iMessage not working on Mac? 13 ways to fix it

Once you’ve dug into Apple’s ecosystem, there’s nothing quite like iMessage for an incredible (and secure) instant messaging experience. But especially on the Mac, it can be a fickle monster. You may often find yourself dealing with undelivered messages, login errors, and connection problems.

If iMessage is not working as expected on Mac, there are several ways to fix it. You will need your iPhone for some of the troubleshooting methods below so make sure to keep it close before you begin.

1. Force Quit Messages / Restart Mac

If you were able to use iMessage without any problems a few minutes ago, then force quitting and relaunching the Messages app might help. To do that, open Apple menulong press Changeand choose Force quit message. Then try relaunching Messages.

Force quit the Messages menu

Restarting your Mac can also resolve various application-related issues that often occur when the system has been running for too long.

2. Check Apple System Status

iMessage may have errors on the server side. If you’re having trouble sending or receiving messages in general (or having trouble signing in if you’re setting up iMessage for the first time), visit Apple’s System Status page using Safari or another web browser.

Check the status next to iMessage. You’ll see a red dot (along with a note) if the service is down. In that case, the best you can do is wait for it for a few hours until Apple fixes the problem. Once the status changes to Available, you should start using iMessage again.

Apple's System Status page showing iMessage with green dot

3. Check iMessage Settings

If the Messages app on your Mac isn’t sending or receiving messages from specific contacts, you must check your iMessage settings.

To do that, select Message in the menu bar (open the Messages app if you don’t see it) and select Interests. Then switch to iMessage navigation.

Test You can be contacted with messages at the and activate all the phone numbers and email addresses you want to use with iMessage.

You can be contacted with messages at and Start a new conversation from the drop-down menu

Phone number or email address below Start a new conversation from must also match what is found inside Setting > Message > Send and receive on your iPhone.

4. Resend the message

If an iMessage contact doesn’t have an internet connection, your message may not be delivered. It’s easy to try again. Select the red exclamation mark next to unsent messages and select Retry.

You can also choose Send as a text message option to send the message as a text message. If you don’t see this option, you must enable Text Message Forwarding. The next troubleshooting tip will show you how.

5. Turn on text message forwarding

Not everyone uses an iPhone or Mac. If a contact shows up in green, then you must rely on regular text messages to communicate. However, the Mac’s Messages app won’t be able to send text messages if you haven’t enabled Text Message Forwarding on your iPhone.

To do that, open your iPhone Settingoption Messageoption Text message forwardingthen turn on the switch next to it Your Mac’s Name (Mac).

Switch Text Message Forwarding and toggle your Macbook's name

Your iPhone must also have an active internet connection. Otherwise, any text messages from your Mac will not be delivered.

6. Sign Out & Sign In

If iMessage is still not working on your Mac and you continue to have problems with undelivered messages, signing out and back in iMessage can help fix that.

Open Interests in Messages and select iMessage navigation. Then choose Log outand then select Log out again to confirm.

Sign Out Button

While you can go ahead and sign back into iMessage, we recommend restarting your Mac. Once you’ve done that, open the Messages app and sign back into iMessage when prompted.

7. Turn on Messages in iCloud

Is iMessage not syncing between your Mac and the rest of your Apple devices? Likely because Messages in iCloud is disabled.

Open Interests in Messages, then select iMessage navigation. Then, check the box next to Turn on Messages in iCloud.

Turn on Messages in iCloud

You must also configure your iPhone to sync your messages. To do that, open Setting app on your iOS device, tap Apple IDclap icloudthen turn on the switch next to it Message.

Syncing your messages between devices requires a lot of iCloud storage space. You may want to delete unimportant chats and attachments regularly to keep that under control.

8. Update macOS

The latest macOS updates usually fix known bugs and issues with most native apps, including Messages. If you haven’t updated your Mac in a while, try doing it now.

Open Apple menu and choose System Preferences. Option Software updates to install any pending updates for your Mac.

Software Update in System Preferences

9. Check Date & Time

iMessage may not work if you set up the date and time on your Mac incorrectly.

To make sure everything is correct, open System Preferences application and select Date and time. Then, check the box next to Set date and time automatically. If it is already checked, uncheck the box and check again in a few seconds.

Set date and time automatically checkbox

You can also switch to time zone and check the box next to Set time zone automatically using current location. Restart your Mac and try using iMessage afterwards.

10. Turn off VPN

Have you set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your Mac? Disconnect from it and try using iMessage again.

11. Reset Wi-Fi preferences

If you’re still having problems with iMessage, try resetting your Wi-Fi settings. To do that, open seeker and press Command + Shift + WOOD. Then enter the following directory path:

/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/

Go to the folder: /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and the Go button

Option To go. On the Finder window that shows up, select the following files (you may not see all of them) and make a backup copy of them to the desktop. Then move the originals to the Trash.

  • com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
  • com.apple.network.identification.plist
  • com.apple.network.eapolclient.configuration.plist
  • com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist
  • NetworkInterfaces.plist
  • options.plist
Files are selected and moved to the recycle bin

Restart your Mac and it will automatically rebuild the files. Check if iMessage is working after that.

12. Change DNS

Switching the default DNS (Domain Name System) server to a popular service like Google DNS can help with iMessage connection problems.

1. Select WIFI icon in the menu bar and select Open Network Preferences.

2. Select Advanced button.

Advanced button in Network Settings

3. Switch to DNS navigation.

Plus button in DNS tab

4. Insert the following as the DNS server.

OK button in DNS Server

5. Select ALRIGHT and Application.

13. Reset NVRAM

NVRAM stores specific settings (such as your time zone) in a small amount of memory. Resetting it can help fix iMessage, especially if you’re having trouble signing into it. We recommend following our NVRAM reset guide, but in short, here’s how it works.

Start by shutting down your Mac. Then turn it back on and immediately press and hold Option + Command + P + CHEAP in 20 seconds. If your Mac plays the startup sound, release the keys when you hear it chirp a second time.

After booting into macOS, open System Preferences application and test Date and time Setting. Make any adjustments, if necessary, then try using iMessage.

Keep texting

Since there are many underlying causes to any iMessage-related problems on your Mac, it might take some time for you to sort things out. If all else fails, clearing the cache on your Mac can also help.

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