How to fix iMessage and FaceTime activation errors

iMessage and FaceTime are great examples of “working right” Apple services. At least they do so most of the time. The first time you set up on your iPhone or Mac, you may get an activation error.

For example, iMessage and FaceTime may freeze with the message “Waiting for activation” during the activation phase. Or you could throw a mysterious error such as “Activation failed”, “Authentication failed”, “An error occurred during activation”.

If you’re having trouble activating or enabling iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone or Mac, use the following tips to fix your iMessage and FaceTime activation errors.

Wait 24 hours

Ideally, you should be able to activate both iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone in seconds. However, if the message “Waiting for activation” continues to appear for a few minutes, it’s a good idea to spend more time. In fact, Apple recommends waiting 24 hours!

Waiting for activation message

Therefore, bookmark this page and if the same message (or other activation-related error) continues to bother you the next day, please come back.

Check the status of your Apple server

If you’re activating iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone or Mac and you see error messages like “Activation failed” or “Unable to connect to iMessage server”, check the status of your Apple server. We recommend that you rule out service interruptions.

To do this, go to the Apple System Status page and iCloud account and sign-in, iMessage, When FaceTime.. If you see the issues listed, wait for Apple to resolve them. Usually it should happen within a few hours.

Apple system status page

Exclude connectivity issues

Connection issues can cause iMessage and FaceTime related activation errors of all kinds on both iPhone and Mac. Check the following checklist and try to exclude them.

  • Switch from Wi-Fi to cellular data on your iPhone and vice versa.
  • Enable and disable Airplane mode On your iPhone.
  • Renew your Wi-Fi lease on your iPhone or Mac.
  • Disable Wi-Fi on your Mac and then enable it.
  • If possible, switch to another Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or Mac.
  • Restart your router.

Restart iPhone / Mac

You may be able to fix iMessage and FaceTime related activation errors by simply restarting your iPhone or Mac. On iPhone, be sure to disable iMessage and FaceTime if they are stuck in the “waiting for activation” phase. setting >> >> iMessage/ /FaceTime Before rebooting the device.

Slide to turn off the screen

Note: For iPhones with Face ID, press and release volume up Press and release the button Volume down Click the button and hold down ~ side Button to display Slide to turn off the power prompt.

Wireless carrier checklist

The iPhone will try to authenticate your mobile number while iMessage and FaceTime are active. For example, if you continue to see the “Activation failed” error, check the following:

  • Check if your carrier is listed on Apple’s Wireless Carrier Support page. If not, contact your mobile operator to make sure you can send and receive international SMS messages.
  • If you have a prepaid mobile plan, make sure you have enough credit to send and receive SMS messages.
  • Head to setting >> >> Universal >> >> about..If you see Update carrier settings Warning, tap update..
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<h2><span class=Set the correct time zone

You need to set the correct time and time zone on your iPhone and Mac. Otherwise, iMessage and FaceTime activation or authentication will fail.

Timezone settings – iPhone

1. Open setting App and selection Universal..

2. Select Date Time..

3. Turn on the switch next to it Automatic setting.. If your iPhone cannot select the correct time zone, turn off your iPhone and manually select the correct time zone.

Automatically set date and time slider

Time and time zone settings – Mac

1. Open Apple Select a menu to select System Preferences..

2. Select Date Time..

3. Use the settings below to select the correct date, time, and time zone Date Time When Time zone tab.


System software update

Did you update your iPhone or Mac after a while? Both iMessage and FaceTime are an integral part of the operating system, so you may have problems activating them on older versions of iOS and macOS.

Update iOS

1. Open setting App and tap Universal..

2. Tap Software update..

Software update options

3. Install updates, if possible.

Update macOS

1. Open Apple Select a menu to select System Preferences..

2. Select Software update..

Software update in System Preferences

3. Install updates, if possible.

Change DNS

Try changing the DNS or domain name service server for your Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone or Mac. For example, Google DNS helps iPhone or Mac find Apple’s activation server without any problems.

DNS changes – iPhone

1. Open setting App and selection Wifi..

2. Tap i-shaped icon Next to an active Wi-Fi connection.

3. Tap Configure DNS..

4. Tap manual..

5. Delete the existing DNS server and enter:

DNS and DNS server configuration screen

6. Tap keep..

DNS changes – Mac

1. Press Command + space Open the Spotlight search.Then type: Communication network Press come in..



Switch to 3. DNS Click the tab to replace the existing DNS server as follows:

Plus button on the DNS server page

4. Select all right..

Reset network settings / Wi-Fi settings

You can prevent corrupted network settings from causing iMessage and FaceTime-related activation errors by resetting your network settings (iPhone) or Wi-Fi settings (Mac).

Reset network settings – iPhone

1. Open setting App and tap Universal..

2. Tap reset..

3. Tap Reset network settings..

Reset network settings button

Note: After the reset procedure, you will need to manually set up a Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone.

Reset Wi-Fi settings – Mac

1. Open finder Press Command + Shift + G..

2. Insert the following path and select go:

/ Library / Preferences / SystemConfiguration /

/ Library / Preferences / System Configuration / and Go button

3. Move the following files to the Trash.

  • NetworkInterfaces.plist
  • Preferences.plist

4. When prompted, enter your user password.

5. Restart your Mac.

Note: Then, if you have trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi network on your Mac, try restoring the deleted files from the Trash.

Contact Carrier / Apple Support

If none of the above fixes work, throw a towel to call your carrier (if you’re trying to activate iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone), or contact Apple Support. They should be able to help you go through the activation phase by suggesting fixes related to your device and region.

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