How to Fix it when iMessage is Not Working on iPhone

Message Error

Get rid of this annoying problem in no time with these easy fixes

iMessage is one of the best perks of being on the Apple ecosystem. iMessages don’t cost money like SMS and you don’t need to download a separate app either. But iMessage comes with its host of problems.

And they can’t not only be annoying, but they can also halt all communication at times. Now, this problem might not entirely halt your complete communication, it can halt communication with one single person. If you, too, are facing the problem where iMessage isn’t working for only one person or maybe two, and messages are going as standard SMS, you aren’t alone.

It’s a pretty standard problem people run into at times. Now, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why this happens. Although one of the known causes is running into a dead zone. Sometimes, if you happen to find yourself in a ‘No Signal’ zone while sending an iMessage, your iPhone tries to send it as an SMS. And even when your iPhone gets the network back, iMessage gets stuck in SMS.

But it’s just one of the apparent reasons. Sometimes, the error can pop out of nowhere. But more important than the whys are the hows. More precisely, how to fix this problem. And thankfully, it’s an easy problem to fix.

Check iMessage is On

Before you get into any fixes, make sure that your iMessage isn’t off. If you’ve iMessaged with other people, you can skip this one. But if you haven’t in a moment of panic, it’s alright. It happens to the best of us. iMessage can sometimes turn off after software updates. So, maybe your iMessage was on and it isn’t anymore and that’s what is causing all the ruckus. Also, make sure that you’re connected to the internet while you’re at it. iMessage needs an internet connection to work.

Go to Settings and scroll down to ‘Messages’.

Then, make sure the toggle for ‘iMessage’ is on.

Also, ask the other person to make sure their iMessage is on. Maybe the reason you’re facing this issue has nothing to do with you.


Check Software Update

The periodic software updates Apple releases have fixes for known bugs. And if the problem is being caused by a bug, your best bet is to keep your iPhone updated. From iPhone settings, go to ‘General’.

Then, tap the option for ‘Software Update’.

If there’s a pending software update, it’ll appear there. Download and install the update.

Once your iPhone restarts after the update, check your iMessage.


Restart your iPhone

Both you and the person you’re having this problem with should restart your iPhones. You can either simply restart or force restart your iPhone; either will do fine. To restart your iPhone, follow these instructions.

  • For iPhone X and higher models: Press and hold either of the volume buttons and the Side button until the power slider appears. Drag the slider to switch off your iPhone. Once the device powers down, wait for a few seconds, then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • For iPhone SE, 8 and lower models: Press and hold the home button and the lock/ sleep-awake button (on side for some models and on the top for others). The power slider will appear. Relase the buttons and drag the slider. Then, press and hold the lock button to power on the device again.

Enter your iPhone’s passcode after the iPhone restarts and check your iMessage to see if the issue was solved.


Restart iMessage

This might seem like another run-of-the-mill solution to your problem, but most of the time it works. Go to Settings and scroll down to ‘Messages’.

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Then, disable the toggle for ‘iMessage’.

Wait for a couple of minutes and enable it again. Go to the Messages app and see if this solved the issue. Also, ask the other person to do this with you.


Sign Out and In to your Apple ID again

Try signing out and into your Apple ID for iMessage. Go to ‘Messages’ from the Settings app. Then, tap the option for ‘Send & Receive’.

Tap the link for your Apple ID (appears in blue) below all the options.

Few options will appear on your screen. Tap ‘Sign Out’ from these options.

Once you’re successfully signed out, tap ‘Use your Apple ID for iMessage’ that’ll appear. Enter the password for your Apple ID to sign in.

Now, try to send a message to the other person and see if it has reverted to being iMessage again.


iMessage Not Working for One Person?

If your issue is precisely about iMessage not working for one person, but for everyone else on your contacts list. Then the below-mentioned fix to reset the chat might help.

Reset the Chat and Contact for the Other Person and Ask the Other Person to do it too

If neither of the above standard fixes helps, it’s time for you and the other person to follow these exact steps. It’s crucial that the other person for whom iMessage isn’t working on our iPhone performs these steps on their end as well.

Open the Messages app and delete the chat for the other person from your phone.

To delete the chat, place your finger at the right corner of the chat thread from the lists of chats and swipe towards the left. The option for ‘Delete’ will appear. Tap it to delete the chat.

A confirmation prompt will appear. Tap ‘Delete’ again to delete the chat. This is one of the easiest ways to delete the entire chat thread for someone.

Ask the other person to delete your chat thread from their iPhone, as well.

Now, delete the contact for the other person from your phone. Open the Phone app and tap the ‘Contacts’ tab from the bottom of the screen.

Then, find and open the contact details for the other person. From the contact details, first, copy the contact information and save it somewhere else or screenshot them in case you don’t remember them. Now, tap the ‘Edit’ option in the top-right corner.

Scroll all the way down and tap ‘Delete Contact’.

A confirmation prompt will appear. Tap ‘Delete Contact’ again to confirm.

Also, ask the other person to delete your contact from their phone.

Now, you and the other person have to reset your network settings.

Note: Resetting your network settings will not delete any other data from your phone. But it will delete any saved cellular settings, Wi-Fi network passwords, VPN settings, and Bluetooth settings.

Open your iPhone settings and go to ‘General’ settings.

Scroll all the way down and tap the option for ‘Reset’.

Then, tap the ‘Reset Network Settings’ option.

You’d then have to enter the passcode for your iPhone if you have set one. Enter it and another confirmation prompt will appear. Tap the ‘Reset Network Settings’ option from the prompt.

Connect to your Wi-Fi or cellular network once the reset is complete. Then, restart your iPhone.

Once the phone restarts, create the contact for that person again in your phone. From the ‘Contacts’ tab in the Phone app, tap the ‘+’ in the top-right corner.

Enter the relevant details and tap ‘Done’ to re-create their contact.

Now, go ahead and start a new chat with them from the Messages app. Your messages should now turn to blue, as in, they’ll become iMessage once more.


iMessage should start working again after this last fix. But if iMessage doesn’t start working for this one person even after you’ve tried all the fixes, your last resort would be to contact Apple support.