How to fix iMessage - 'An error occurred during activation' error?

Apple's iMessage is one of the popular messaging apps for iPhone users. However, fixing iMessage activation errors may be a common problem for many users. But, fret not because this article got you covered. Scroll down to know more.

You cannot use iMessage on your iPhone and you can't figure out why! Despite your efforts, your iPhone is not sending iMessages. It may frustrate you but don't you worry. In this article, we will explain the reasons behind the iMessage activation error on your iPhone and show you how to fix it.

Creating an Apple ID account lets you use iMessage and FaceTime for free after activation. A connection to the internet is all you need to use these apps to text or video chat with anyone. Activating iMessage can be a challenging task. It is not a frequent problem but it happens whenever you try to activate your new iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. Many users are frustrated by persistent activation errors affecting almost all iPhone operating systems including iOS 14, 15, 16, and 17. There is a 24-hour activation time for iMessages on new devices. While some users activate it right away, issues with your carrier or poor internet connection may cause a delay. In any case, it should not exceed 24 hours.

Why This Error Occurs?

It is better to know the reason behind this error before looking for a solution. Your iPhone may encounter an iMessage activation error for several reasons. If you wish to activate iMessage on your iPhone, it must be connected to WiFi or cellular data and capable of receiving SMS text messages, which appear in green bubbles on your screen. It might be possible to encounter this error if there is any change in mobile number or network. However, you can't recognize the cause of an error until you fix it.

Thus, we provide several methods to resolve activation errors and address the iMessage being stuck on 'waiting for activation.' Here are some quick fixes for you.

1. Restart Your Device

Just restart your device before getting into technicalities because this is the solution to fix most problems in any smartphone, including the iPhone. This will clear data, restart your network connections, and refresh your messages. If the problem or error persists even after this really simple troubleshooting tip, then try other solutions.

2. Network Connection

A proper and strong network connection is the basic requirement to activate iMessage on your Apple devices. Double-check and ensure your iPhone is connected to a strong WiFi connection or cellular data. First open settings and tap WiFi to see if your iPhone is connected. Also, ensure the switch next to WiFi is turned on and a blue checkmark appears next to your network name. If the WiFi is already on, try toggling it off and then back on. Next, go to Settings, tap Cellular, and ensure the switch next to Cellular Data is on. You might also try toggling the switch off and back on to fix any minor software glitches.

3. Set the Correct Time and Date

You may also experience improper iMessage activation if your iPhone's date and time zone settings are incorrect. When your time and date are incorrect you will have trouble connecting to Apple's servers so iMessage will not activate smoothly. Some online users claim that resetting their time zone fixes the issue. However, the issue is not reported largely. You can go to Settings and find the Date and Time option inside General. Just, ensure that 'Set Automatically' is toggled on green and that your time zone is set correctly. It is possible that you won't receive the iMessage activation error after changing the time and date settings. You can check by try sending an iMessage.

4. Check iMessage Server Status

If all the above solutions fail you should check if everything at the end of Apple is fine. There is a possibility that the Apple server is facing some outage and due to this your iPhone is showing the iMessage activation error. You can visit the Apple System Status page to check if the fault is on the side of Apple since iMessage is their product. You should ensure that the light next to iMessage is green. If this is so then the problem is something else and you should look for another solution.

5. Sign In Again With Your Apple ID

It is worth mentioning here that iMessage is linked with Apple ID. So, any glitch or irregularity in your Apple ID can also be responsible for the activation error. Therefore, logging in again into your account may fix your error sometimes. For this, you can open the settings and tap on your name at the top of the screen. Scroll down and tap sign out. You will need to enter your Apple ID password to complete the process.

6. Update Your iOS Version

Sometimes a specific software version can also likely cause issues with iMessage functionality. Updating your iPhone or iPad to the latest iOS version can also help resolve the iMessage not working problem. If a new update is listed you can find it under the General section in your iPhone Settings. You can simply tap on Software Update. If you see any updates there you should download and install it.

7. Reset Network Settings

You should try resetting your network settings if none of the above-mentioned troubleshooting tips worked for you. You will not lose any data due to the network resetting it's just that you will have to re-enter your WiFi password and pair again with Bluetooth devices. This trick has been helpful in many such cases.

8. Refresh Your iMessage Connection

Refreshing your iMessage connection could be another troubleshooting tip to resolve this error. If this is not the first time the device is using iMessage this tip can help you out of this technical trouble. So, go ahead with turning off your iMessages and following with the restart of your iPhone, and then turn the iMessages on once again.

9. Contact Apple Support

If iMessage activation is still unsuccessful contact your cellular service provider, you can also try restoring your iPhone from a backup or performing a factory reset. A factory reset erases your device's settings, apps, and data, restoring it to its original state when you first purchased it. If all else fails, you should contact Apple support for further assistance.

Final Words

If any of the above-mentioned tricks work for you it will be easier for you in the future to fix the iMessage activation failure error. If none of these methods work your device may have a more significant issue. In this case, you will have to visit the Apple store with your device and seek their assistance. While it's rarely necessary, this option is available if iMessage still won't be active.

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