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iMessage waiting for activation? Here’s how to fix it

If you’re setting up a new iPhone or have recently replaced or reset your iPhone, you may run into an iMessage/FaceTime issue where it is waiting for activation. Let’s take a look at how to fix the “iMessage waiting for activation” issue.

Besides the “Waiting for activation” message, other related problems may include seeing alerts such as “Activation unsuccessful,” “An error occurred during activation,” or “Could not sign in, please check your network connection.”

How to fix iMessage waiting for activation (FaceTime too)

  • For iMessage/FaceTime to activate, you’ll need an internet connection, so make sure you’ve got a working cellular or Wi-Fi connection (you’ll also need SMS to be working with your phone #)
  • Check that your time zone is correct Settings > General > Date & Time (using Set Automatically is the easiest way to do this)

If iMessage/FaceTime still doesn’t activate, try these steps:

  • Turn off both iMessage and FaceTime. For iMessage go to Settings > Messages and tap the toggle to the right of iMessage. Do the same for FaceTime which is found just below Messages in Settings.
  • Restart your device
  • Turn iMessage and FaceTime back on

iMessage and FaceTime may activate right away, but Apple notes that in some cases it may take up to 24 hours. Another factor may be if Apple is experiencing any system issues, you can check Apple’s system status here.

Still not activated?

Check to see if there’s an available software update

  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap on General > Software Update
  • Tap Download and Install if there’s an update available
  • You’ll also want to make sure SMS (regular texting) is working in the Messages app

If iMessage/FaceTime still won’t activate, get in touch with Apple Support.

How to deactivate/deregister iMessage

iMessage waiting for activation walkthrough - deregister iMessage

If you’ve changed phone numbers or don’t have an iPhone anymore, you may want to deregister iMessage. Apple has a simple two-step process via its support site to take care of this.

If you still have an iPhone, this process is as easy as turning off iMessage and FaceTime in Settings under Messages and FaceTime.

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