Is iMessage not working on your iPhone after iOS 16 update? You are not alone. In this article, I’ll explain why iPhone is not sending or receiving iMessages after iOS 16 update and show you how to fix the problem for good.
iMessage lets you send texts, photos, or videos to another iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac over Wi-Fi or cellular-data networks. These messages are always encrypted and appear in blue text bubbles. But if all of a sudden, iMessage is not working after iOS 16 update, messages are failing and showing red exclamation marks, and texts, photos, videos are not going through, here are the best solutions to fix these problems. These solutions apply to iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone X and iPhone 8.
Why Is iMessage Not Working after iOS 16 update??
There are lots of reasons why iMessage can stop working on your iOS 16 device: it could be an issue with Apple’s iMessage server, a problem with the Messages app, your cellular network, your Wi-Fi connection, or your settings could need adjusting.
How to fix iPhone iMessage not working after iOS 16 update
1. Make sure iMessage is on and set up correctly
The first solution to fix the issue when your iPhone is not receiving iMessages after iOS 16 update is to ensure iMessage is switched on and is set correctly.
Check you’re set to send and receive iMessages by going to Settings > Messages and checking that iMessage is turned on.
If when you get to this page you see a message suggesting that iMessage is ”Waiting for activation” or ”Activation unsuccessful”, continue reading.
If iMessage is switched on and there is no message about activation, check that your phone is set up correctly to receive iMessages: Go to Settings > Messages and check the addresses and mobile number you have listed in Send & Receive.
- Turn off your mobile number or email address in the list of places where you can Send & Receive from. We suggest trying a process of elimination to see if iMessage works with just your mobile number or just an email address.
- Check there is a tick beside your phone number in the Start New Conversations From section.
2. Turn it off and on again and restart Messages
As in all good troubleshooting articles one essential piece of advice is to turn it off and on again. You could start off by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and swiping up on the Messages app, before relaunching it. If the app was hanging this may well fix the problem.
- You can reboot iMessage by going to Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage.
- Restart your iPhone by pressing and holding the Side and either of the volume buttons, slide to power off, and then wait for your iPhone to start up again.
- Once you’ve rebooted, return to Settings > Messages and turn iMessage back on.
- Sign out of your Apple ID and then sign in again. You can do this by going to Settings > Messages then tap on Send & Receive and at the top of the page tap on your Apple ID and choose Sign Out.
Then sign in again and see if this has fixed the problem.
3. Check iMessage server status
The next possibility is that the server that iMessage is run from is down – which could mean that iMessage isn’t working for anyone. This is rare, but it does happen occasionally.
Visit Apple’s official System Status page and check if iMessage is working or not. When it is, you will see a green dot next to it. If it is down, please wait until Apple implements a fix.
an alternative to Apple’s page, you could try Down Detector, which provides a graph detailing outage reports from the past 24 hours, and even an outage map to see whether you’re in an affected area.
You could also search for the word iMessage and related terms on Twitter; if lots of people are talking about the problem then it’s clearly not just you.
4. Unblock the person if you had blocked them
After you block a person, they cannot send messages, FaceTime, or make regular calls to you. Thus if you aren’t receiving iMessage on your iOS 16 device, take a few seconds to ensure you have not blocked someone accidentally.
- Open the Settings and tap Messages.
- Tap Blocked Contacts and ensure the person is not added here.
- If they are, swipe left on the name and tap Unblock.
5. Make sure you’ve got internet connection (and enough data)
iMessage needs a data connection to work, so you need to make sure you’ve got 3G or 4G (or 5G) available, or a good WiFi signal. Without WiFi or a cellular data connection your iMessage won’t send on iPhone.
Check you can access the web by performing a quick search in Safari. If you see no results you’ve identified the root of your problem.
- See this article to learn how to fix Wi-Fi problems on iPhone.
- See this article to learn how to fix cellular data problems on iPhone.
6. Set correct iPhone date and time
Your iPhone needs to have the correct date and time for iMessage to work. To ensure this, go to Settings > General > Date & Time and enable Set Automatically. Now, restart your iPhone, and iMessage not working in iOS 16 should no longer bother you.
7. Update Your iPhone Software
If iMessage is not working on your iPhone due to any software bug, chances are it will be fixed after updating to the latest version of iOS 16 beta. To do that, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
8. Reset Network Settings when iMessage is not working on iPhone running iOS 16
If nothing works in fixing the iOS 16 iMessage problems, this one should.
Here’s how to reset your Network settings if iMessages aren’t sending in iOS 16.
- Open iPhone Settings and tap General.
- Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Once this is done, there is almost a certainty that iMessage will start working.
9. Reset all Settings
If you find iMessage not working on iPhone running iOS 16 after trying the above solutions, you may reset all settings. This step won’t delete personal data like apps, music, and photos. But settings you have ever changed or added like Wi-Fi, VPN, Bluetooth, Home Screen layout, and more will reset. Here’s how:
- Launch iPhone Settings and tap General.
- Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset All Settings.
10. Get help from Apple
If you are still having problems then it’s probably time to get an appointment with a genius at the Apple Store, here’s how.
How to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation after iOS 16 update
Setting up iMessage on an iPhone should be a simple process, but it can sometimes be problematic. In some case people are seeing an error message when they try to activate iMessage on their iPhone running iOS 16.
You may see one of the following error messages:
- Activation unsuccessful.
- An error occurred during activation.
- Waiting for activation.
- Could not sign in, please check your network connection.
- Unable to contact the iMessage server.
Here’s what to do when iMessage won’t activate on your iPhone running iOS 16
- Be patient and wait a full 24 hours before troubleshooting
- Call your mobile phone company in case there’s an issue on their side
- Check that your iPhone can send SMS (texts)
- Toggle iMessage off, wait 20-30 seconds, and toggle back on
- For pre-paid mobile plans, make sure you have a credit on your account
- Toggle Airplane Mode on and off
- Disable any restrictions on your device
- Reset your network settings
- Return all your iDevice’s settings to defaults.
Fixed iMessage not working after iOS 16 update
As someone who has dealt with this issue firsthand, it can be very frustrating. Thankfully these steps have resolved the issue for many people. Did our solutions fix the problem of iPhone iMessage not working after iOS 16 update? Did another solution work that we didn’t mention? Feel free to share it in the comments section below!
See also: iOS 16: Fix iPhone Not Sending or Receiving Texts Messages!