How to Fix iMessage Won't Activate

You attempt to activate iMessage on iPhone or Mac, but failed and wondering why. Well, it is a common problem that many users encountered. Fortunately, you have come to the right place if you’re curious to know why won't my iMessage activate. In this post, we will tell you why you’re getting an iMessage activation error and helps you to fix the error on iPhone or Mac.

Part 1: iMessage Won't Activate on iPhone, How to Fix

In order to use iMessage on your iPhone, you have to activate the service on your device. But, you could run into iMessage activation error while activating it. When your iMessage waiting for activation on Ios device or Mac, you might come across one of the following messages.

  • Waiting for activation
  • Activation unsuccessful
  • An error occurred during activation
  • Could not sign in, please check your network connection
  • Unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again

There could be several different reasons to encounter the iMessage won't activate on a new iPhone, for instance, weak internet connection, outdated software, etc. But, the good news is that there are several solutions out there to help you fix the error.

So, following are some tips recommended to follow.

Tip 1: Make Sure that you’re connected to a Cellular Data or Wi-Fi Network

The iMessage activation process requires you to use a solid internet connection for the process to be successful. Therefore, the first thing to do is to ensure that you are connected to a reliable Wi-Fi connection or at least have a strong cellular connection. You can check through Wi-Fi or Cellular data settings on your iPhone.

Tip 2: Make Sure that your Time Zone is Set Correctly

Another important to ensure is that your time zone is set correctly. Well, iMessage activation sometimes fails due to the wrong time zone. This usually common with users who travel abroad and can’t remember to have their device update its time zone automatically.

  • Go to Settings>General > Date & Time.
  • Simply turn on Set Automatically.

        set time and date automatically     

Tip 3: Restart Your iPhone

Always give a try to a simple restart on your iPhone. if it works, then you can save yourself from the hassle of going through further complicated troubleshooting tips to get iMessage won't activate the problem resolved. So, below is how to restart iPhone.

On iPhone X or 11:

  • Press and hold down either the Volume button and Side button until you see the power-off slider on your device’s screen.
  • Drag the slider to turn off the device.
  • In a white, press and hold down the Side button until the Apple logo appears on your device’s screen.

On iPhone 8, 7 or 6:

  • Press and hold down the Side button until you see the power-off slider on your device’s screen.
  • Drag the slider to turn off the device.
  • In a white, press and hold down the Side button until the Apple logo appears on your device’s screen.

On iPhone SE, 5 or earlier:

  • Press and hold down the Top button until you see the power-off slider on your device’s screen.
  • Drag the slider to turn off the device.
  • In a white, press and hold down the Top button until the Apple logo appears on your device’s screen.
    restart iphone   

Tip 4: Disable iMessage and Enable It Again

Turning iMessage off and back on can resolve a minor issue that’s making you go through iMessage activation failed error.

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings>Messages
  • Turn off iMessage.
  • In a while, turn iMessage back on.

        turn off imessage   

Tip 5: Sign Out and Sign In Your Apple ID

Well, signing out of and signing back into your Apple ID can resolve minor problems with your account. As iMessage is connected with your Apple ID, a minor error or glitch with your account could lead you to an activation error. In such cases, the best solution is to sign out and sign-in your Apple ID.

  • On your iPhone, open Settings> [Your Name]
  • Scroll down the screen to locate and click “Sign Out” and enter your Apple ID passcode to log out.
  • In a while, click the “Sign in button” and enter your Apple ID and passcode to log back in.

        sign out of icloud   

Tip 6: Check for iOS Update

Fortunately, Apple releases new updates to fix several minor issues and introduce new functionalities for your iPhone too. By simply updating your device to the latest iOS version available, you could easily fix the iMessage won't activate on the iPhone X problem.

  • On your iPhone, open Settings
  • Go to General >Software Update
  • If updates are available, then download and install them right away.

        update iphone software   

Tip 7: Reset Network Settings

It might be possible that you’re going through this error due to some unknown network issues. Therefore, try to reset network settings that will reset your device’s network settings - all of its cellular, Wi-Fi, VPN and Bluetooth settings will get deleted and restored to factory defaults. You’ll need to reenter your connection passwords for reconnection once the completion of reset. Below is how to reset network settings on iPhone -

Go to Settings>General>Reset>Reset Network Settings.

    update iphone software   

Tip 8: Restore iPhone without Data Loss to Fix iMessage Won’t Activate

Tried all the above solutions, but still iMessage activation unsuccessful? Then, you surely need a powerful fix, which is UltFone iOS System Repair. This software can restore your iPhone/iPad to fix several system issues without erasing data from the device. With the help of it, you can fix problems like device stuck in the Apple logo, black screen, etc with ease and in no time.

Let’s learn how to use UltFone iOS System Repair to fix iMessage won’t activate issue on your iPhone.

  • Step 1 Download and install this program to your PC/Mac computer, and connect your iOS device to computer via USB cable.

    Free Download For Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP Secure Download Free Download For macOS 10.15 and below Secure Download
  • Step 2 Select Repair Operating System section on the main interface.

    repair iphone black screen
  • Step 3 After clicking on “Fix Now”, the software will recommend you download the suitable firmware module for your device.

    download firmware package
  • Step 4 Then, click the “Repair Now” button. When your device system recovery is completed, your device will automatically restart and will be in normal condition.

    ios system is done

Tip 9: Factory Reset iPhone

For the users who failed to fix the problem with common workarounds and don’t want to use any third-party software, the last resort is performing a factory reset on the device. This method will erase everything from the device and so, make sure to have a backup beforehand.

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Setings

erase all contents

Once the factory reset process completes, you can set up your device as new. After then, try again to activate your iMessage and hopefully, it works for you.

Part 2: How to Fix iMessage Won't Activate on Mac

For those users who complained about my iMessage won't activate on Mac, the following solutions might help them to fix the problem.

1. Make Sure you’ve Enabled Your Apple ID for Messages

The first thing to do is to ensure that you have turned your Apple ID on for Messages. Disabled Apple ID for Messages could be the reason to encounter the problem.

Here’s how to enable your Apple ID for Messages on Mac:

  1. 1. Go to your “Messages” and then, choose “Preferences” from the top menu.
  2. 2.Choose “Accounts”>”iMessage”.
  3. 3. Finally, see if your Apple ID info shows up. Also, ensure that you check the box for “Enable this account”. If it was already checked, then simply uncheck and again check the box in a while.

    enable apple id for imessage on mac

Try to sign-in once again into your Messages/FaceTime on your Mac to check if the problem has gone or not.

2. Check Your Internet Connection

Another very common culprit behind facing iMessage won't activate on the Mac problem is a weak internet connection. So, make sure that your Mac is connected to a reliable and strong internet connection. You will probably know if you can load web pages or get an email.

3. Check whether there is an Outage from Apple Server

It could be possible that there is an issue with Apple experiencing a system outage. To check if the Apple server is down, simply go to the Apple System Status page and check the status of iMessage and FaceTime. If the statuses of these services display as yellow, then it means that there is a problem from Apple’s side. In such cases, all you can do is to wait for a while. But, if it is green, then there are no issues from Apple’s side.

apple server status

4. Check your Date & Time Settings

Wondering why won't iMessage activate on Mac? Then, it could be due to the wrong time zone. All you can do to fix the problem is to ensure your Date & Time settings are correct.

  1. Step 1: Go to “Apple Menu”>” System Preferences”.
  2. Step 2: Choose “Date & Time”.
  3. Step 3: Ensure that date, time and time zone are correct.
  4. Step 4: Check the box for “Set Date and Time automatically”. If it was already checked, then uncheck it and check it back again in a while.

    set time on mac

5. Make Sure That Your Mac Software is Up To Date

Outdated Mac software could be the culprit for iMessage activation an error occurred. So, make sure that your Mac software is up-to-date.

On macOS Mojave or above:

Go to Apple menu > System Preferences, click Software Update option to check if there are updates available.

If updates are available, then click the “Update” button to download & install them right away.

update mojave

On earlier macOS versions

Go to App Store, click Updates tab. And then click “Update” buttons to download & install any updates mentioned there.

update Mac

6. Check Your Apple ID

To ensure that your Apple ID and passcode are correct, jump into the Apple ID account page and log-in with the same Apple ID that you are using with Messages. If it works, then launch the Messages app and follow the below steps to fix the error - “my iMessage won't activate on Mac”-

  • Select Messages>Preferences
  • Click Accounts and choose your iMessage account to select Sign Out
  • In a while, log-in back with the same Apple ID you have used on the Apple ID account page

7. Reset NVRAM

NRAM is all about a set of settings dealing with how your iMessage works and it is present in a specific site. And that specific place in your Mac system is what’s known as NVRAM. It might be possible that the problem is associated with any of the settings saved in NVRAM. In such scenarios, the best fix is to simply reset NVRAM.

Here’s how you can reset it.

  1. 1. Turn off your Mac and then, turn it back on and quickly press and hold the four keys - Option + Command + P + R.

    reset nvram
  2. 2. In a while (after 30 seconds), release all keys and during which your system will appear to reboot. There are certain things to consider.

    On Mac systems playing a startup sound, release the keys after the 2nd startup sound.

    On Mac systems with Apple T2 security chip, release the keys after you see the Apple logo and disappears for the 2nd time.

  3. 3. Once resetting the NVRAM, you are ready to update the settings, for instance, Display Resolution, Sound Volume, Time Zone, etc

8. Check Your Third-Party Software

Any firewall, VPN, anti-virus security, 3rd-party networking software installed on your Mac could be the answer to the question - why won't my iMessage activate on my Mac. All these things can block network ports that iMessage use. So, the best thing to do is to disable the software one by one temporarily or simply disable the ones you are suspicious of. Once disabled, try to sign-in into iMessage again and hopefully, it works now.

The Bottom Line

That’s all on what to do to fix iMessage won't activate problem. We hope that our guide has helped you activated iMessage on your iPhone or Mac. The good part is that you now know exactly what you need to do next time you encounter an iMessage activation problem on your iPhone or Mac.

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