How to Fix iMessage Not Working on iPhone after iOS 16/15 Update

iMessage is a great feature which allows users to send text, documents, photos, videos, contact information, and group messages to other iOS or macOS users. But still, iMessage is not perfect. Though the issues related to the iMessage are pretty old but they continue to soar after the recent iOS 16/15 updates.

So, if you have recently updated to iOS 16/15 and facing the same iMessage-related issue on your iPhone running on iOS 16/15, then this guide has got you covered. Here, we will discuss everything related to iMessage not working on iOS 16/15, along with the possible solutions to fix it.

Part 1: The One-stop Solution to All iOS 16/15 iMessage Bugs on iPhone 13/12/11/X

Why Is my iMessage not working? There are many reasons behind this problem, and it is difficult to rule out and try different solutions one by one to solve this problem. Is there a one stop solution for all iMessage problems? Yes, there is.

No matter what causes iPhone iMessage not working, it is a malfunction of the iPhone(iOS) system, and we can fix the system malfunction through a professional iOS system recovery software. UltFone iOS System Repair will serve the purpose best to fix iMessage not working on iPhone after iOS 16/15 update. This third-party software is highly professional to solve more than 150 iOS related issues within just a few clicks.

So, either your iPhone 12 can’t send or receive iMessages, or iMessage effects not working after update, use iOS System Repair to fix it.

The Steps to Repair iOS to Fix iMessage Not Working on iPhone

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  • Step 1 Install and launch UltFone iOS System Repair on your Mac or PC, connect your iDevice to the computer via a USB cable, and tap the "Start" button to proceed further.

    UltFone iOS 16 system repair interface
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    iOS 16 firmware package is downloaded successfully
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This is the this is the optimal method for resolving iPhone iMessage not working. Still, in case you don’t want to download any third-party software, then you can refer to the upcoming part of this guide to learn more troubleshooting methods as per the problem causing iOS 16/15 iMessage not working.

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Part 2: Pro Tips for Specific iMessage Not Working iOS 16/15 iPhone 13/12/11

Here's the list of the common problems with iMessage on iPhone after update.

iOS 16/15 iMessage Problem 1: iMessage Waiting for Activation Error

There are times when your Apple device cannot activate iMessage, you'll see error notifications like "Waiting for activation, "Activation process unsuccessful," "An error occurred during activation, the server is down, try again later all these messages indicates that there is an issue regarding your activation of iMessage. Usually, it is easy to activate iMessage on Apple devices, but still, if such errors occur, then, in that case, you just have to follow the tips mentioned below to know how to fix this problem.

imessage waiting for activation

How to Fix iMessage Wait For Activation after iOS 16/15 Update

1. Turn-ON/OFF Airplane Mode

The first recommended way to fix iMessage waiting for activation error on your iPhone is to turn ON/OFF the Airplane Mode. This can fix the minor technical error inhibiting the ability of your iPhone to connect to wireless data or a Wi-Fi network. In order to turn ON/OFF Airplane Mode:

  1. Step 1: Go to the "Settings" of your iPhone.
  2. Step 2: here, click on the switch next to "Airplane Mode" to turn it ON. When the toggle is green, Airplane Mode is ON.
  3. Step 3: Wait for few minutes and then click on the switch again to turn Airplane Mode back "OFF."

    turn airplane mode on and off

2. Turn-ON/OFF iMessage on iPhone

If turning on and off Airplane Mode didn't work to fix your iMessage-related issue, then try fixing the issue by turning ON/OFF iMessage. iMessage might have faced some sort of glitch when trying to activate, so turning iMessage OFF and back ON will give it a fresh start. For this, you need to:

  1. Step 1: Open "Settings" on your iPhone and go to "Messages."
  2. Step 2: Here, tap on the switch next to iMessage at the top of your screen. When the switch is white, it indicates that iMessage is OFF.
  3. Step 3: Wait for few minutes and click on the switch again to turn ON the iMessage again.

    turn imessage on and off

You can now check if the iMessage bug iOS 16/15 is fixed! If no, then move on to the next solution!

3. Check Date and Time Settings on iPhone, Turn ON the Toggle for Set Automatically

Another reason why iMessage says "Waiting for Activation" is because your iPhone is set to the wrong time zone. So, in order to fix this issue, follow the steps below:

  1. Step 1: Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Date & Time”.
  2. Step 2: Here, make sure that your iPhone is set to the correct time zone.
  3. Step 3: Now, turn on the switch next to "Set Automatically" so that your iPhone can set your time zone based on your current location.

    set time and date automatically

Once you turn ON the toggle for "Set Automatically," you can check if the iMessage-related issue still persists or not. If yes, then try fixing it with the next solution.

4. Check for Apple System Status

Checking the Apple System Status is another way to get cleared about the iMessage not working issue in iOS 16/15. You can check Apple System Status for its services, iCloud, and stores. By this, you can get an insight into whether Apple servers are down or having some service problems. For this, you need to go to the Apple System Status page and check if everything is marked with a green tick. If any of the items are marked red, then this indicates that there's an issue with that particular thing.

Checking the Apple System Status will give you clarity on why the issue is arising. In case if everything seems to be perfect here, then try resetting the network settings.

5. Reset Network Settings

Resetting Network Settings in your iPhone can also fix a handful of iOS-related issues. So, why not try fixing the iOS 16/15 iMessage bug by resetting the Network Settings.

Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Your iPhone will now shut down, perform the reset and turn back ON automatically. After your iOS device turns back ON, reconnect to the Wi-Fi network or connect to the Cellular Data and try to activate iMessage again.

Related read: How to Fix iMessage Stuck on Waiting for Activation iOS 16/15/14

iOS 16/15 iMessage Problem 2: Can't Send or Receive iMessage on iPhone

There are times when you are not able to send or receive messages on your Apple devices. This can take place because of many reasons like no internet connection or weak internet connection. If you see a red alert sign after you click on the send button, there must be some issues as it's a green bubble that always appears if your message is sent successfully.

In the case of receiving the iMessage, the notification will quickly pop up on the screen if there is no error, but if there is an error, then this might be possible that you don't receive the message. And to fix this problem, you can go through the following tips and get to send and receive the notifications.

How to Fix Can’t or Receive iMessage on iPhone

1. Restart Your iPhone

2. Check Network Connection

It is important to remember that iMessage only works with a stable internet connection or a Wi-Fi network. So, let us make sure your iPhone is actually connected to the stable Internet. Open up "Safari" on your iPhone and try searching for any website. If the Safari does not load or say, "You are not connected to the internet," your iMessage won't send either.

If your Cellular Data is not working, you can connect to the Wi-Fi and try resending the iMessage. If that works, then the issue was with the Network connection and not with iMessage.

3. Check your Device Storage

Sometimes the limited device storage prevents the iPhone users from sending or receiving iMessage on iPhone. So, if you are not able to send or receive iMessage on your iPhone after the recent update, then check your device storage by following the guide below:

  1. Step 1: Go to "Settings" and click on "General."
  2. Step 2: Here, tap on "Device Storage," where you will see a list of recommendations for optimizing the storage space of your device.
  3. Step 3: Simply tap on the name of the application for more information about its storage.

    check iphone storage

If the device storage is full on your iPhone, then clear some storage space to send and receive iMessages in iOS 16/15.

4. Make Sure You Enter the Correct Phone Number for the Contact

If you are not able to send iMessage to one contact on your iPhone after the recent iOS 16/15 update, then there are chances that you might be sending the iMessage on the wrong number. So, in order to avoid this issue, confirm that you are texting the right number. If you have mistakenly enter the wrong number or the recipient now has a new number, then you may face the iMessage-related issue.

5. Turn on MMS Messaging

If you're trying to send group MMS messages on iPhone, but you are unable to do so, then there might be some issue in the Message settings of your device. Go to "Settings"> "Messages" > turn on "MMS Messaging."

turn on mms messaging

And that's all! It was easy and quick to turn on MMS messaging that will now allow you to send group MMS messages on iPhone.

iOS 16/15 iMessage Problem 3: iMessage Not Delivered

As one of the most common types of communication, you expect that iMessage will always work. So when the new iMessage you send doesn't say "Delivered," it can be a big issue. Yet, this error comes a lot, and it can affect a single message to a particular person or all iMessage that you try to send. It is also widespread for the message to say "Delivered," but the recipient has not received it.

When your iPhone update to the latest iOS 16/15, the iMessage is not working: If this is you, you have to resolve this problem quickly. The following tips will explain how you can fix iMessage not delivered issue.

How to Fix iMessage Not Delivered On iPhone

1. Check Network Connection

If the device of the recipient is not connected to the Internet, then they may not receive the iMessage. But in case the iMessage is marked as "Not Delivered," then there are chances that you may have an issue with your Internet connection. So, it is suggested to check the network connection by going to Settings on your iPhone and click on "Wi-Fi”. Here, join a stable network before attempting to send the iMessage again.

We hope this will work to fix iPhone 11 iMessage not delivered issue!

2. Turn iMessage OFF and ON

A quick toggle ON/OFF of the iMessage on your iPhone might be enough to fix some of the system faults that are causing the iMessage not delivered issue.

3. Send as SMS instead of iMessage

If the above-stated solution didn't work to fix the "iMessage not delivered" issue on your iPhone running on iOS 16/15, then try sending the SMS instead of iMessage! There are chances that the person you are trying to send the iMessage to does not have iPhone or iOS device, and therefore you will not be able to send them an iMessage. In this scenario, the message will be marked as "Sent as a Text message" instead of "Delivered."

One important thing to note here is that you can switch to SMS instead of iMessage if you don't have a stable enough network connection to send the messages. For this, you need to go to "Settings"> "Messages"> "Send an SMS" to switch from iMessage to Text message.

Your iPhone usually sends iMessage to iOS devices by default, but you do have the option to change this in the "Settings" of your device.

4. Force Restart iPhone

If you are certain that the problem behind why is my iMessage not working is not the internet connection, then you can try fixing the issue by force restarting your iPhone. A force restart will remove all the minor bugs that interfere with your iOS system and cause issues like iMessage not being delivered.

iOS 16/15 iMessage Problem 4: iMessage Effects Not Working

iMessage Screen Effects is a type of feature that enables you to send messages with visual effects on iPhone, including balloons, lasers, fireworks, and stars. Attracted by Apple's official functional details, but found iMessage full-screen effects not working on your device iOS iMessage screen effects was only compatible with iOS 16/15 or newer.

Less Motion is a system-wide option that can stop any animation effects or screen movement on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. By doing so, the iMessage screen effect is also lessened. To abolish this problem, you have to look at the following tips like Quick Messages App and Restart it, Sign out and Sign in to iMessage or restore your phone.

How to Fix iMessage Screen Effects Not Working

1. Turn OFF Reduce Motion

When turned ON, Reduce Motion setting limits on your iPhone’s Home Screen like screen zooms upon opening folders or applications, icon move when the device is moved and iMessage related issue as well. So, it’s better to turn OFF Reduce Motion by following the guide below:

  1. Step 1: From the Home Screen of your iPhone, go to “Settings” > “Accessibility". Alternatively, you can go to “Settings” > “General” > “Accessibility”.
  2. Step 2: Click on “Motion”. For the devices running on iOS 12.4 or lower, click on “Reduce Motion”.
  3. Step 3: Next, tap the “Reduce Motion” switch to turn “OFF”.

    turn off reduce motion

2. Check Auto-Play Message Effects

If your iPhone is updated to iOS 11 or later then you can easily enable or disable the “Auto Play Message Effects” in the “Settings” app of your iPhone. When the Auto-Play Message Effects is ON, bubble effects and full screen effects will play automatically.

Below the Reduce Motion option, we can find the Auto-play option. Please turn it on if it is disabled.

3. Restart iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can fix common iPhone-related issues so let's try fixing the iMessage repeated issue on iPhone by a simple restart. Refer to the how-to guide above, i.e., Part 3 > iMessage Problem 2 > Basic Tip 1, to learn how to restart your iPhone.

4. Quit Messages App and Restart it

Another way to fix iMessage effects not working is by quitting the Message app and restarting it again. Quitting an application from the Recent tab can fix multiple app related issues in an iPhone. So, why not try fixing the iMessage effects problem with this method.

  1. Step 1: Long press the “Home” button of your iPhone to enter the Recent tab.
  2. Step 2: Here, find the “Messages” app and swipe it up with your finger to quit it from recent tab.
  3. Step 3: After quitting the Messages application, restart it again and see if the issue is now resolved.

Quitting the Messages app and restarting it is hassle free and quick with the guide above. So, follow the steps appropriately for better results.

5. Sign out and Sign in to iMessage

If the iMessage Effects are still not working, then you have to follow the steps below.

  1. Step 1: Directly go to the “Settings” app in your iPhone.
  2. Step 2: Tap on “Messages”.
  3. Step 3: Under “Messages”, click on “Send & Receive”.
  4. Step 4: Click on your “Apple ID”.
  5. Step 5: Finally, “Sign out” and then “Sign in” again.

    sign out apple id in iMessage

6. Restore your iPhone

After every solution you tried, and the iMessage effects are still not working and facing the same issue, the ultimate solution left is to restore your iPhone. Restoring software on iPhone deletes all your information and settings. But, iTunes backs up your data before restoring process, so that you can utilize the backup to restore your iPhone to how it was when you last used it. To restore your iPhone, you have to go through the steps mentioned below.

  1. Step 1: Connect your device to your computer with the help of a USB cable and make sure your Wi-Fi connection is working.
  2. Step 2: When you are connected, click on the “iTunes” app on your computer. There you will find a device sign near the top of itunes windows, tap on it.
  3. Step 3: Tap on the “Summary” option.
  4. Step 4: And finally, click on “Restore” button and follow the onscreen instructions.

iOS 16/15 iMessage Problem 5: iMessage Notification Not Working

iMessage helps you to get in touch with your friends, family, and colleagues. But sometimes, when you receive a message, the notification sound does not work. This generally happens after you update your device, or sometimes your must-have enabled Do Not Disturb mode. To know the solution to this problem, you have to do nothing but follow these tips or steps, and your issue will be resolved.

How to Fix iMessage Notifications Not Working on iPhone

1. Turn ON iMessage on iPhone

If the notifications of iMessage are not working on your iPhone after the iOS 16/15 update, then try fixing the issue by turning ON iMessage on your phone. Here's how to turn on iMessage on iPhone.

Open the "Settings" app on your iPhone and click on "Messages." On the upcoming screen, toggle ON the switch next to iMessage.

That's it! You have effortlessly turned ON iMessage on your iPhone to fix iMessage related issue in iOS 16/15.

2. Disable Do Not Disturb Mode

Look at the left side of your iPhone and make sure that the physical silent button is not down, i.e., exposing an orange background. In case it is, then please push it up to disable the silent mode. Later, go to "Settings" and click on "Do Not Disturb." On the upcoming screen, ensure the toggle for "Do Not Disturb" is turned OFF.

In iOS 16/15 devices, you should go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb.

disable do not disturb on iPhone

Alternatively, you can do the same from the iPhone Control Center by click on the crescent moon icon.

3. Check Messages App Notification Settings

In order to check the Messages app notification settings, follow the step by step guide below:

  1. Step 1: Go to the "Settings" app on your iPhone and click on "Notifications."
  2. Step 2: Here, scroll down and click on "Messages."
  3. Step 3: Make sure the switch for "Allow Notifications" is ON.
  4. Step 4: Next, make sure the "Lock Screen," "Notification Center," and "Banners" are all ticked.
  5. Step 5: Lastly, click on "Sounds" and select any louder tone if needed. Also, ensure "None" is not selected. You can even customize the message vibration.

    check message app notification settings

After checking all the Message app notification settings, look if the iMessage-related issue is now resolved.

4. Turn OFF 'Filter Unknown Senders'

If you choose to "Filter Unknown Senders," you will not be notified when a person who isn't on your contact list sends an iMessage to you. So, to avoid this, you can turn it OFF.

  1. Step 1: Open the "Settings" app on your device and click on "Messages."
  2. Step 2: Click on "Unknown & Spam."
  3. Step 3: Make sure that the toggle for "Filter Unknown Senders" is OFF.

    turn off filter unknown senders on iPhone

5. Reset All Settings

Last but not least, if none other method works to fix the iMessage not working issue, then try resetting all the settings in your iOS device. This will remove all modified or new settings, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VPN settings, and much more on your device but the personal data, like music, apps, and images will remain unaffected.

iPhone with iOS 14 or below: Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.

iPhone with iOS 16/15: Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset All Settings.

reset all settings ios 15

A Final Word

We hope this article on fixing iMessage not working on iOS 16/15 has helped you resolve the problem you have been facing with iMessage on your iPhone 13/12/11/XR/XS/X. No matter which troubleshooting fix you opt for, you will get reliable results. But if you are looking forwards to a professional way to fix this issue, then using the UltFone iOS System Repair is the best option. Go for it now and solve your iMessage-related issue flawlessly without any hassle.

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