iMessage is a great instant messenger service developed by Apple Inc. supported by the Messages application in iOS 5 and later and OS X Mountain Lion and later. It’s great because it allows users to send texts, documents, photos, videos, contact information, and group messages over Wi-Fi, mobile phone Internet access, or other forms of Internet access to other iOS or OS X users, thus providing an alternative to standard SMS/MMS messaging for most users with devices running iOS 5 or later. Read on for How to Setup iMessage and how to Fix iMessage error or fix FaceTime Activation Error.
According to the available statistics, as on October 23, 2012, Apple device users have sent 300 billion messages using iMessage and that Apple delivers an average of 28,000 messages per second. As of February 2016, the number of iMessages sent per second has now grown to 200,000.
Before you can start using messages, and sending texts, photos, videos, voice memos, locations, and contact cards, however, you need to set it up. iMessage can be accessed through the Messages app on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5 or later or on a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion or later.
If you are the owner of one of these devices you can register one or more email addresses with Apple, and, additionally if you are iPhone owner you can register your phone numbers with Apple, provided your carrier is supported. When a message is sent to a mobile number, Messages will check with Apple if the mobile number is set up for iMessage. If it is, then the message will seamlessly transition from SMS to iMessage for free.
The only real requirement is that your device is running iOS 5 or later, which you can upgrade or download it from iTunes or otherwise do it now. Please note that if you set up your device using iCloud there’s a chance that iMessage is already set up as well, and good to go. It’s really easy and well worth it, we’ll walk you through the set up:
How to Set Up iMessage
To set up iMessage, please make sure that you have an iOS device with an active phone number, without these there’s no point reading further. You will need to be signed in with your Apple ID in FaceTime and Messages on your device. To add or remove your phone number follow the instructions below;
How To Add or Remove your phone number on Mac
1. On your Mac, open Messages. It will prompt you to sign in with the Apple ID you have used in Messages on your iPhone. Enter the Apple ID exactly what you have used before.
2. Choose Messages in your menu bar and proceed to Preferences and then Accounts.
3. To add your number, select your Apple ID under that there will be “You can be reached.” Once you selected, look for your phone number. In case, if you don’t see your phone number, re-check your settings or you may contact Apple Customer Support.
4. If you want to remove your number you just Un-check it.
You can also additionally use these steps for FaceTime. Open FaceTime on your Mac and go to FaceTime > Preferences > Accounts.
How to Add or remove your phone number on iPad or iPod touch
1. If you are On your iPad or iPod touch tap the Settings and then Messages and make sure that iMessage is on, if it doesn’t turn it On. If you are asked to sign in with the Apple ID used in Messages on your iPhone enter your details and sign in.
2. Once entered Tap Send & Receive.
3. To add your number, select it and your Apple ID under “You can be reached.” If you don’t see your phone number, check your settings or contact Apple Support.
5. To remove your number just uncheck it like the above method.
You can also use these steps for FaceTime on your iPad or iPod touch in the Settings > FaceTime.
What to do if you don’t see your phone number in Messages or FaceTime?
This problem usually occurs when your device is not up to date or iMessage is turned off and in some cases, your phone number is not linked with your Apple ID. Make sure you follow the below steps carefully;
1. Always check that your iOS device and your Mac have the latest software.
2. On your iPhone device go to Settings > Messages. Make sure that iMessage is on. You might need to wait some time to activate.
3. Once activated, then Tap Send & Receive.
4. If you see “Use your Apple ID for iMessage,” tap it and sign in with your Apple ID. If it doesn’t, you can skip this step and proceed to the next step.
5. The settings for iMessage on iPhone 6s
6. Under “You can be reached by iMessage” make sure that there are check marks beside your phone number and Apple ID.
7. For help with FaceTime, proceed to Settings > FaceTime and use the same steps as above.
How to activate iMessage
1. Open the Settings app on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.
2. Tap on Messages.
3. Turn iMessage to On and wait for sometime to activate.
Once you have done the above steps, iMessage will attempt to automatically pull your phone number or Apple ID (or both for iPhone users).
If you want to edit these, on your iPad or iPod touch you may need to enter an Apple ID manually. You can do so by just tapping into the appropriate places, enter your Apple ID which is the same account you use to login to iTunes and the App Store. You can also add additional email addresses for you to be reached at through iMessage, just tap on “Add Another Email” and add the address manually.
How to Enable iMessage and Activate on Mac
1. Open the Messages app on Mac like you normally do, and make sure it runs OS X Mountain Lion or higher.
2. Click on the Messages in the menu bar and proceed to Preferences.
3. Then, click on the box next to “Enable this account” at the top of the screen.
Once you activate iMessage, you can now send and receive texts and multimedia messages with other Apple users just like SMS and MMS.
How to use iMessage
If you just finished setting up iMessage, you’re ready to use it, just tap on the familiar green “Messages” app, the same one you use for sending SMS and MMS on the iPhone. That’s it, Simple!
How To Fix iMessage Error “Waiting for Activation” Error
iMessage and FaceTime are the two wonderful tools that can sometimes cause frustration. One of the most popular problem in ios 7, ios 8 and ios 9 is the iMessage waiting for activation error/issue. There seem to have no fix for this that an average user can try. If you are facing the same issue. Don’t give up on your phone before trying these methods to fix the iMessage activation error on your devices. One more thing, before you proceed Back up your device. We suggest a back up to iTunes and select the option to encrypt your backup. You shouldn’t need it, just in case if something goes wrong.
When activating iMessage or FaceTime, if you see one of these messages, Waiting for activation, Activation unsuccessful, An error occurred during activation, Could not sign in, please check your network connection and note that activation may take up to 24 hours to complete. If nothing happens beyond that, follow the step by step instructions below;
Check your device settings
1. See that your device has your phone number listed on the device. Open your contacts and see your own phone number on the top of the contacts. If not, you’ll need to go to Settings -> Phone -> My Number and enter your number.
2. Check your device Date & Time is listed and correct. To be on the safer side, we recommend that you set to ‘Set Automatically’.
3. It’s very common that network error occurs which can sometimes have iMessage not working and make iMessage activation unsuccessful. Check for any Wi-fi issues that could cause iMessage activation problems. Make sure you are on a good working network and that you are not facing any wifi or connectivity issues.
4. Lastly, contact your wireless provider to make sure that iMessage is supported by, this will help save time when iMessage waiting for activation after iMessage activation unsuccessful.
Turn off and restart iMessage and FaceTime
1. Go to Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage.
2. Go to Settings > FaceTime and turn off FaceTime.
3. Restart your device.
4. Turn iMessage and FaceTime back on.
Reset Network Settings
1. Launch Settings by tapping on the icon from the Home screen.
2. Tap on General.
3. Scroll to the bottom and tap on Reset.
4. Tap on Reset Network Settings.
Airplane Mode Fix
Sounds simple right? This method works for most users, and even works in most Android related problems.
1. Proceed to settings -> scroll down and select Messages and turn “Off” iMessage and FaceTime.
2. Turn on the Airplane mode and this turned “Off” Wifi automatically.
3. Tap on Airplane Mode for a few seconds and turn it On again.
4. Wait for few seconds and turn On Wi-fi.
5. Head back to Messages and turn-on iMessage.
6. You will be prompted to enter your Apple ID and Password. If you have not added it yet, though this Optional.
7. A notification that ‘Your carrier may charge for SMS’ will most be shown and Tap on OK.
8. If no message is shown. Turn off iMessage for a short while and turn it On again.
9. Wait for a few minutes, if it works iMessage will get activated.
Apple ID Sign-out Sign-in Fix
1. Under Settings -> Messages -> Send And Receive.
2. Once you entered, in the first column. You will see your Apple ID attached. Tap on the Apple ID and then press Sign Out.
3. Switch to turn off iMessage for a While. Now, turn your Wifi or Cellular Data Off and On for a while.
4. Finally, back to iMessage and proceed to Send & Receive.
5. Sign in with your exact Apple ID which you have used during the time of creating your account.
6. Finally, try to reactivate.
Reset Factory Settings Fix
If the above steps do not work, please try the following extreme step:
1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears.
2. Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.
3. After the device turns off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until you see the Apple logo.
That’s it on How to Setup iMessage and how to Fix iMessage error or FaceTime Activation Error. Hopefully, one of these methods works for you, or if you find any other ways to troubleshoot this problem let us know in the comment box below!
This post was last updated on April 30, 2018.