Working

 If you have any problems or doubts about iMessage, follow the frequently asked questions below.

1. Why are my iMessages green?

When your iPhone messages appear in green bubbles, it means SMS messages. If the text bubbles are blue, it means iMessage. In addition, you'll also see green bubbles when the text is sent to Android users or when your iPhone is not connected to the Internet.

2. How do I change to iMessage from an SMS message on my iPhone?

  • Go to Settings > Messages.
  • Turn on iMessage
  • Click OK to confirm.
  • Toggle Send As SMS off. 

3. Why did my iMessage activation stop working?

The best easy way is trying resetting. You can also try restarting your phone, refreshing your connection, or resetting your Apple ID.

4. Why won't my phone number connect to iMessage?

If you can't see or select your number in Messages, ensure you're using the latest application for your Mac or iPhone. Make sure you follow the correct steps to set up your phone number and use the same Apple ID on all your devices.



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