The right way to Repair iMessage Not Engaged on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

When sending messages from your iPhone, some will appear in blue bubbles while others will appear in green bubbles. The blue messages use iMessage, Apple's proprietary messaging service, while the green ones are standard SMS or MMS messages. If you turn off iMessage, all of your messages will be sent as standard messages and will be shown in green.

What if you haven't turned off iMessage, but your messages are all green anyway? This is a problem with iMessage not working, and Apple isn't exactly making it easy to figure out what's going wrong.

iMessage not working? Make sure you actually have a problem

Before assuming the worst, it can't hurt to investigate the problem. Are you sure iMessage won't work with everyone, or just not working when you message a contact?

Try sending iMessages to different people who you know are using iMessage to see if it works for one of them.

If you have problems with iMessage while sending messages to a single contact, the problem is likely on their end. On the other hand, if iMessage isn't working with your contacts and you know they're using iMessage, then the problem is likely with your device.

Send a test message (or two)

If you haven't already, try sending a message to a friend or family member who you know is using iMessage. If iMessage doesn't work with them, try contacting someone who you know is using iMessage. This will help you find out if the problem is on your device.

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You may not have multiple contacts to verify with if most of your friends are using Android. In this case, if you have multiple devices using iMessage, try sending messages with each one. This way, for example, you can see if iMessage is working on your Mac but not on your iPhone.

If iMessage is working on your iPhone but your messages are not getting delivered, then this is a whole different topic. Instead, see our guide on how to fix “iMessage Not Delivered” on your iPhone.

Make sure iMessage is configured correctly

Even though you have iMessage enabled, it may not be enabled for a specific number. This is easy to check. On an iPhone or iPad, open settings and scroll down to announcements. It sounds obvious, but make sure that iMessage The slider is activated here. Then tap Send receive.

Here you can see the phone numbers and email addresses that you can associate with iMessage. Make sure all the numbers and email addresses you want to use are checked.

On a Mac, open the announcements App. Select in the menu bar Messages> Settings, then go to iMessage Tab. Make sure any numbers or email addresses you want to use with iMessage are checked here.

If you're having problems on multiple devices, repeat these steps on each device you're having trouble with.

Try different sending and receiving options

If iMessage still doesn't work on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, try other options in Send and Receive Settings. Go to on an iPhone or iPad Settings> Messaging> Send and Receive. On a Mac, open announcements and go to Messages> Settings iMessage.

On this screen, you should see all of the phone numbers and email addresses associated with your Apple ID account. Try turning different options on or off to see if combinations of them make iMessage work again.

In general, it is also best to go for it New conversations start from Your mobile phone number if you are using an iPhone.

Restart iMessage and restart your device

On your Mac, you'll likely restart about once a week, but this is less common on an iPhone or iPad. Rebooting alone can help, but there is one more step you should take to resolve iMessage issues. You should turn off iMessage, restart it, and then turn it back on.

Start on an iPhone or iPad settings, then scroll down to announcements. the iMessage toggle is at the top of the screen. Turn it off, restart your device, then turn it back on using the same method.

On a Mac, start the announcements App and select Messages> Settings from the menu bar. Go to iMessage Tab and uncheck the box under your Apple ID Enable messages in iCloud. Restart your Mac and turn this setting back on.

To be extra thorough, you may want to do this for every device you use with iMessage.

Related: How to Send and Receive Text Messages on Your iPad

Sign out of iMessage and sign back in

This is another method so simple it won't hurt to try: log out of iMessage and then log back in.

On an iPhone or iPad, open the settings App and scroll down to announcements. Here tap on Send receive. From that menu, tap your Apple ID at the bottom of the screen. In the dialog box that appears, tap Deliver.

After signing out, tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage. In the dialog that appears, your Apple ID is displayed and asked whether you want to log in with it. Tap log in to log in with this ID.

On a Mac, open the announcements App. Go to Messages> Settings from the menu bar, then select the iMessage Tab. Click on Deliver, then click the button that is also labeled Deliver. You will immediately see a login screen with your Apple ID email address already entered. Enter your password, then select Next.

Test your internet connection

In contrast to normal texts, iMessages are sent over the Internet. So, you need a working Wi-Fi connection or good cellular coverage with available cellular data to use iMessages. Open a web browser and try loading a new webpage to test your internet connection.

If you can't get online, it explains why iMessage isn't working on your iPhone or Mac. Try connecting to a different Wi-Fi network or see how much cellular data you have left.

Oddly enough, iMessage doesn't always let you activate the service over Wi-Fi. So, if this is your first time trying to use iMessage but can't get it to work at all, temporarily turn off Wi-Fi and instead turn on iMessage on your iPhone via cellular data.

Reset network settings

This is an iOS-only option and well worth a try if iMessage still doesn't work after trying the above fixes. Resetting your network settings is a solution to several iPhone and iPad problems, and it can often fix iMessage-related issues.

begin settings, then scroll down and select Generally. Scroll here again and select Transfer or reset iPhone at the bottom of the screen. Then tap Reset> Reset network settings.

Don't worry about data loss; This will only reset the network settings. All apps and files on your iPhone or iPad remain untouched. However, your phone forgets about saved WiFi networks, so you have to re-enter their passwords.

Other possible iMessage fixes worth trying out

There are a few other possible fixes you can try if iMessage isn't working. If you are not receiving iMessages on a particular device, you can try sending a message from that device. This is something that several Mac and iOS users on the internet have reported working for them. It may sound strange, but it's worth a try.

You should also visit Apple's System Status website to make sure iMessage isn't turned off for everyone. Make sure there is a green circle next to iMessage. If there is anything else, it means Apple is having technical issues. You'll have to wait for Apple technicians to fix the problem.

Another possible solution is to check if there is a macOS or iOS update available. This is especially true if you've recently updated. Apple releases updates to improve your device and fix bugs, but these updates can sometimes introduce new bugs. If so, Apple may have already released a new update to fix the problem.

Finally, if nothing else works, you can try contacting Apple Support. You may have options beyond what we've put together here.

Do you also have problems with normal text messages?

Hopefully one of the above fixes got iMessages working again on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. If the problem occurs on multiple devices, you need to repeat the step that worked on each device. Hopefully, if that doesn't help, another of the steps will.

What if your standard SMS or MMS messages aren't working? Fortunately, we have some fixes for that too.

iPhone won't send text messages? 10 tips and fixes

If your iPhone isn't sending text messages, here are some troubleshooting tips and fixes to help you get text messages back quickly.

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About the author

Dan Helyer
(182 published articles)

Dan writes tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help people get the most out of their technology. Before becoming a writer, he earned a BSc in audio engineering, oversaw repairs at an Apple store, and even taught English in China.

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By Dan Helyer

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