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iMessage not working on Mac? Here’s How to Fix the Problem

The Messages app on Mac allows you to send iMessages easily to and from the computer to any other supported devices such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, or the iPod touch. It works as good as on any iOS device, but you may still find iMessages not working on your Mac at times.

Usually, this translates into the inability to send messages through the Messages app, or time-outs when attempting to send messages, or failed attempts at sending messages from the Mac. Due to these issues, iMessage does not work correctly or as expected in macOS.

In this article, we will discuss troubleshooting steps to fix and resolve issues when iMessage is not working on a Mac device. Before we begin please visit iMessage outage on Apple’s System Status page to make it’s working correctly from Apple’s end. If the light is red for iMessage, then that means there’s an issue Apple’s servers and they are aware of it. Wait until it turns green again.

If it’s not an issue at Apple’s servers, then you need to get your hands dirty with your Mac. Follow the tips mentioned below one-by-one to (hopefully) fix the iMessage issue on your Mac.

Restart your Mac

This is one of the most basic troubleshooting but can work wonders sometimes. In order to do this click on the Apple menu on the left corner of the screen and select ‘Restart’.

After restarting, try sending messages to see if the issue has resolved. If not, read on.


Check If the Internet’s connected

You should also check if the Mac has an active Internet connection. In order to do so, simply open any browser like Safari or Chrome and check if you are able to visit any webpage. If not, you need to check your internet connection.


Check time settings

While you might wonder what does time have to do with sending messages. Actually, if your device time is incorrect, many authentication processes will fail. This includes Messages as well. If your time is wrong, go to System Preferences » Date & Time.

Check the Set date and time automatically at the top of the window. If you have a password on your Mac, you need to click on the tiny lock on the bottom left of the screen and enter the password when prompted. Only then you can make any changes.


Make sure iCloud and Messages have the same Apple ID

iMessage requires an Apple ID, which should be the same as the ID the Mac uses for iCloud. Therefore you’ll want to make sure the Mac has the correct Apple ID configured. In order to do that click on the Apple icon on the top left and select System Preferences » Internet Accounts.

Select iCloud from the left pane and check the ID associated with it.

You’ll want to use the same ID for messages as well. To check the ID being used with Messages. Press Command + Space and type Messages in the Spotlight search box and press return key.

Now you need to click on Messages on the top left corner and go to Preferences. Here, click on iMessage and check the associated Apple ID. It should be the same as iCloud.

If the IDs are not the same, click ‘Sign Out’ in the Messages App and Sign In with the Apple ID which is set up for iCloud on your system.


Disable & Re-enable iMessage on Mac

Sometimes disabling and then re-enabling iMessage on the Mac can resolve connection issues specific to iMessage on the Mac, here’s how you can do that. On the iMessage settings window, see if ‘Enable this account’ is checked, if not, you need to check it to enable the account. If yes, then disable it and enable it back to reset the connection.


Make Sure iMessage Works on iPhone / iPad

If you have an iPhone or iPad as well, make sure that iMessage is working on that device. If the iPhone or iPad is experiencing issues or showing waiting for activation error, it might be possible there are issues with Apple iMessage servers being down.


Toggle iCloud Sign-In

Messages now sync with iCloud on newer versions of macOS. This can cause its own problems, unfortunately. The best fix is an attempt to reset the connection if you are facing issues with Messages. The idea here is to sign out of iCloud completely, reboot, then sign in to iCloud. This can reset the authentication.

For doing so you need to go to System Preferences » Internet Accounts, select iCloud from the accounts pane on the left and click on the Volume (-) sign at the bottom left corner.

Select ‘Keep a Copy’ on the Mac when prompted. Don’t worry about the data on your iCloud, you’ll get it back once you sign back in.

For the next step, restart your Mac and go to System Preferences » Internet Accounts and click on Volume (+) sign and select iCloud for sign in back.

Enter your Apple ID and Password and click the ‘Next’ button. You will now be signed-in to your iCloud.

We have tried to cover most of the common fixes to make iMessage work on Mac, but if you continue to experience issues, we suggest you reach out to Apple’s tech support to see if they can fix something internally for you.