iMessage not working on Mac? 12 Ways to fix it!

Although we usually send messages using our phones, it is more convenient to be able to carry on existing conversations and even start new ones right from your Mac. One of the main advantages of utilising iMessage within the Apple environment is this.

Don’t panic if you’re having trouble sending or receiving iMessages on your Mac. I can help you with a few useful fixes so that your iMessage resumes functioning normally.

1. Check if the recipient has iMessage

If iMessage isn’t functioning on your Mac, check to see if the person you’re attempting to send a message to has the app first before getting all irritated about it. Only other Apple devices with iMessage enabled can use the app.

To see if your messages will be sent, try sending them to a few people you’ve already spoken to over iMessage. If the problem just affects one contact, it might not be your fault after all. However, if you are unable to send a message to your contacts, your device is the problem.

You may also see if the problem only exists on your Mac or if it also affects your other Apple gadgets.

2. Check your internet connection

Although it may seem simple, customers frequently fail to check their internet connection when iMessage isn’t functioning properly on their Mac. Sometimes, the root cause of these issues is a subpar or inconsistent internet connection.

Therefore, make sure your internet connection is steady and dependable before moving on to more complex troubleshooting techniques to fix iMessage not working on Mac.

Avoid switching between your iPhone and Mac while utilising your iPhone as a hotspot. My experience has shown that using your iPhone for a while leads your Mac to disengage from your iPhone’s hotspot, which can impair iMessage’s functionality.

3. Check if iMessage is down

Apple Messages may also become inoperable due to a brief outage. If you want to see if iMessage is unavailable for everyone else, go visit Apple System Status. See if iMessage is next to a green circle. If you observe something different, Apple might be having technical difficulties, and you might need to wait until Apple’s engineers resolve the problem.

4. Sign in to the same Apple ID

The usual problem is with your Apple ID and iCloud if the messages from your iPhone don’t appear on your Mac or vice versa. People who share devices and have several Apple ID accounts frequently have this issue.

  1. To check which Apple ID account is signed in on a device, click the Apple menu → System Settings.

    Click Apple Logo and System Settings in macOS Ventura
  2. At the top of the sidebar, check whose Apple ID is signed in.
    Ensure that the Apple ID signed in on your Mac is the same as your iPhone or another Apple device you’re using to send messages.

    Ensure that the Apple ID signed in on your Mac is the same as your iPhone

To add, if you’re using an iPhone and a Mac, ensure that Message Forwarding is enabled so your Mac can receive and send messages through Messages.

To enable it, do the following on your iPhone:

  1. Go to the Settings app → Messages.
  2. Select Text Message Forwarding.
  3. Find your Mac’s name and toggle it on.

5. Check if iMessage is enabled

It’s also possible that there aren’t any issues with Messages, but you simply haven’t configured your Mac to receive your iMessages. To enable iMessage on your Mac:

  1. Launch the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. While the window is active, select Messages in the menu bar.
  3. Click Settings → choose the iMessage tab.

    Click message from menu bar and click settings
  4. Make sure that the Enable Messages in iCloud is ticked. This makes sure that your messages are synced to iCloud. If this is disabled, all your messages are downloaded to your device, but messages across your Apple devices won’t be synced.

    Click iMessage, Enable Messages in iCloud

6. Check Time Zone settings

Messages in your chat history are arranged by the timestamps on your Mac. As a result, even if a communication was intended for the present, if it thinks it came from earlier in time, it may move it further back in the history of your conversations. Recent communications can be missed as a result of this.

When the time zone isn’t set to update automatically, this problem frequently arises. Therefore, if you receive notifications of new messages but they don’t show up in your discussion thread, this could be the reason.

Here’s how you can correct it:

  1. On your Mac, go to the Apple menu.

    Click Apple Logo and System Settings in macOS Ventura
  2. Select General from the sidebar → Select Date & Time
  3. Make sure to tick set time and date automatically.

    Tick set time and date automatically in System settings

7. Restart your Mac

It’s not uncommon for Mac’s Messages app to get clunky, and we all know a quick restart is all it needs. First, quit all your opened apps, including Messages. Then do the following:

  1. Go to the Apple menu → Restart.

    Just click the Apple logo → choose Restart on your Mac

Once your Mac reboots, restart Messages and see if this solves the problem.

8. Update your OS

If restarting didn’t clear the issues, the next step would be to check if your device is due for a system software update. Updating to the most recent OS not only ensures that your Mac runs smoothly, but updates also fix glitches and bugs.

  1. To do that, go to Apple Menu → System Settings.
  2. Select General → Software Update.

    Click general, software update in system settings
  3. Click Update Now if there’s an update available.

    Click update now in system settings

9. Try a different way of sending and receiving messages

If iMessage still isn’t working, check which phone number or email linked to your Apple ID account you’re currently using and try a different option.

  1. On your Mac, go to Messages → Settings → select the iMessage tab.
  2. Enable or disable your email or phone number and see if this will get iMessage to start working again. 

10. Clear Messages cache

Like any other app, Messages also store data and files called caches. Over time, this can build up and make the app sluggish. Deleting the cache may help the app run smoothly again and eliminate existing issues.

Note that for iMessage, clearing the cache means losing your message history across all your devices. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Finder on your Mac.
  2. Press Cmd + Shift + G.

    Press Cmd + Shift + G in finder
  3. Enter ~/Library/Messages/ in the textbox that appears.

    Enter ~:Library:Messages: in the textbox that appears
  4. Delete files in the following Messages folders: chat.db-walchat.db, and chat.db-shm.

    Delete files in the following Messages folders- chat.db-wal, chat.db, and chat.db-shm
  5. Empty your Trash.

11. Sign out and sign back in on iMessage

It’s also worth signing out and signing back in on iMessage to get the app working properly again. To do so:

  1. Launch the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Select Messages in the menu bar.

    Click message from menu bar and click settings
  3. Select Preferences from the dropdown menu → go to the iMessage tab.

    Click Sign Out in iMessage
  4. Press Sign out next to your Apple ID.

    Press Sign out next to your Apple ID.
  5. Once you’ve signed out, sign in back again using your Apple ID credentials.

12. Create a new admin account

A few users on forums suggested creating a new admin account and deleting the old one. There’s no harm in trying.

  1. Just click the Apple logo in the menu bar → click Settings.
  2. Choose User & Groups in the sidebar → select Add Account.
  3. Enter your password to unlock and make changes.
  4. Make sure that the new account you’re creating is an administrator. 

Contact Apple Support

If none of the methods work, you may want to ask for help from Apple Support. Alternatively, you may want to try some iMessage alternative apps to help you move forward.

Wrapping up…

It is naturally upsetting when sending iMessages via your Mac doesn’t function as this is a highly helpful functionality. Did any of the aforementioned techniques work for you? Post them below!


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