Quickly Fix iMessage Issues

Apple’s iMessage service is extremely useful, but there are times when its usefulness is overshadowed by its unreliability. Fortunately, if Apple’s messaging service starts behaving badly, there are some quick ways to fix these iMessage problems on iPhone and iPad.

Like many iPhone, iPad, and Mac users, I rely on Apple’s stock messaging service to keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues who use Apple products. I use it hundreds of times a day, every day of the week. This is an essential part of my daily iPhone and iPad usage, and that’s why I get very frustrated when the service isn’t working as intended.

I have faced various iMessage issues in the past. Perhaps the biggest issue I had was when I couldn’t send iMessages after the release of iOS 7. Although I found a temporary fix, my iOS 7 iMessage problems on my iPhone were not resolved until Apple released iOS 7.0.

Since then, iMessage problems on my devices are rare. But over the weekend, I ran into some major issues with Apple’s messaging service that was preventing me from communicating on the go.

Last week I went out of town for a birthday celebration. My iPhone 5 has never let me go, so it went with me on the trip. Whenever I fly, I put the iPhone in Airplane Mode which prevents me from using iMessage at altitude, which prevents it from receiving a cellular signal. There are ways to use iMessage while flying, but I prefer to turn it off.

After arriving, I turned my iPhone 5 back on and received a series of iMessages from friends, family, and coworkers who had texted me during the flight. I answered almost all of them and went on with my day. This was my typical experience with iPhone and iMessage, but there were definitely some bumps along the way, bumps that some of you may have experienced as well.

I flew home yesterday. As usual, I put my iPhone in Airplane Mode, sat back and enjoyed a fantastically turbulent flight back to Southern California. Since I’m flying during the day, I knew it would send tons of messages as soon as I took my phone out of Airplane Mode.

So I was surprised when I only got one iMessage when we landed. I thought nothing of it until I tried to reply to iMessage and my iPhone repeatedly said it couldn’t forward the message. Instead of squeezing the process, it hung on the Shipping… section of the delivery.

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I didn’t want to be rude, so I quickly texted the message. So instead of a blue iMessage bubble, the bubble was green. That didn’t matter to me because I’m on an unlimited messaging plan. For others, it’s a headache because text messages are costly. At this point I was on my way to fix the problem and within minutes I had iMessage running as before putting the iPhone in Airplane Mode to travel. Here is what I did.

First, try toggling iMessage on and off.  I've had success with this before.

First, try toggling iMessage on and off. I’ve had success with this before.

First, I turned iMessage on and off inside settings. To do this, go to Settings and then go to Messages. Once there, toggle iMessage on and off. In the past, this has displaced iMessage problems. This step alone has eliminated issues for me in the past, but for whatever reason it didn’t fix it this time.

I turned off my phone completely after turning iMessage back on. I recommend doing this periodically, especially if your iPhone is experiencing problems. After turning my iPhone back on, iMessages started popping up from the woodwork. In total, I received 15 iMessages from friends and co-workers that I couldn’t see until I restarted my iPhone. Minutes later, after reading them, I sent iMessages in response to messages I missed.

If all else fails, try resetting your network settings.

If all else fails, try resetting your network settings.

I’ve also heard that resetting your iPhone network settings can also help alleviate iMessage problems. If the previous two tricks don’t fix the problem, try resetting your iPhone settings. To do this, go to Settings, then General, then scroll all the way down and click on Reset. Once there, click on Reset Network Settings.

These are my three quick go fixes for iOS 7 iMessage problems on iPhone. They should also work for iPad Air and iPad mini owners struggling with iMessage issues on iOS 7.

My hope is that Apple is working to improve the reliability of iMessage with iOS 8 thinking so far, the rumors have been inconclusive. iOS 8 is expected to be unveiled at the company’s WWDC 2014 conference in San Francisco on June 2 and is expected to include a host of enhancements for iPhone and iPad owners.