How To Fix “iMessage waiting for activation” in iOS 12.1.4

After updating to the latest iOS 12.1.4 version, some iPhone users suddenly saw “iMessage waiting for activation” error message or the iMessage was not working on their phone. if you are also in the same circumstance when the iMessage gets stuck, and you keep seeing the same error after updating your iPhone to the iOS 12.1.4 version, there are several effective solutions you can try. The following solutions in this post are applicable for not only “iMessage waiting for activation” error, but also other ones like “Activation unsuccessful” and “An error occurred during activation”

Solutions to solve “iMessage waiting for activation” after iOS update

Check your phone number

Your phone number needs to be listed in the Phone app. If it does not, or if you entered the wrong number, activating iMessage service will not be successful. To check it:

  • Head to Settings
  • Tap on Phone and you will see your number shown as “My number”
  • If your number is not added yet, or if it is wrong, then tap on “My number” to correct or add it.

Make sure Date & Time are correct

You should ensure that Date & Time on your iPhone are set correctly. It’s recommended to choose “Set automatically” option. Additionally, make sure the time zone and the time are also correct. All you need is going to Settings > Date & Time and then make some changes if necessary. If they are not correct, toggle “Set automatically” switch off, and set them manually.

Toggle off iMessage and restart your iPhone

The next solution you should try is heading to Settings > Messages and disabling iMessage by toggling the switch next to it.

Next, restart your iPhone. To do so, press and hold the Power button (along with one of two Volume buttons on newer iPhone models) and then drag the slider to switch off your phone. After 1 minute, press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo appears.

Now, return to Settings > Messages and enable iMessage back on. Hopefully, the things will be set in motion and iMessage service will activate as well.

Sign out from your Apple ID and sign in

If none of the above-mentioned methods fixed the problem and you still see the error messages, you should sign out your Apple ID and then sign back in. Here is how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings > Messages
  2. Tap on Send & Receive
  3. Select your Apple ID and Sign out
  4. Head to Messages and toggle the iMessage off
  5. Turn off Wi-Fi for 1 minute and turn it back on
  6. Return to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive
  7. Sign back in your Apple ID


Reset network settings

This solution might work for a number of users. Some of them already say goodbye to the “iMessage wait for activation” error. Note that the process will reset your Wi-Fi networks and passwords, it means you need to enter the password for the network later.

  1. Navigate to Settings > General
  2. Tap on Reset > Reset network settings
  3. Enter your passcode when prompted
  4. Tap on Reset network settings popup to confirm your reset.

Wait for the process to complete. Once done, your iPhone will reboot itself. Connect it to the internet and check if the “iMessage waiting for activation” error is already gone.

Reinsert your SIM card

If you are still experiencing the “iMessage waiting for activation” error, you can try the following:

  1. Head to Settings > Messages and disable iMessage
  2. Press and hold the Power button, and drag the slider to turn off your iPhone
  3. Remove your SIM card by using a SIM eject tool and then put it back in
  4. Press and hold the Power button until you see the Apple logo
  5. Next, head to Settings > General > Reset > Reset network settings. As mentioned above, this will reset the Wi-Fi settings, so you need to enter the passwords for Wi-Fi networks later.
  6. After the reset, enable Wi-Fi again
  7. Return to Settings > Messages and toggle iMessage back on.

Make Some Changes with VPN Settings

Sometimes, the error can be fixed just by making some changes in VPN settings of your iPhone. All you need is going to Settings > General, and tap on Profile. After tapping on Profile, you will see the installed profiles. Clear all of them by tapping on each, and choosing Delete Profile.

Also see: How To Fix iMessage Not Working On iPhone XS/XS Max

Reset Location and Privacy settings

Another simple solution you should try to fix the error is resetting the Location and Privacy settings on your iPhone. Here is how to do so:

  1. Head to Settings > General
  2. Tap on Reset
  3. You will then see Reset Location & Privacy section, simply tap on it
  4. Enter your passcode when you are asked
  5. Tap on Reset Location & Privacy to confirm your reset.

One thing you should note that after you do this, the apps on your iPhone would no longer use your location. You can go through the apps later, and grant permission to use your location.

Factory Reset your iPhone

If none of the prior methods helped you, maybe you need a clean restore. You will need to erase all content and settings on your iPhone and set it up as new. Before getting started, you should back up the data first since it will delete everything stored on your iPhone internal storage.

  1. Head to Settings > General > Reset
  2. Tap on Erase all content and settings section.
  3. Enter your passcode when prompted
  4. Tap on Erase iPhone data & content
  5. After the process is done, your device will restart by itself
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions to set it up as new
  7. Once you are all set, set up iMessage again and hopefully, it activates.

These are solutions to fix iMessage “waiting for activation” in iOS 12.1.4 version. If you feel this post useful, let’s know in the comment below.