iMessage is Apple’s exclusive messaging platform that enables you to send and receive messages, photos, videos, and more over Wi-Fi or cellular data connections. Apple developed this service and dedicated it solely to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS. Except for the costs associated with data usage, messaging on iMessage is free.
However, to use the iMessage service without any hitches, you must activate it first. Several methods exist, including using your Apple ID, email address, and phone number. All these methods have the same goal: to verify your device and connect it with Apple’s messaging servers. Doing so is pretty straightforward.
This article will walk you through the steps of activating iMessage with your phone number. While we’ll focus more on the iOS platform, we’ll also provide instructions on activating iMessage with your phone number on your iPad.
Let’s get started!
- iMessage is a text messaging platform built for Apple devices.
- The iMessage service requires cellular data or a Wi-Fi connection to send and receive messages.
- Activating iMessage with a phone number allows users to communicate easily and quickly across devices.
- You can also activate iMessage with your Apple ID or email address.
- You’ll need SMS credit to activate iMessage with a phone number.
What You Need Before Activating iMessage With Phone Number
Before you activate your iMessage account, there are a few things you need to make sure of:
- You need an activated SIM card. The iMessage must be associated with a phone number, and the SIM card should be installed in your iPhone.
- You need an active internet connection. You can use either Wi-Fi or your cellular data to access iMessage services. If you don’t have cellular data or Wi-Fi connectivity, you can tell a friend to hotspot their internet connection to your device.
- You need enough credit to send and receive SMS messages. Standard charges depending on carrier apply when iMessage sends SMS messages to Apple servers during the activation process.
Note that you’ll only need the credits during the activation process and not when you use iMessage. With that out of the way, you can now activate your iMessage account using your phone number.
7 Steps to Activate iMessage with a Phone Number on Your iPhone or iPad
Step 1: Open Settings
On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app. If you don’t have this app on your home screen, swipe left to access it from the App Library. It looks like a gear icon.
Step 2: Select Messages
On the Settings page, scroll down to the Messages option and tap on it. The messages icon is green with a white chat bubble.
Step 3: Turn on iMessage
Under Messages, you’ll find several options, including the iMessage toggle. Tap the toggle to turn on iMessage, which should then be green.
You’ll see a confirmation message on the screen informing you that your carrier may charge for SMS messages. Tap OK.
Step 4: Wait for Activation
Once you turn on iMessage, your device will begin the activation process. Below the Send and Receive option on the messages page, you’ll see a Waiting for activation… message. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long.
Step 5: Select Send & Receive
Once the activation is complete, you’ll need to select the Send & Receive option. This option brings you to a page with your Apple ID and phone number. Here you can choose which of the two to use when sending and receiving messages on iMessage.
Step 6: Sign in With Your Apple ID
First, select Use your Apple ID for iMessage. Then, enter your Apple ID email address and password and tap Sign In.
A tick will appear next to your Apple ID. It means it’s ready for use on iMessage.
Step 7: Select Your Phone Number
Now, tap your phone number. It should appear right above your Apple ID. When you tap it, a tick will also appear next to the number, signifying that it’s ready to use on iMessage. Ensure that both your Apple ID and phone number have a tick next to them.
That’s it. You have successfully activated iMessage with your phone number and can now start sending and receiving text messages and multimedia content on your device.
To double-check that your iMessage is working correctly, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and see that both your Apple ID and phone number have a tick next to them. If they do, you’re good to go.
What to Do When You Receive Error Messages When Activating iMessage
You might encounter some challenges during the iMessage activation process. If you happen to receive any of the following messages, there are a few things you can do:
- Waiting for activation…
- An error occurred during the activation.
- Unable to contact the iMessage server
- Couldn’t sign in. Please check your connection.
While these messages can be frustrating, they are fixable. Below are some troubleshooting steps you can take.
To restart iMessage, go to Settings > Messages and toggle the switch off. Let the app shut down, then switch it back on again. Doing this should force iMessage to restart in the background. In some cases, this can solve the issue.
Check Your System Settings
Sometimes, iMessage won’t activate properly because your system settings are wrong. Maybe your date is incorrect, or you’re not connected to the internet. It could also be that you don’t have enough SMS credit needed for the activation process.
To fix this problem, go to Settings > General > Date & Time and make sure the date is correct. You can set an automatic time update if you’re not sure. Also, check the internet connection to make sure you’re connected. If not, switch on your Wi-Fi or Mobile Data and try again.
If you’re using a prepaid SIM card, ensure you have enough credit.
Update the Operating System
When it’s 24 hours and none of the above solutions work, perhaps you need to update your operating system. The first step is to back up your device using iCloud or iTunes, then go to Settings > General > Software Update and select Download and Install if there’s an available update.
You can also contact your carrier to ensure your phone number can receive and send SMS messages. If all fails, you can contact Apple Support for further assistance. But, in most cases, the solutions above should do the trick and help you activate iMessage with your phone number.
How to Remove the Phone Number Used in iMessage Activation
Sometimes, you may need to remove the phone number used in your iMessage activation. This can happen if you switch mobile numbers or use only your Apple ID when sending and receiving messages. Not to worry, removing the phone number is easy.
Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. From here, select your Apple ID and sign out. The number you used will instantly be removed from iMessage. You can then sign back in using your Apple ID and start sending and receiving messages without any phone number attached.
Suppose the number you want to disassociate with iMessage is on an iPhone, not in your possession. In that case, you’ll need to change your Apple ID password. Doing so will automatically remove the phone number from your iMessage account, and you won’t be able to receive or send messages from it.
Can You Activate iMessage Without a Phone Number?
It is possible to activate iMessage using the email address that is registered with your Apple ID. However, you must still have a valid phone number registered as well. To activate it with your email address, Apple will send a verification email to the address and you will then need to follow the instructions on it to activate iMessage. Once complete, simply follow the instructions above from step 5 to select your phone number for sending and receiving iMessages.
Activating iMessage with your phone number is easy and takes just a few minutes. With the help of this article, you now have all it takes to activate iMessage on your iPhone and use it without any issues. And, if you encounter any challenges, you can always restart your iMessage app, check your system settings, or update your operating system.
You can also remove the phone number used in the iMessage activation process if you no longer need it or if it happens to be on an iPhone that is not in your possession. Now that you know all this, you can start using iMessage without interruptions.
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