How to Fix ‘iMessage Waiting For Activation’? Here’s the Real Fix

It is frustrating to see iMessage waiting for activation when you are about to send that urgent message.

Many iOS device users get mad when they see their iMessage is not activated and cannot figure out why.

If you have experienced the same issue and looking for a reliable fix, you are reading the correct article.

Part 1. What Causes an Issue Like “iMessage Waiting for Activation”?

In fact, there can be various reasons for iPhone to come across the error “waiting for activation“.

With this guide, we intend to diagnose the exact reason behind the issue and help you use iMessage again. However, before we learn the fixes, there are some important things to consider.

1) As Apple Says, It May Take Up to 24 Hours for iMessage to Get Activated Again

2) To Activate iMessage, You Will Need to Have the Device Connected to a Cellular or Wi-fi Data Network

3) You Should Be Able to Use Regular Text Messages to Reactivate the iMessage Facility

4) Connect Your Device to a Data Network (Cellular or Wi-Fi)

One of the most common reasons for iMessage to be deactivated is a connectivity issue. To overcome this issue, you should make sure that your device is properly connected to a data network. To do this, you should go to the Settings app and click on Wi-Fi. Observe two factors;

If the Switch Next to Wi-Fi is on

If there is a checkmark closer to the connected Wi-Fi network

Or if the Wi-Fi is already switched on, but there is no checkmark, tap the network and get it selected. If the network is selected and the Wi-Fi connection is on, just toggle the switches repeatedly to see what happens.

Switch to another Wifi

To make sure that the device is actually connected to a working network, try loading a webpage through the web browser. If you can visit the website without any issue, you are connected to Wi-Fi. Otherwise, there is something wrong with your network.

Well, if you don’t use Wi-Fi, you will have to check if your cellular data is working. To do this, go to the Settings app and select Cellular Data. Then, turn on the corresponding switch. If it is already switched on, toggle the button several times and see what happens.

5) Put the Device on Airplane Mode and Turn It off Again

If this iMessage-related issue has occurred due to a minor issue, this trick may fix it. To do this, you should tap on the “Settings” app and locate Airplane Mode. There is a switch next to it; just turn it on. Wait for about 5 seconds and turn it off once again.

Turn on and turn off airplane mode

6) Check If the Date & Time Zone Are Correct

If the time zone of your iOS device is wrong, you may experience some issues with your iMessage app. Therefore, it is better to see if the date and time zone settings are correct.

To do this, you should first go to Settings and select the General option. Then, go to Date & Time and ensure that the correct time zone is selected.

7) Perform a Restart

If you still notice that your ‘iMessage waiting for activation, you should restart the device and see what happens. If your iMessage doesn’t work due to a minor software glitch, restarting can fix it.

To restart your iPhone X device, you can follow the steps mentioned below.

  • a) Press and hold the Side button with any volume button.
  • b) Swipe the power slider towards the right and power off the device.
  • c) Give it a couple of seconds and hold the side button to turn on the device.

8) Turn off and on iMessage

Another simple method you can practice is turning iMessage off and on. By doing this, you can expect iMessage to fix its own minor glitches and start fresh. To do this, you should follow the steps mentioned below.

Turn off and turn on iMessage
  • a) Go to the Settings app and select Messages
  • b) Tap on the switch located next to iMessage to turn it off
  • c) Wait for a couple of seconds and tap it again to turn it on

9) Check for Potential iOS Updates

If your ‘iMessage waiting for activation’, even Apple suggest that you should try updating your iOS. To do this, follow the steps mentioned below.

Check iOS Update
  • a) Go to the Settings app and select General
  • b) Select Software Update and look if you have any updates to be installed
  • c) Download and install if there is an update

By updating iOS on a regular basis, you will get better security, smooth functionality, and new features.

10) Sign Out & Sign In to the Apple ID You Are Using

If you have tried all the methods above and had no luck yet, you should consider this option. Signing out and signing in to your Apple ID, you can expect it to eliminate minor software glitches.

Sign out iMessage Account to fix iMessage Waiting For Activation
  • a) Open the Settings app and select Messages
  • b) Go to Send & Receive option and tap on the Apple ID
  • c) Then, tap on Sign Out
  • d) After signing out, you should use your Apple ID for iMessage (towards the top of the screen)
  • e) Provide the Apple ID credentials

Doesn’t your iMessage work even after trying all those methods? Then, it can be something wrong with the carrier’s network.

To check if there is anything wrong with your wireless carrier, the SMS feature must work. Otherwise, you cannot activate iMessage.

12) Difference Between iMessages and SMS

The SMS text message is the standard text message you send through your carrier’s network instead of the data network. Every wireless carrier offers a specific plan on SMS. These text messages are displayed inside green bubbles. Meanwhile, the messages sent through iMessage appear in blue bubbles.

The difference between iMessage and SMS is the network they are sent to. That means, iMessages are sent through the data network and SMS texts are sent through the wireless carrier network.

If you have a prepaid cell phone plan, please get confirmed if you can receive text messages through it. If you don’t have enough credit on your prepaid plan, you cannot send SMS through it.

As mentioned earlier, you must be able to send an SMS to activate iMessage back. So, the obvious step is to put enough credit on your mobile number and make SMS service available.

However, if you are doubtful whether you have SMS on your cell phone plan, contact the customer support center. You can then make sure whether you are entitled to send SMS depending on the plan you are using.

If the SMS facility is available, you should follow the steps mentioned below and fix the iMessage issue.

13) Request for an Update to Your Carrier Settings

Your wireless carrier might release updates on the settings in order to improve the connection performance. In general, these carrier settings updates are notified to you through a popup message on the phone.

As soon as you see such a message, you should opt to update. If you don’t update in time, you are likely to experience various issues like iMessage waiting for activation. So, be sure to update the carrier network settings on time.

Update carrier settings on iPhone

If you have missed an update, you can check for it now and opt to update. To do this, you should go to the Settings app and hit General. Then, tap on About and wait for about 15 seconds. If there is an update, you will see a popup.

14) Reset the Settings of Your Network

If there is no carrier settings update, you should try resetting the network settings. With this option, you will be able to reset all the network settings. That includes Bluetooth and VPN in addition to Wi-Fi and Cellular settings.

Once all the networks are brought into the default settings, you will be able to give it a fresh start. We recommend that you write down the passwords of the Wi-Fi connection before doing this.

reset iPhone network settings to fix iMessage Waiting For Activation

Go to the Settings app and select General. Then, go to Reset and select Reset Network Settings. Tap on Reset Network Settings once again when there is a confirmation alert.

Your device will now start to shut down and turn on after resetting the networks. You should then reconnect the cellular data or Wi-Fi to see if you can activate iMessage once again.

15) Get the Help of the Apple Support Team

If you are yet to find a solution for the issue “iMessage waiting for activation” issue, get Apple’s support. You will be assisted by one of the representatives who and help you through the process.

Part 2. The Easiest Way to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation Issue – Tenorshare ReiBoot

If you need a convenient, reliable, and hassle-free option to repair iOS-related issues, try using Tenorshare ReiBoot. In fact, this special software makes it really easy for iOS users when fix many issues with iPhones.

Apart from fixing iMessage waiting for activation errors, this software can address many other glitches. This tool doesn’t need you to go through complex processes to fix iOS errors.

Instead, the user-friendly interface of this software ensures you do it with a couple of clicks only. This software is compatible with iOS 15 as well. Also, it works on both Windows and macOS computers.

Here Are Some of the Issues It Can Fix Apart from iMessage Waiting for Activation.

  • a) iPhone froze during an iOS update
  • b) iPhone stuck in recovery mode
  • c) Stuck in the spinning circle
  • d) Screen of death
  • e) Black screen of death
  • f) Boot loop
  • g) Restore failure
  • h) iPhone doesn’t turn on
  • i) Forgotten lock screen password
  • j) iMessage doesn’t say delivered, and many other issues.

Here Are the Steps You Should Follow to Get Rid of iMessage Waiting for Activation Issue.

Step 1. Download Tenorshare ReiBoot on the computer and get it installed. Open the software and connect the device to the same computer.

Now, you will have to choose the option labeled “Standard Repair” located on the main screen.

Tenorshare ReiBoot
Tenorshare ReiBoot

Step 2. Go to the “Standard Repair” button and follow the onscreen guidance to put the device into DFU mode.

Tenorshare ReiBoot

Step 3. After doing this, you will see that the program detects the device.

Step 4. Once the device is detected by the program, you will have to download the firmware for your device.

Step 5. To do that, you should hit on the button labeled “Download“, and the program will find it.

Tenorshare ReiBoot

Step 6. At the completion of the downloading of the firmware, you can click on the “Start Standard Repair” option.

Tenorshare ReiBoot

Step 7. Tenorshare ReiBoot will now fix all the issues associated with your device.

Tenorshare ReiBoot
Tenorshare ReiBoot

After the above process, you will see that “iMessage waiting for activation” is fixed. In addition to that, you can notice that your iPhone is working smoothly after the above process.

Well, that is how to fix your iOS-related issues using this professional software.



Excellent software expert specializing in software & application testings, making comparisons, researching, and loves blogging, writing reviews, video tutorials, and the like.