iMessage is Apple's own messaging system that allows you to exchange messages between Apple devices. As long as your contacts are using an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can send and receive messages from them through iMessage.

Before you can use iMessage, however, you need to enable iMessage first. It's pretty easy to do on an iPhone, and we'll show you how to do just that.

Enable iMessage on an iPhone

To activate and use iMessage, your iPhone must be connected to the internet via WiFi or cellular data. You also need to be signed in to your iCloud account on your iPhone.

Then follow these steps to enable the iMessage service:

  1. Start the the settings App on your iPhone.

  2. Scroll down and tap announcements.

  3. Turn on the switch for iMessage.

Picture gallery (2 pictures)

iMessage is now activated on your iPhone. You can send messages to your Apple friends using the Messages app on your phone.

To distinguish between standard SMS / MMS texts and iMessage messages, your iPhone displays iMessage messages in blue bubbles and normal SMS / MMS messages in green bubbles.

Why you should use Apple's iMessage on your iPhone

There are many reasons to switch to iMessage on your iPhone. Here are some reasons you might want to do this.

You can send unlimited messages for free

Your carrier charges you for sending regular text messages unless you have a plan that offers free messaging. However, iMessage allows you to send and receive an unlimited number of messages for free.

iMessage uses your WiFi or mobile data to send and receive messages. Data charges may apply.

There are many more features than traditional messaging

iMessage has many features that you won't find in your normal messaging system. Some of these features include the ability to see when someone is typing a message and receive read receipts.

You get better message security

Your iMessage messages are encrypted to ensure that intruders cannot read them. Even if someone somehow manages to break into the Apple system, they will not be able to read your messages because they are encrypted. You only see encrypted text.

Multiple platform support

iMessage works on all Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Your messages will be synced across your devices, i. H. You can read a message on your iPhone, reply to it on your iPad, and do this conversion from your Mac. Basically everything is in sync.

Fix iMessage activation issues

Like any other service, iMessage has its own problems. From time to time, various problems may arise with this service.

Related: How to Fix iMessage Undelivered on Your iPhone

Most errors usually occur when you try to activate the service. These errors are:

  • wait for activation

  • Activation failed

  • An error occurred during activation

  • Registration not possible, please check your network connection

  • The iMessage server cannot be contacted

If you encounter one or more of these errors while enabling iMessage, try the troubleshooting tips below.

Wait 24 hours for iMessage to activate

Apple recommends waiting at least 24 hours after enabling iMessage. This is the time it takes for the feature to fully activate. After 24 hours, you should be able to use iMessage on your Apple devices without any problems.

Make sure you have a working internet connection

As mentioned earlier, iMessage uses your internet connection to send and receive messages. Hence, you should make sure that your iPhone or any other device that you are using the feature on has a working internet connection.

To check that your device's internet is working, open a browser on your device and launch a website such as Google. If the site loads, your internet is working fine.

If the site does not load, there is likely a problem with your internet connection. Talk to your ISP and see if they can help you.

Disconnect from any VPN

If iMessage can't send or receive messages, consider turning off your VPN app. VPNs transfer your data through a middleman server and this can sometimes cause problems with the apps that use the internet.

How to turn off a VPN on your iPhone:

  1. Start the the settings App.

  2. Tap the General Possibility.

  3. Scroll down to VPN and tap on it.

  4. Disable the status Possibility.

Picture gallery (2 pictures)

Switch iMessage off and on again

It's worth turning iMessage off and on again to see if it works. You can do this in the same way that you activated iMessage the first time:

  1. to open the settings and tap announcements.

  2. Disable the iMessage Possibility.

  3. Wait about 10 seconds.

  4. Activate the iMessage Possibility.

Set the correct date and time on your iPhone

Make sure that the correct date and time options are configured on your iPhone. This is important for many instant messaging services, including iMessage.

  1. Open that the settings App.

  2. Tap the General Possibility.

  3. Choose Appointment time.

  4. Do that … Set automatically Option to enable automatic date and time on your iPhone.

Picture gallery (2 pictures)

Reset the network settings of your iPhone

If iMessage still doesn't work, chances are your iPhone's network settings are having a problem. In this case, you can reset and reconfigure your network settings.

This will remove your saved Wi-Fi networks, but you can always reconnect to any network you want, provided you have the password for it.

How to reset your iPhone's network settings:

  1. Start the the settings App.

  2. Tap General and then tap Reset to default.

  3. Choose Reset network settings.

Picture gallery (2 pictures)

Update iOS

Regardless of the problem, you should update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS available if you are using an older version of iOS on your iPhone. The latest version should fix the bugs and any other issues that were present in the older versions of iOS, and this can potentially fix your iMessage problems.

How to update your iPhone:

  1. Go to the settings and tap General.

  2. Tap the Software update Possibility.

  3. Wait for your iPhone to check the latest update.

  4. If an update is available, tap Download and install.

Picture gallery (2 pictures)

Use an exclusive messaging system on your Apple devices

You can do a lot more with iMessage than you can with traditional messaging systems. If you haven't already, enable iMessage on your iPhone and other Apple devices. This will help you keep in touch with your friends and family who also use this messaging service.

The 7 best iMessage apps for more than just text

iMessage apps are more than just stickers. Here are the best iMessage apps that you should try.

Continue reading

About the author

Mahesh Makvana
(300 published articles)

Mahesh is a Tech Writer at MakeUseOf. He has been writing technical guides for about 8 years and has covered many subjects. He loves teaching people how to get the most out of their devices.

More
From Mahesh Makvana

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!

One more step …!

Please confirm your email address in the email we just sent you.

Expand to read the full story