iMessage waiting for activation error fixed – Here’s how!

December 14, 2021 Kunal Kumar How To

Unsurprisingly, iMessage not responding issues are a typical occurrence on the iPhone. This post will go through all of the reasons why iMessage won’t work and how to fix it. Here’s how to solve the iMessage Waiting for Activation error, Activation Unsuccessful, and Unable to Connect. Read on!

Apple’s iMessage – An Overview

Apple Inc.’s iMessage is an instant messaging service that debuted in 2011. Apple’s macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS are the only systems that support iMessage.

Sending text messages, images, videos, and documents; receiving delivery and read statuses (read receipts); and end-to-end encryption so that only the sender and recipient – no one else, including Apple – can read the messages are among the core features of iMessage, which is available on all supported platforms. The programme also allows users to transmit stickers and location data. Third-party developers can enhance iMessage functionality on iOS and iPadOS with bespoke extensions, such as rapid sharing of recently played music.

IMessage first appeared on iOS in 2011, and later on macOS (then known as OS X) in 2012. In 2020, Apple released a completely new version of the macOS Messages programme, which includes functionality such as location sharing and message effects that were previously inaccessible on the Mac.

“iMessage Waiting for Activation” – Why does it happen?

It’s best to start with how iMessage works to understand why it’s having problems activating. We often think of iMessage as a mechanism for sending messages from one device to another, and although that is correct, it is also a cloud-based service.

The main reason users may get the “iMessage waiting for activation” notice is that their devices are unable to sync with the iMessage server. This might be due to a number of factors:

  • No SIM Card Found: If you buy your phone from a carrier, they’ll give you a SIM card so you can use it to make calls and send messages via a cellular network. iPhones without SIM cards, especially newer models, can have trouble connecting to the iCloud service and sending iMessages.
  • Blocked by your carrier: It might take some time to activate a new phone plan. If you bought it with a new iPhone, it’s possible that your carrier hasn’t yet activated the plan, preventing your phone from connecting to the iMessage server.
  • No internet access: iMessage works excellent over Wi-Fi, so if you’re in a region with bad coverage or no stable Wi-Fi, this might be why your iPhone won’t sync to the iMessage server.
  • Incorrect Date and Time: Servers check the date and time on the devices they’re synchronizing with, and if your phone has the wrong date and time for the area it’s in, the server may become confused and block it.
  • iMessage stuck: Hey, it occurs! iMessage, like any other service, has the potential to hang and become unresponsive. Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy solution for you!
  • iCloud may be down: Apple’s whole service stack is powered by iCloud, thus any outage on the iMessage servers around the world would affect our smartphones.

How to fix “iMessage Waiting for Activation” Error?

Now that we know why there’s a problem, let’s talk about how to solve it so you can start sending SMS, iMessages, GIFs, emoji, Animoji, and stickers again!

  1. Turn iMessage ON/OFF

Turning off iMessage and reinstalling the messaging service can get rid of the “Waiting for activation” notification.

Open the Settings app, navigate to Messages, and turn off iMessage. Wait around 5 seconds before turning the option back on.

Please keep in mind that, depending on your location, your network provider may charge you a price to activate iMessage each time you re-enable it on your iPhone or iPad. If the iMessage status remains “Waiting for activation,” proceed to the next problem fix.

  1. Examine your date, time, and location settings.

Incorrect date and time settings will cause various Apple apps and services to fail. Some third-party apps (like Google Maps) that rely on the accuracy of your iPhone’s date and time settings may also cease to function properly. Navigate to the settings menu to verify that your iPhone automatically adjusts the time and date depending on your current time zone.

Toggle on Set Automatically in the Settings app, go to General, then Date & Time.

It’s also worth noting that not all cellular providers enable customers to automatically adjust the time on their smartphones. Apple also mentions that the “Set Automatically” option may not be accessible in all countries or regions.

If your device’s date and time remain inaccurate, check the settings on your iPhone and make sure your location is utilized to calculate the right time zone.

  • Navigate to Settings and then to Privacy.
  • Choose Location Services.
  • Check that Location Services is turned on. Following that, scroll to the bottom of the page and select System Services.
  • Turn the Setting Time Zone option on.
  1. Sign-out of your Apple ID

The iMessage ‘Waiting for Activation’ issue on iPhone can sometimes be caused by your Apple ID not being recognized by Apple’s iMessage service.

  • Scroll down and tap on your Apple ID in Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
  • Select Sign-out from the pop-up menu > Wait 30 seconds before attempting to re-enter iMessage by selecting the Use Your Apple ID for iMessage option (on the same screen).
  1. Restart your device

If you still can’t get iMessage to operate on your iPhone or iPad owing to the “Waiting for activation” problem, restart your device and try again.

Move the “slide to power off” slider to the right in Settings > General > Shut Down.

Wait for your smartphone to completely shut down before pressing the side or power button to turn it back on. Connect your smartphone to the internet, then navigate to the Messages settings menu to see if iMessage is now functional.

  1. Reset your iPhone’s network settings

This is one of the most important solutions for iMessage activation issues. All of your network settings will be reset if you follow the procedures below. Apps, photographs, videos, and other personal data remain unaffected.

  • Open the Settings app and select General from the drop-down menu.
  • Click the Reset button.
  • Reset the network settings by pressing the Reset Network Settings button.
  • Enter and confirm your iPhone passcode.
  • Restart your iPhone and try to enable iMessage once more.
  1. Your iPhone should be updated

Apple releases iOS updates on a regular basis to address bugs, rectify existing issues, and add new features. If iMessage doesn’t work because of a software issue, you’ll need to upgrade your iPhone using the Settings app’s General Software Update.

Also Read: Track Refund through TurboTax


Even if they’re tough to diagnose, iMessage issues are simple to repair. We hope that you found this article useful on ‘How to fix – iMessage waiting for activation error. Thank you for staying with us all the way to the end, and we’ll see you in the next one soon!

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