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How to Fix iMessage not Working on Mac

imessage not working on mac

The Messages app on Mac allows you to send messages easily to and from the computer to any other iPhone, iPad, Mac as well. And iPod touch that is also using the iMessage protocol. Messages mostly work just fine, but most of the time there can be issues encounter that avoid the iMessage feature from working in macOS. Usually, this manifests as an inability to send messages via the app. Or time-outs when attempting to send messages that actually seemingly take forever, or failed attempts at sending messages from the Mac. And in any case iMessage appears to not work properly or as expected in Mac OS as well. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Fix iMessage not Working on Mac. Let’s begin!

Too bad, since iMessage’s feature set is just as good as one of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and all others. The service lets you effortlessly send pictures and videos, react to messages, send voice notes, and much more. In addition, with all of the ongoing privacy scandals, iMessage has become a trustworthy alternative as well. (As the service is fully encrypted and ad-free) to the Facebook-owned apps actually.

But, sometimes iMessage does malfunction. This guide will dive into the most common iMessage problems and also give you five easy fixes to resolve them.

What you should do with iMessage not sending on Mac

When you start using iMessage, it might seem finicky and even fragile as well. There’s no dedicated iMessage app — everything is sent via the regular Messages, along with SMS-based texts as well.

If iMessage text fails to send, then your device will use the SMS route as backup automatically. This can be very confusing as iMessage is only available to folks in the Apple ecosystem. So how do you know if it is an iMessage error on Mac or also if someone you are texting simply sports an Android phone? The only way is to ask them directly actually.

Another common issue with iMessage is using the same account in order to send and receive messages from and to different phone numbers and also emails. A guaranteed way in order to confuse your interlocutors.

Finally, before proceeding to more involved troubleshooting, if your iMessages don’t send, then check that your WiFi or LTE is on and working or not. Still, having problems? Then give these solutions a try as well.

Troubleshooting iMessage Not Working in macOS

Ensure the Mac has an Internet Connection

iMessage and Messages actually needs an internet connection to work. It does not matter if the internet connection is wi-fi, ethernet, a personal hotspot, but it must be an active and also functioning internet connection.

Before anything else, make sure that the Mac is connected to the internet and that the internet connection works. You can test this through making sure web browsers work to browse the web, using ping, or any other method you’d like.

Reboot the Mac

Mostly simply restarting the Mac will resolve any issues with the Messages app and iMessage not working.

  • First, pull down the Apple menu and then select “Restart”

When the Mac has booted back up again, then try to open Messages and then sending again.

Ensure Mac has Apple ID or iCloud Enabled

iMessage needs an Apple ID, which is also the same log in the Mac uses for iCloud. Therefore you will want to make sure the Mac has the appropriate Apple ID configured:

  • From the Apple menu, then head to “System Preferences”
  • Hover over “iCloud” settings and make sure that the Mac has the proper Apple ID in use

You will also want to use the same Apple ID on the Mac that you do on your iPhone. That way Messages will sync between both of the devices as well.

Disable and Re-enable iMessage on Mac

Most of the time disabling and then re-enabling iMessage on the Mac can resolve connection issues specific to iMessage on the Mac. Let’s see how you can do that:

  • First, open the “Messages” app on Mac
  • Then pull down the “Messages” menu and then select Preferences
  • Head to the “iMessage” tab
  • Now make sure the Apple ID is set properly, then check “Enable this account” is checked

imessage not working on mac

Sign In and Sign Out to iMessage on Mac

Signing out and signing back into iMessage on the Mac will mostly remedy issues with Messages not working on the Mac too. Let’s see how you can do accomplish that:

  • First, open the “Messages” app on Mac
  • Pull down the “Messages” menu and then select Preferences
  • Head to the “iMessage” tab
  • Select the “Sign Out” button
  • Then quit Messages
  • Relaunch the Messages app and then return back to iMessage preferences and this time sign back into the Apple ID for iMessage as well.

Clear iMessage cache

When you think that it’s the iMessage activation error Mac displays that prevent you from using iMessage. Then you can try to wipe out all the app’s user preferences to start a new. Your data might be affected, so proceed with caution:

  • From Finder, Choose Go ➙ Go to Folder…
  • Then navigate to the ~/Library/Messages folder.
  • Duplicate the folder and then save a backup somewhere outside of your Library.
  • Simply remove the original Message folder.

imessage not working on mac

If you try to launch Messages now, then your conversations might disappear. However, any iMessage authentication error Mac was showing should go too.

Set time and date automatically

One surprising fix for iMessage has nothing to do with the messages themselves but instead with the way authentication processes work on your Mac. If you don’t let Apple set your date and time automatically, and it’s actually slightly off. Then your Mac might have problems with HTTPS requests, cookie management, and also even time-sensitive passwords.

imessage not working on mac

If you want to set your time and date to automatic:

  • Open System Preferences ➙ Date & Time.
  • Then check “Set date and time automatically”.

This should actually resolve any Mac-to-Messages syncing issues going on.

Reset iMessage in Just one click

Since you guys have now read till the end of this article, you have a few good ideas of how you can get iMessage working again. But going through all of these steps to figure it out might seem time-consuming and tedious. So I’m going to share a secret trick that actually makes it possible to completely reset your Messages app and fix the iMessage not working on the Mac problem. Without even deleting your messaging history or even digging deep into your Mac’s settings.

Even better, you guys only need one application to do this for Messages or really any other app out there. If you have the same problems in the future — CleanMyMac X.

CleanMyMac X is actually an unsung hero of Mac optimization. This powerful utility lets you reset or uninstall any application. As well as optimize any process within your Mac as well. If you want to use it to reset Messages, then simply:

  • First, open CleanMyMac X ➙ Preferences (or use ⌘ + ,).
  • Then switch to the Ignore List tab.
  • Now uncheck “Ignore system applications”.
  • Then navigate to the Uninstaller tab within the application’s menu (under Applications).
  • Tap on Messages and then check all folders within it.
  • Change the dropdown in order to Reset and then tap the Reset button.
Just like that your Messages app and the iMessage functionality within it should now as good as new. Feel free to use the same resetting feature when you want to bring any other app as well. If third-party or default, back to its original state. Along with the right tools, fixing errors is a breeze!


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