If you encounter an error when trying to activate iMessage or FaceTime

To use iMessage or FaceTime, you will need to activate them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. If you get an error message during the activation process, 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.

Check your device settings

  1. Make sure you’re connected to a mobile or Wi-Fi network. If you're using an iPhone, you need SMS messaging to activate your phone number with iMessage and FaceTime. Depending on your network provider, you may be charged for this SMS.
  2. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time, and make sure your time zone has been set correctly.

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 device:
  4. Turn iMessage and FaceTime back on.

iMessage or FaceTime still not activated after 24 hours?

It can take up to 24 hours for iMessage and FaceTime to be activated. If you're still experiencing the issue after 24 hours, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your device has the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
  2. If you're using an iPhone, contact your network provider to make sure you can send and receive SMS messages.
  3. If your iPhone uses a network provider not found in the wireless network provider articles make sure you can send and receive international SMS.
  4. Contact Apple Support.

Get more help

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

If you can't sign in to iMessage or FaceTime on your Mac, see If you can't sign in to your iMessage account or FaceTime on your Mac.

FaceTime is not available in all countries or regions.

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