When you are on iOS or iPadOS, you have iMessage built into the OS. It is Apple’s default messaging application, and over the years, Apple users have loved it every bit. But what has left some people frustrated with the iMessage application are it’s error messages. When you first set up iMessage, you need to make sure that it is activated. Only after the activation is successful, iMessage becomes functional. But recently, some users have complained about facing issues with iMessage activation.
Five types of activation error messages show up when the user tries to open up iMessage. Among these “Waiting for activation”, getting stuck on the screen is a common issue. If you are someone who is having this same issue with iMessage activation, then this article will help you out. Here, we have listed some solutions that can eliminate iMessage’s activation-related issues on iPhones and iPads. So without any further ado, let’s get into it.
How to fix the iMessage issue Waiting for activation?
As mentioned above, five types of error messages are common when you encounter this iMessage issue.
- Waiting for activation
- Unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again
- An error occurred during the activation
- Activation unsuccessful
- Could not sign in, please check your network connection
But before we get to the solutions, you need to know some things about the iMessage application. Firstly, the iMessage application requires a stable internet connection. It also requires SMS messaging as the phone sends out an SMS to verify the user information. If for some reason, you don’t have SMS service on your number, or you don’t have the credit or balance to send or receive SMS, you will have network issues with iMessage. Again, there is also a time frame of 24 hours for activation. So if you have just recently attempted to activate iMessage, you need to wait 24 hours and see if it works. If it doesn’t, and you are still stuck with the same error screen, go for the solutions mentioned below.
The solutions mentioned below will work for all the five mentioned iMessage issues. Both iPhone and iPad owners can try these solutions.
Use the Airplane Mode Trick:
Most network-related issues on Apple products were solved by using a simple trick. Even with this issue with the iMessage app, give this trick a try before going for anything else.
- Open the Settings application, go to Messages and then turn off the toggle for iMessage.
- Go back to the main Settings page and turn the toggle on for Airplane mode.
- After turning on Airplane Mode, your WiFi will be turned off. Tap on WiFi in the settings page and turn on the toggle for it.
- Again, go back to the main settings page, go to Messages, and turn on the toggle for iMessage.
- Go back to the main Settings page and turn the toggle off for Airplane mode.
- You should see a message popping up on your screen that says carrier charges may apply for SMS. Tap on, Ok.
- Now wait a while, and iMessage should activate and work fine.
This is a simple and weird trick that a few iOS users discovered, and it was later discussed in some forums. This trick weirdly works for many issues with iPhones and iPads, and it should work for iMessage waiting for activation issue. If it doesn’t, try the next solution.
Sign out of AppleID:
iMessage, much like other Apple services, depend on the user’s Apple ID. So try signing out and then signing in to your Apple ID, and that might solve the problem.
- Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
- Tap on your AppleID and select Sign Out.
- Go back to the main settings page, go to Messages, and turn on the toggle for iMessage.
- Again go back to the settings main page, tap on WiFi and turn off the toggle for it. Wait a while and turn it back on.
- Again, wait a while till your network stabilizes and then go to the main settings page, go to Messages and then turn on the toggle for iMessage.
- Now go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
- Tap on “Use your Apple ID for iMessage.” Enter your Apple ID login credentials, and tap on Sign In.
Now your iMessage should be activated and working. If it is still stuck with the waiting for activation message, try the next solution.
Set the Time Zone correctly:
Internet Service Provider provides internet only when the date and time of a device are set correctly. So if the date and time on an iPhone or iPad are out of sync, there would be no active internet connection. Without an active internet connection, users can’t get iMessage to activate or work properly.
To set the date and time accurately, you need to go to Settings > General > Date & Time. Then turn on the toggle for “Set Automatically.” And for your iPhone or iPad to accurately set the time and date, it needs location information to determine the time zone. For that, you need to go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and then turn on the toggle for the Setting Time Zone option. Once you have enabled both these toggles, go back to iMessage and see if that works.
If you still see a message on the screen that reads Waiting for activation, go for the next solution.
Check Apple’s System Status:
Apple’s maintain several services for its wide range of devices. Sometimes one or two of its services will be down for maintenance, and if iMessage is having an outage, you need to wait it out. To check Apple’s system status for all its services, head over to this link. Here, check whether the coloured dot next to iMessage is green or orange. If it is red or yellow, then the service is currently having an outage, and if it’s green, then it is working fine. The only thing you can do here is to wait until the issue is resolved from Apple’s side.
If you see a green dot next to iMessage, but still activation issues show up when you open iMessage, try the next solution.
Terminate iMessage and then restart the phone:
You have the option of turning iMessage off right from the Settings page. Many users can get rid of any iMessage related issues simply by turning it off and then on again. But to take things further, you can even restart your iPhone or iPad after turning the service off and then turn it on again after the restart.
To turn off iMessage, go to Settings > Messages and then turn off the toggle for iMessage. Then you need to restart the drive. Since different Apple products have different ways to turn off the device, let’s look at all possible ways.
If you have an iPhone X, 11 or 12 series phone, you need to press and hold the volume up or down button together with the power button on the side. Then, you need to drag the power off slider to shut down your device. After that, press and hold the side button again, and the device will turn on.
Suppose you have any other iPhone(with a Home button), press and hold the side power button and then drag the power off slider to shut down your device. Then press and hold the side power button again, and the device will turn on.
If you an iPad without a Home button, press and hold the volume up or down button together with the power button on the top. Then, you need to drag the power off slider to shut down your device. After that, press and hold the power button again, and the device will turn on.
Suppose you have an iPad with a Home button, press and hold the power button at the top and then drag the power off slider to shut down your device. Then press and hold the power button again, and the device will turn on.
Once the device turns on, go to Settings > Messages and then turn on the iMessage toggle again. Then wait a while and check whether the waiting for activation message is gone or not. If it is still there, try the next solution.
Reset Network Settings:
If anything is wrong with your internet connection, maybe a little glitch in your network settings, you can fix it by resetting the network settings. This is a setting built into iOS and iPadOS, and it resets everything related to network settings to default. This will even erase WiFi connections that were saved, and it will even clear out the WiFi hotspot password.
Navigate to Settings > General > Reset. Here, tap on “Reset Network Settings,” enter your device passcode, and then tap on Reset Network Settings again to confirm your action.
Now try activating iMessage again, and you should not see the Waiting for activation message this time around. If it is still there, try the next solution.
Check for any new updates:
No operating system is free of bugs. The iMessage application having troubles activating could be one of them. Now and then, we will encounter problems even with iOS and iPadOS, and in that scenario, all you can do is wait for the manufacturer(Apple) to fix it over time.
Furthermore, if you are on an outdated version of iOS or iPadOS, even then, you will have troubles with Apple’s native applications, and iMessage is one of them. So you need to ensure that you have the latest version of iOS or iPadOS running on your device.
Every update brings with it new features and enhancements to improve system stability. It also fixes all the known bugs in the OS. So to check for the latest updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. If there is an update, you will see the “download and install” option in iOS and iPadOS. Tap on it and install the latest version of the operating system.
These are all known and tried solutions for any network or activation related issues with iMessage. Surely, one of these solutions worked out your issue with the iMessage application. If you have any questions or queries about this article, then comment down below, and we will get back to you. Also, be sure to check out our other articles on iPhone tips and tricks, Android tips and tricks, PC tips and tricks, and much more for more useful information.