How to fix “iMessage Waiting for activation” issue

iMessage is Apple’s own instant messaging service that sends messages over the Internet, using your data instead of cellular service. When setting up a new phone or simply switching phone numbers or carrier, your Apple device will try and activate iMessage. During or after activation, you may encounter an error that reads iMessage waiting for activation. In this post we will go through several possible solutions for this specific issue, and similar ones related to activation of this service.

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How to fix iMessage waiting for activation issue

There are many things you can do to troubleshoot this issue, and I will list them in the order they should be performed.

Restart your iPhone X to fix your “iMessage waiting for activation” problem

It’s possible that the  “iMessage waiting for activation” problem  is just due to a minor glitch in the system and affected iMessage so before anything else, make sure to restart your device to rule this possibility out first. After all, a normal reboot refreshes your phone’s memory, clear its RAM and reload all its apps, services and core functions.

Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi or cellular

This is quite obvious but if you don’t have any cellular or Wi-Fi connection, iMessage and FaceTime won’t be able to check-in with Apple’s servers to start the activation process. Just make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi and have cellular service.

Turn airplane mode on and off

Maybe that activation issue is just a dumb hiccup in the system. Before going any further in the troubleshooting of your problem, try  turning Airplane Mode on , wait a few seconds, and then turn it off.

Sign out of your Apple ID and sign back in

It may seem like a no-brainer but I know a couple of users who were able to fix their iMessage problems by doing this. It will actually refresh your Apple ID and may resolve minor glitch and problems.

Update iOS on your iPhone

Apple releases periodic updates to fix various bugs. To update the software on your iPhone or iPad, open  Settings  app →  General  →  Software Update.

Once you successfully update your device, waiting for activation issue should be resolved.

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Check the time

When Apple tries to authenticate you for iMessage or FaceTime, the activation server will expect the time between them and your device to match. To avoid any issue, go to Settings > General > Date & Time, and set the time and date to  Set Automatically . Additionally, make sure the time zone is the correct one.

Turn off iMessage, then restart your device

This is a possible solution offered to me by Apple when I called them about my issue. In my case, it didn’t help at all, but you probably want to try that and see...