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How to Fix iPhone “iMessage Waiting for Activation” Error?


Experiencing iMessage waiting for activation error in your iPhone? If yes, then this piece of information is for you.

The waiting for activation iMessage error in iOS 9 and iOS 10 and up is a very tiresome one. It can drain out your patience and can be annoying. The iMessage activation works great sometimes, but it makes us go nuts too.

Luckily, this issue in many conditions is easy to fix using simple ways that other users have used to fix this bug on their iPhones and iPads.

iMessage Waiting for Activation Error – How it Look Like on Iphone?

iPhone iMessage Waiting for Activation

While the error message that pops up on your phone says “imessage waiting for activation…”, you might also come across other iMessage Activation errors such as…

  • Activation unsuccessful
  • Activation Error, Try again
  • Could not sign in, check your network connection

5 Best Fixes to “iMessage Waiting for Activation” Error

Whatever the error message is, it is obvious that something has to be done to fix the error.

Before starting with any solutions that we have listed make sure that your carrier supports it. You can also check this on your carrier website or just ask the respective forums to suggest their restrictions and limitations for using iMessage on your iPhone.

iMessage uses, Apple’s infrastructure and its absolutely free of cost. But there are a few carriers that might place restrictions on the iMessage.

1. Check for the Network Connectivity

Checking for the Network Connectivity

Lets start with the basics, ensure that your iPhone is actually linked to a WiFi network or a Cellular network.

  • Click on the settings > WiFi and check whether it is enabled
  • Tap on Settings > Cellular and make sure that it is enabled

Note – iMessage can also work without Cellular data. So, the above cellular network check is not necessary in case you rely on WiFi for sending iMessages.

2. Check for the Date and Time

Check iOS Date and Time

Make sure that the date and time is set to ‘Auto’

  • Click > settings > General > Date and Time
  • Now change it to ‘Set Automatically”

3. Check Whether your Mobile Number is Setup Properly

Check Mobile Number Settings

You must check for your mobile number with an SMS messaging plan in order to activate it with FaceTime and iMessage.

  • Click on settings > Phone
  • Next, click on My number and enter your mobile number (If, it is not updated)

Note – You probably might not be able to clear the waiting for activation error message for iMessage on your iPhone with a number.

Though, it is possible to ignore this message, as you will be able to send it to your contacts using the Apple ID. Also, your contacts will also be able to send you iMessage with the Apple ID.

4. Quick Restarting iMessage and Face Time

The simple act of doing this service can fix out all the temporary bugs and restore it to the normal service functionality.

imessage on

Facetime Ios10 Disable Facetime

  • Click Setting > Messages > and turn OFF iMessage
  • Click settings > FaceTome and turn OFF
  • Now restart your mobile phone, by pressing the power button until you see the slide. Then, turn it on by pressing the power button.
  • Click Settings > FaceTime and turn ON FaceTime

5. Turning on the Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode On

This is basically like turning off your internet connectivity on your mobile phone and then it ON connects you back to the network. For some reason, this is a very simple act and guided users to fix  iphone imessage waiting for activation error on your iPhone.

  • Go to Settings > Airplane Mode and set it to ON (Green)
  • Wait for 10 Seconds
  • Click on Settings > Airplane Mode and set it to OFF (Red)
  • Now wait for a minute, click on Settings > iMessage and check if the “Waiting for Activation” is gone.

Airplane Mode with other settings

  • Click on Settings > Messages> Toggle iMessage OFF
  • Settings > FaceTime > Toggle OFF
  • Tap on settings > Airplane Mode > Turn On (Green)
  • Now Go to Settings > WiFi > Turn ON WiFi
  • Settings > Messages > Click iMessage ON
  • Go to Settings > FaceTime> Click ON FaceTime
  • Tap on Settings > Airplane Mode > Power OFF

Check if “imessage waiting for activation” error is fixed by heading to settings > messages

There are other methods as well, but the ones we have listed proved to fix out the issue. And remember not to bother fixing this issue in case you are using a mobile phone without a cellphone plan.  Even with the error message, you might be able to send iMessage to anyone with the device.

If you find these fixes for iPhone iMessage Activation error useful then share with others so that they can also get rid of this tiresome situation.


Written by Hardip Koradia

Hardip Koradia is a pro tech blogger with years of experience in writing resourceful articles on different tech topics like mobile apps, PCs, gadgets, software, how to guides, etc. His passion for technology inspired him to start Techbylws, a growing tech blog.