iMessage for Mac (undelivered messages 001)

Judging by a growing thread on Apple’s support forums, an unknown portion of people seem to be experiencing issues activating FaceTime and/or iMessage after upgrading their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to iOS 7. On top of that, some of  those who’ve successfully activated the services complain about not being able to send or receive messages, iMessage not falling back to SMS, being able to receive messages but not media and more.

Turns out a few remedies exist to help fix these woes so I’ve included them for your convenience right after the break…

One user wrote:

After downloading the new ios7 to my iphone4s I’ve been unable to send iMessages to other people. I am able to receive iMessages however cannot respond to them via iMessage. It continues to tell me that it is sending but never sends. I end up having to change the message to SMS and then send instead.

This is exactly what I experienced during an exchange with Sebastien the other day.

Aside from the now regular iMessage outages, most of the aforementioned issues can be traced back to iMessage/FaceTime activation errors, with the device getting stuck on “Waiting for activation…” or saying “An error occurred during activation. Try again.”

For starters, check whether your Apple ID and/or cell phone number is configured properly in Settings > Messages > iMessage and Settings > FaceTime.

If things look good there, you can try solve the hiccups by either disabling/re-enabling each service or resetting your device’s network settings.

Turn off and re-enable iMessage/FaceTime

Go to Settings > Messages > iMessage and flip the iMessage switch to OFF. Likewise, go to Settings > FaceTime to disable the service. You should wait a few seconds (preferably about a minute) before re-enabling both iMessage and FaceTime.

Now try sending an iMessage again to yourself and call a FaceTime-enabled contact to see whether this method has managed to kill the pesky service activation prompts.

Reset your network settings

This is easy.

Go to Settings > General > Reset and tap the Reset Network Settings button. A prompt will pop up asking you to confirm the process. You’ll have to enter your passcode, if any, to proceed. Note that resetting network settings also wipes out your saved Wi-Fi passwords, meaning you’ll have to re-enter them later.

If neither solution works, OSXDaily suggests the following:

You can also try resetting the device to defaults, setting it up as new, activate iMessage and FaceTime through your Apple ID, then restore from a backup once you have confirmed it works – we have received an email from a user stating that particular sequence to be effective when everything else didn’t work.

Of course, setting an iOS device as new is a nuclear option and as such should only be used as a last resort option, in case all other tricks have failed. You really should create a full backup beforehand so you can restore to it should things go haywire.

This Apple support document explains how to back up and restore from a backup. Note that backups do not contain content synced to the device – such as movies, music, podcasts and apps – which shouldn’t be a problem because all of that is kept in iTunes on your computer.

Oh, and restarting your device might also do the trick.

Attempting to enable iMessage/FaceTime with a temporary Apple ID created for testing purposes won’t hurt either.

If you have other suggestions, we’re all ears.

  • jocastro

    i started dealing with this stuff on ios 6 and when i updated to ios 7 it went away

    • Jonathan

      same lol

  • Jonathan

    My friend, he has an iPod Touch 4 on iOS 6.1.3 and has these issues as well. At certain times of the day, he cannot send or receive messages, and then all the sudden, it all works, then stops again. I checked Apple’s status on their site, and everything was live, so I don’t think it’s just iOS 7.

  • GG

    Also, make sure your iPhone time and date settings are set to automatic adjustment. My grandfather had a problem with FT and iM, and it was due to the fact that his iPhone wasn’t properly time-synced.

  • Vietnam-rogue

    I once found that, u guys should not restore previous ios’ backup.

  • cnoTe4

    My iMessage activated fine, but my messages will hang sometimes and not send. Only way to fix is to reboot phone.

    • Phil Gamboa

      This has been my experience too. I thought it was isolated to my wife’s phone on iOS 7 and said that 7.0.2 fixes that. She upgraded to 7.0.2 and now I am having the same issue. Deactivating/reactivating iMessage activation worked as well as a reboot.

  • marco1993

    I did have this issue
    I just restart the phone and it seems to do the trick for me

  • QuarterSwede

    Went from using every beta to final release and only saw this problem rear it’s head today. Had to reboot for it to send anything over iMessage. Works fine now. *shrugs*

  • Beck Hoefling

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has been having iMessage problems lately

  • Tobo

    i’ve fixed it by enabling it through data instead of wifi connection but now it seems like it is not working again.

  • harry bimasakti

    Hv already reset network but still ” could not sign in. Please check your network…..”

  • misterz

    This bug is killing me. How about a solution that lasts longer than 24 hours.

    • Dickbag

      Well then you come up with a solution, ungrateful shithead.

      • @dongiuj

        Mate, there’s no need for that. Apple is supposed to be this “it just works” company with very expensive products. People are totally right to react like this for a product that is not working right.

  • Abdl

    Oh thank God for this! Since iOS 7 GM i’ve not been able to activate my IM/FT! I tried resetting the network settings,that didnt help…still stuck at “waiting for activation” i guess i will hae to reset it as a new device

  • Qasim Bashir

    never had any problems

  • @dongiuj

    My facetime just stopped working randomly. Can’t for the life of me get it to work again.
    Iphone 4
    Ios 6.1.3

  • Freddie

    I did a hard reset earlier today (hold the power and home button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo)

    Worked great and fixed the problem!

  • Rich Cook

    Apple just still cannot do the Internet thing right. Improving, but just not their forte sadly

  • Secret

    Do you now how to get facetime on settings

  • Ross Levine

    I have an idea, how about I do none of these things and apple fixes their awful imessage hang problem (I just go straight to sending as text message when it does do that, only downside is that I lose that portion of the imessage).

    Anyway, there is no feasible reason for it randomly not be able to send (and juice a lot of the battery trying), especially when the service is just fine (or I’m on strong wifi). Anyway, get it together apple.

  • Buster

    Holy shit, your page loads 88 tracking tags. I’ll go elsewhere, thanks.

  • Mousam Samanta

    Just Bunk everything which you will get from all these type websites. Nothing gonna work . I was suffering with this FACETIME ACTIVATION ERROR for my iPad Mini 2 from last 1 year, and tried all steps but the problem was same.

    Don’t worry.

    Just call APPLE ONLINE SUPPORT.Tell them your problem and they will ask to RESET, RESTORE,APPLE ID CHANGE ETC. I’m sure these steps will not work ( didn’t work for me from last 1 year until i called apple support). After these dramas, they will transfer the call to their senior.

    He/She will ask the same procedures and ultimately they will reset your apple i’d by asking your security questions and after 24 hours,it will start working.

    ( Once again I am telling, Its my practical experience and I have found this most successful step rather than resetting and restoring) .

    Thanks to Swati-Apple Customer support executive.