If you can’t turn on or sign in to iMessage or FaceTime on your iPhone

To use either iMessage or FaceTime, you’ll need to activate them on your iPhone. If you see an error message when you try to activate them, follow these steps.

When activating iMessage or FaceTime, you may see one of these messages:

  • Waiting for activation
  • Activation unsuccessful
  • An error occurred during activation
  • Could not sign in. Please check your network connection.
  • Unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again.

What you need before you sign in

If you're using an iPhone, you'll need SMS messaging to activate your phone number with iMessage and FaceTime. Depending on your service provider, you may be charged for this SMS.

If a prompt appears stating: "Your service provider may charge for SMS messages used to activate FaceTime and iMessage", tap "OK" to allow possible SMS charges.

Turn off and restart iMessage and FaceTime

  1. Go to Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage.
  2. Go to Settings > FaceTime and turn off FaceTime.
  3. Restart your iPhone.
  4. Turn iMessage and FaceTime back on.

If your phone number still doesn’t have a tick next to it in Settings after 24 hours

It can take up to 24 hours for your service provider to verify your phone number with Apple. Contact your service provider to make sure you can send and receive SMS messages, then wait up to 24 hours after trying the troubleshooting steps above.

Use an email address to sign in to Messages or FaceTime instead

You can also use your email address with iMessage and FaceTime. Sign in to your Apple ID account page and review all the email addresses you have on file, including the one that you're trying to verify. If the email address is incorrect, you can update it. Then click Resend next to the email address that you want to verify.

To select your email address to use with Messages:

  1. In the Settings app, tap Messages.
  2. Tap Send & Receive, then choose your email address.

To select your email address to use with FaceTime:

  1. In the Settings app, tap FaceTime.
  2. Scroll to You Can Be Reached By FaceTime At, and choose your email address.

When you use both your phone number and your email address with Messages, you may start or receive separate conversation threads with the same contacts. Set your phone number or email address as the primary way to start or receive Messages.

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