If iMessage is stuck on “Waiting for activation” after iOS 16 update, this troubleshooting guide will show you how to fix the issue!
Maybe you have recently switched from Android to iOS or upgraded from an old iPhone to a new one and are setting up everything, including iMessage. But, you seem to have run into a problem. Your iMessage is stuck on the “Waiting for Activation” error screen and doesn’t want to work even after multiple tries and hours of wait. If my prediction is spot on, here are ten tips to fix the iMessage Waiting for Activation issue in iOS 16.
Tips to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation in iOS 16
When activating iMessage on iOS, you might run into 5 familiar error messages:
- 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
Irrespective of which of these error messages have popped up on your iPhone, the following solutions can help you resolve iMessage activation issues on iOS 16 or previous versions.
Things to Keep in Mind If iMessage Not Working on Your iPhone in iOS 16
First and foremost, make sure you have ticked off the basic requirements since they play a key role in successful iMessage activation.
iMessage activation requires a stable internet connection. Therefore, make sure your device is connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network.
You will require SMS messaging to activate your phone number with iMessage.
The iMessage activation takes up to 24 hours.
Make sure your carrier allows you to send and receive SMS messages.
Just in case your carrier has not been mentioned on Apple’s wireless carrier support page, ensure that you can send and receive international SMS.
Apple also lets you use your email address with iMessage.
1. Turn on/off Airplane Mode
The very first tip that you should try if iMessage says waiting for activation is to turn on/ off Airplane mode. While it may sound funny, Airplane mode can help fix random network-related issues. So, before trying out other solutions to troubleshoot iOS 16 iMessage activation issue, make sure to give it a shot.
Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to access Control Center. Next, tap on the Airplane mode button to turn it on.
Wait for some time and then disable Airplane mode. Now, head over to ‘Messages’ under the Settings app to check if the iMessage waiting for activation error is gone. If the issue is resolved, you are good to go!
2. Turn Off/On iMessage and Restart Your Device
If the first trick did not help you resolve the iMessage activation issue on your iOS 16 device, then turn off iMessage and restart your device. At times, simply turning the iMessage toggle on and off lets you sort out this error.
First, head to ‘Settings > Messages’ and turn off the toggle next to iMessage. Then, follow the steps below to restart your iPhone.
Hold either the volume down or up button and side button. Then, drag the power off slider to shut down your device. After that, press and hold the side button to restart your device.
Once your device has restarted, go turn on the iMessage toggle. Now, wait for some time to check if the iMessage activation is successful on your device.
3. Check that your time and date are correct
If the time and date on your device are wrong, it can mess with your connection to Apple’s servers. According to Apple, users should set the time zone correctly for the successful activation of iMessage. So, make sure to checkoff this essential box to fix iOS 16 iMessage Waiting for Activation error. To do so, navigate to Settings > General > Date & Time. Now, turn on the toggle for Set Automatically.Set your time zone correctly on iOS
If there’s an available time zone update, you will get an alert for that. Make sure to allow your iPhone or iPad to use its current location to determine the correct time zone.
To get it done, head over to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services and then turn on the toggle next to the Setting Time Zone option.
4. Check Apple’s System Status for iMessage
When iMessage “activate,” what it’s really doing is contacting Apple’s servers to see if you’re using a legitimate Apple ID. So if Apple’s servers aren’t working, the iMessage can’t activate.
Apple has a website that tracks all of their servers and notes if any go offline. Visit Apple’s system status page. Check that the FaceTime and iMessage tabs have a green dot next to them — if the dots are yellow or red instead, the servers are having issues.
If that’s the case, just wait a while for Apple to repair the servers.
5. Make sure that you’re connected to the internet
Unlike SMS texting and regular phone calls, iMessage use the internet, not cellphone signals. So if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or a data plan, it’s not going to work.
Open Safari and make sure you can load multiple websites. If you can’t, or they load incredibly slowly, you’ve found the culprit. Link up with a stronger internet connection.
6. Reset Network Settings
As outlined above, a sloppy internet connection could be one of the main reasons for iMessage not working as intended on your iOS 16 device. So, ensure that your Wi-Fi or cellular connection is up to the mark. If you have a good connection but iMessage still won’t activate on your iOS 16 device, try resetting the network settings, then try again. Just beware that this will erase all of your saved Wi-Fi passwords.
To do so, go to the Settings app on your device > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset. Now, tap on ‘Reset Network Settings,’ enter your device passcode, and then tap on Reset Network Settings again to confirm the action.
Now, activate iMessage, and the Waiting for Activation error should be gone.
7. Update iOS
If none of the tricks mentioned above help solves the iMessage Waiting for Activation on iPhone running iOS 16, there is a high chance that the outdated software is the culprit. So, what’s the solution? Pretty simple, check for a software update.
With every software update, Apple silently releases several bug fixes and performance enhancements. So, hopefully, updating your iOS device to the latest software version could solve the issue.
Go to the Settings app > General > Software Update. Next, do the needful to update the software on your iOS device.
8. Sign out of your Apple ID account
iMessage is connected to your Apple ID account (also known as your iCloud account). Refreshing your device’s Apple ID might fix the issue.
Open your device’s Settings app and tap your name at the top of the screen. Tap Sign Out at the bottom of the Apple ID page. You might have to enter your password to fully log out. Once you’re signed out, restart your device. When it starts back up, open the Settings app again and tap the Sign in option at the top of the page.
Log into your Apple ID account again. After logging in, check if iMessage waiting for activation issue is fixed.
9. Factory reset your iPhone
A factory reset clears all of your device’s settings, apps, and data. It’ll return it to the state it was in when it left the factory.
Resetting your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to factory defaults should be the last fix you try. But if nothing else works, it’s almost guaranteed to fix iMessage waiting for activation issue. To do so, go to the Settings app on your device > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase all Content & Settings.
10. Contact Apple Support
If none of these methods have fixed iMessage waiting for activation after iOS 16 update issue, your device might have a bigger issue. In this case, you’ll have to ask for help directly from Apple.
You can contact Apple in a few different ways using your phone or computer. Check out this guide to learn how to contact Apple support team.
Resolve iMessage Waiting for Activation Issue on iPhone in iOS 16
That’s pretty much it! I guess you must have finally resolved the iMessage activation issue on your iOS device. From what I can tell based on my experience, these tricks often fix the iMessage not working error on my iPhone. Moreover, many times, simply turning on/off the iMessage toggle and rebooting the device does the trick. If you are still facing any issues, let us know in the comments, and we will be happy to lend a helping hand.
Now, if iMessage is working fine for you, but your iPhone is restarting randomly, then do check out our handy guide to fix the issue.
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