Having trouble sending or receiving messages on your iPhone, iPad or Mac? In this article, we explore the reasons why iMessage stops working and provide you with solutions and tips to help you fix iMessage.
As you probably already know, iMessage is an app available for iOS or macOS that lets you send free messages to other users with iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
You can differentiate iMessages from classic (paid) SMS because the former appear in a blue bubble, while the latter appear in a green bubble.
There can be several reasons why iMessage stops working: there could be a problem with the server, there might be a problem with the server, Software, or you may need to configure the application settings correctly.
Before delving deeper into specific issues, we recommend that you review the following list, which while it seems very obvious, is worth reviewing.
You might also be interested in: how to send and receive payments between iMessage contacts, using Apple Pay.
1. Check if the Apple iMessage server is down
The first possibility is that the iMessage server is down. In this case, the application will not work for anyone.
This option is quite rare, but not impossible. The last time this happened was February 15, 2017.
If you visit the Apple page ‘System state’, you can check the status of all Apple services. If they appear in green, the servers are functioning correctly.
On this page, you can also see if Apple plans to perform any maintenance tasks, and even a report on issues that have been fixed recently.
Other alternatives to the official Apple website to check the status of servers are Descent detector or even Twitter, as many users will surely comment on the server error if it happens.
2. Make sure you have a connection (and enough data)
iMessage needs an internet connection to work, which is why you need to make sure you have 3G, 4G, or a good Wi-Fi signal to connect.
To check if you’re really signed in, you can open Safari browser and perform a random search. In case the page doesn’t show you any results, you already know the answer: you don’t have the internet.
3. Make sure iMessage is enabled and configured correctly
Go to “Settings> Messages”. In this option, verify that iMessage is enabled.
If iMessage is already on and still not working, check that your iPhone is set up correctly to receive messages.
Start again at ‘Settings> Messages’ and check the addresses and phone number that appear in the “Sent & Received” list.
You can resolve the issue by removing your phone number or email address from the list. We suggest you try the removal process to see if iMessage works only with your phone number or only with your email.
Remember to check that there is a check mark next to your phone in the “Start new conversations” section, in case you are using an iPhone.
4. Delete some messages
If the iMessage app has saved a lot of photos and videos, it may run slower.
To delete messages, you can slide your finger from right to left on a message in the message list and choose to delete it. Or you can just hit the Edit button in the top left corner and choose the delete option.
Remember that if you need free up space on your iPhone, you can read our guide to get more storage space.
5. Is the latest iOS update installed?
If your iOS software is not up to date, there may be a Thumbtack preventing the iMessage app from working properly.
You can check if there are any iOS versions available to install by going to ‘Settings> General> Software Update’.
6. Check the “Date and time” settings
And one “Settings> General> Date and time” and make sure that the option of “Automatic adjustment”.
In our experience, this small tweak solved our problem, so we recommend you give it a try.
Don’t already have an iPhone?
Before switching to a new smartphone, we recommend that you turn off iMessage on your iPhone. If you don’t, your iPhone contacts may continue to send you messages that you will never be able to read.
So, before you upgrade to Android, do the following:
- Go to “Settings> Messages”.
- Disable the “iMessage” option.
After iMessage is turned off, text messages you send on an iPhone will be green instead of blue.
If you forget to go through this process before getting rid of your old iPhone, you can always turn off iMessage using a web tool. You can access it via this link.
If, on the other hand, you’re Android and want to upgrade to iOS, don’t miss our guide on how to switch from Android to iPhone.
How to receive iMessages without having an iPhone
Even if you don’t have an iPhone anymore, you can still use iMessage. You can do this if you have a Mac or iPad, but keep in mind that messages you receive through this app will not appear on your
The messages will be sent using an identifier which is not your phone number in this case, but your email address for iCloud, for example.
It is easy to check which ID the messages will be sent to. On a Mac, go to “System Preferences> iCloud”. Log in and open the “Contact” tab. Check the credentials that appear in the list (also check that your phone number no longer appears).
IMessage visual effects do not work
If your recipient is not receiving visual effects introduced after iOS 10, check the following:
Your recipient must have iOS 10 (or iOS 11) installed. Effects will also not work if they are not sent through iMessage, i.e. if your friend does not have an iPhone or iPad, they will not be able to see the visual effects you send him.
Some of these effects will also not work if the “Reduce Motion” option is enabled on your iPhone. You can change this option in “General> Accessibility> Reduce travel> No”.
I can’t send group messages in iMessage
If you’re having trouble sending messages in groups, one of the reasons might be that some of the contacts in the group no longer have iPhones.
When you send a group message in iMessage, all contacts will appear in blue until you add someone who does not have iMessage, then it will appear in green.
If you have a group in iMessage and one of the contacts stops using the iPhone, the group will “break”, and the only solution will be to create a new one with the contacts who have an iPhone or iPad. .
You may also experience issues sending group messages in iMessage due to exiting a conversation.
In the iMessage app, tap the group message you’re trying to reply to. If you have left the conversation, a message will appear to let you know.
To get back to the conversation, you’ll need to ask one of the group members to add you again. Another option is to create a new group with the same people and continue the conversation there.
I accidentally deleted or lost messages in iMessage
If you have mistakenly deleted some important messages from iMessage, or if you update your iPhone, you find that some of the messages are gone, don’t worry – it is possible to get them back.
Here are the top five ways to recover mistakenly deleted or lost iMessages:
- Recover iCloud backup.
- Recover from iCloud web.
- Contact your mobile operator.
- Recover from iTunes backup.
- Recover through a third-party application.
Messages on my iPhone don’t appear on my Mac (or vice versa)
The Message apps on your iOS device and on your Mac will allow you to access your inbox on both platforms interchangeably.
However, syncing between devices sometimes fails and the messages you receive on your iPhone do not appear on your Mac or vice versa.
Don’t worry, this is a fairly common bug and also easy to fix. The problem usually arises because you changed your Apple ID password.
Go to “Settings> Messages> Sent and received”. Make sure all the email addresses (not just phone numbers) that you want to associate with the iMessage account are checked.
Now open the iMessage app on your Mac. Click on “messages” in the top menu bar, then on “preferences”. Click on “accounts” and activate the check mark on the correct e-mail addresses.
Finally, reset iMessage on both devices and hopefully the issue will have been resolved.
The latest version of iOS 11 tends to have fewer bugs than iOS 10 because it has a tool that automatically syncs conversations across all interconnected Apple devices.
If you have other issues with your iPhone, we can help, check out our articles: how to unlock iPhone in 4 steps, how to use Instagram on Mac The how to clear cache on your iPhone or iPad.