How to fix “iMessage must be enabled to send this message” error

Without compromising the intuitiveness of iMessage, it has a long history of unexpected errors, including the legendary “iMessage waiting for activation”. Another equally frustrating issue is the “iMessage must be enabled to send this message” error that keeps popping up even when you have configured the messaging app perfectly. When you face this issue, you start wondering what suddenly went wrong or caused the app to misbehave. But there is no need to panic as these 10 methods will help you to fix iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message issue on iPhone.

10 Things to Try if iMessage Not Working on iPhone (2022)

1. Force quit the Messages app and try again

The first thing to try if iMessage won’t let you send messages is to force quit the app.

  • On iPhone and iPad without the home button: Swipe up from the home bar and hold in the middle of the screen. Then swipe up on the Messages app card to close the app.
Force Quit Apple Messages App on iPhone and iPad
  • On iPhone and iPad with the home button: Double-tap the home button to bring up the app switcher. After that, swipe up on the app card to force stop the Messages app.

2. Enable/disable airplane mode

If your internet connection is sloppy, iMessage may not work as expected. Airplane mode makes it fairly easy to reset the radios.

  • On iPhone and iPad without the home button: Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to show the control center, then tap the airplane mode icon to turn it on. After waiting for a few seconds, tap the airplane mode icon to turn it off.
Enable or Disable Airplane Mode on iOS and iPadOS
  • On iPhone and iPad with the home button: Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen to access Control Center, then tap the airplane icon to activate it. Now wait for a few seconds and then tap on the airplane icon to turn it off.

3. Disable/Enable iMessage

Whenever I find iMessage not working properly, the only trick I always try is to turn it on/off. More often than not, it helps me fix iMessage issues. Therefore, I am going to bet on this simple hack to fix this issue as well.

  • On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app and choose posts. After that turn off the toggle for iMessage.
Disable/Enable iMessage
  • Now restart your device. Once your device restarts, go back to the iMessage setting and then turn it back on.

4. Text When iMessage Is Unavailable

iOS lets you send a message as an SMS when iMessage is not available. While not a fix on its own, enable this feature to make sure your messaging doesn’t stop.

  • Navigate to the Settings app and choose posts.
  • Now enable the toggle for Send as SMS.
Send as SMS when iMessage is not available

5. Force Restart

Does the error message still appear? Don’t worry because we’re not done yet. Now we are going to force restart the device. Well known for fixing common iPhone/iPad issues, it should fix the problem.

  • On iPhone/iPad without the home button: Press and quickly release the volume up button. Next, quickly press and release the volume down button. Now hold down the power button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
  • On iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Press and hold the power button and the volume down button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • On iPhone 6s and iPad with home button: Simultaneously press and hold the home button and the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

6. Check iMessage Server Status

Make sure the iMessage server isn’t crashing. Open a browser on your device and navigate to Apple’s System Status page (visit), then make sure the small circle to the left of iMessage is green. If the circle is orange, iMessage is down. In this situation, wait for Apple to fix the problem.

Check iMessage Server Status

7. Software update

For better or worse, software updating seems to be the answer to most issues that crop up on iOS and iPadOS these days. So, if the error message keeps popping up repeatedly while trying to send iMessage, update the software on your device.

  • Head to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and choose General.
General in iOS settings
  • Now select Software update then download and install the latest version of iOS/iPadOS on your device.
Check iMessage Server Status

8. Reset Network Settings

If your internet connection seems too weak or not working as expected, resetting network settings may help fix the problem.

  • Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and choose General.
General in iOS settings
  • Now scroll down and choose Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad.
Choose Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad
  • Then press Reset and choose Reset network settings.
Reset Network Settings on iPhone and iPad
  • After that, enter your device and Screen Time passcode, then tap Reset network settings to confirm.
Enter Your Device Passcode to Reset Network Settings on iPhone and iPad

9. Sign out of Apple ID and sign back in

A new connection has a knack for fixing various iOS issues. Therefore, it would be appropriate to give it a chance as well.

  • To sign out of Apple ID and sign back in, open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap your profile.
Apple ID Banner
  • Now scroll down and tap Sign out. After that, be sure to keep a copy of all important data before logging out of your account.
Sign out of Apple ID
  • Then press Login on your iPhone/iPad in the Settings menu, then use your Apple ID and password to sign in to your account.

10. Reset All Settings

Factory reset your device if iMessage still not working. For the unfamiliar, factory reset erases all existing settings including Wi-Fi passwords but keeps all your media and data intact.

  • Launch it Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and choose General.
General in iOS settings
  • Now scroll down and select Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad.
Choose Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad
  • Then press Reset and choose Reset all settings.
Reset All Settings on iPhone or iPad
  • If prompted, enter your device and screen passcode (if prompted) and confirm the action by tapping Reset all settings in the pop-up window.
Confirm to reset all settings on iPhone or iPad

Error “iMessage must be enabled to send this message” – Solved!

Hope iMessage is working fine for you again. Whether it’s toggling Airplane Mode, turning iMessage off and back on, or resetting your device, whatever method helped you fix the iMessage problem, let us know below. below. In the meantime, if there are other things that have worked for you that you think should be included in this article, please share them with us as well.