Those of us who have Apple devices know that iMessage is a good way to contact other Apple users while avoiding text messaging fees. However, unlike your standard SMS, when iMessage encounters a problem, you will have to attempt to fix it. When all of your messages begin to appear in green instead of blue bubbles, iMessage isn't working. If this is happening on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, here are some ways that you can troubleshoot the issue.
What Exactly is iMessage and How Does It Work?
First, it is important to know that iMessage is vastly different from traditional SMS and MMS due to the fact that it sends messages using data, not the text messaging plan you have through your service provider. iMessage allows you to go over the 160-character limit you get with MMS, although iMessage exclusively works between Apple users only.
What Do the Blue and Green Bubbles On My iPhone Mean?
You might have already noticed that, when you open your Messages app on your device, your messages are encased in either green or blue bubbles. If your message appears in a blue bubble, your message was sent to another Apple user via iMessage. If it appears in green, your message was sent to via your cellular plan's MMS or SMS to a non-Apple user.
Diagnosing Your iMessage Issue
Before you proceed to the steps listed below for fixing iMessage, you need to first determine whether your iMessage is actually experiencing problems or if one of your contacts is actually the one having issues with iMessage. If iMessage is having problems with all of your contacts, the problem is likely on your end.
Send Someone a Text Message
The best way to figure out if your iMessage is the culprit or not is to send a message to one of your contacts who owns an iPhone. (They don't have to reply; you just have to send them a message.) If the message pops up in a blue bubble, then your iMessage is working. If it comes up green, iMessage is not working on your device.
If iMessage does not appear to be working on your device, try following these steps to troubleshoot the issue.
Steps For Fixing iMessage On Your iPhone or iPad
1. Turn Off iMessage, Reboot Your Phone, and Turn iMessage Back On
Start off by going into your device's Settings, then into Messages. Turn iMessage off on your phone by tapping your finger on the button next to iMessage. Next, power off your device by holding down the home button and sliding your finger across the screen to turn it off. Turn your device on again and go back into Messages. Turn iMessage back on.
This is usually the quick fix that gets iMessage working again. However, if this does not work, proceed to Step 2.
2. Make Sure iMessage is Activated
Go into Settings, then Messages, and open up Send & Receive. This will give you a list of your e-mail addresses and phone numbers that are already configured to send and receive iMessages on your particular device. Find the section entitled Start New Conversations From and make sure that there is a checkmark next to it. If there is no checkmark next to it, tap on it with your finger to enable iMessage.
3. Make Sure Your Device is Connected to the Internet
Since iMessage only works with data and WiFi, your device needs to be connected to the Internet for iMessage to be used. Check your connection by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. If the WiFi connection button (the second button from the left along the top row) is blue, your WiFi is connected. If it is turned off, press the button to turn it on. If it won't go on and your Safari browser will not load, you have no connection, which guarantees that iMessage will not work on your device.
Sometimes, WiFi is the problem. If you're linked to a weak WiFi connection, iMessage might not work. Turn WiFi off and try resending your iMessage using just your data.
4. Sign Out and Back Into iMessage
If your Internet connection isn't causing problems, try signing out and back into your Apple ID. To do so, go into Settings, Messages, and Send & Receive. Once you are signed back in, send a message again to a contact with an Apple device. If your message comes up blue, iMessage is working.
5. Make Sure iOS is Up-to-date
If your iOS is not updated, this can cause iMessage to malfunction. Apple regularly puts out updates for iMessage, so having the most current version of iOS installed on your device can be crucial. Check for updates by going to Settings, then General, then Software Update.
6. Reset Your Network Settings
If you're still having problems, try resetting your device's network settings back to factory default. Before you begin, have a list of your WiFi passwords at the ready since resetting to factory defaults will wipe all saved WiFi networks from your device.
To do a network settings reset, go to Settings, General, then Reset. Tap on Reset Network Settings. You will have to input WiFi passwords after your device reboots.
7. Ask Apple Support For Help
The very last option you have is contacting Apple Support for assistance. Apple engineers occasionally have to sort out iMessage malfunctions. If you have an Apple Store nearby, you should consider calling ahead and making an appointment to bring your device in, as these stores can get pretty busy. Again, as far as troubleshooting goes, this should be a last resort, since the above steps will save you both time and money.
Don't Give Up On Your iPhone!
Even with the best service provider and an otherwise well-performing device, iMessage sometimes just stops working like it is supposed to. Most of the time, iMessage requires a simple fix, as noted in the troubleshooting steps listed above. If your Apple device is experiencing iMessage issues, try following the steps listed above and give some feedback on what worked for your device. Jump to top
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