iMessage Not Working On iPhone 13? Read On to Fix It Pronto!

Aug 30, 2023 • Filed to: Mobile Repair Solutions • Proven solutions


iMessage is one of the pivotal experiences in the Apple ecosystem. It is fast, it is secure, has some unique experiences to boast of. And who doesn’t love the blue bubbles? If you have a family with various Apple devices, there is a high chance you are using iMessage to communicate with each other. It can be jarring when the iMessage stops working or does not work, so here is why it is not working and how to fix the iMessage not working issue on iPhone 13.

Part I: Why Is iMessage Not Working on iPhone 13?

There are several reasons why you may face the iMessage not working issue. Some of these could be in your control, some not. How to figure out if the issue is at your end? It’s easier to see if the issue is at Apple’s end, to begin with. If the issue is not at Apple’s end, then one may proceed to diagnose and fix iMessage not working on iPhone 13 on our own.

Step 1: Go to:

apple system status page

If this page shows iMessage with a green dot, it means there is no issue at Apple’s end, and you may now start fixing iMessage not working on iPhone 13 yourself. This next part outlines how to do that. Here it is.

Part II: 9 Simple Ways to Fix iMessage Not Working on iPhone 13(including Dr.Fone - System Repair (iOS))

Now that you know the issue is somewhere between your iPhone and Apple, there are a few things you can do to check where the iMessage not working issue exists. iMessage requires enabling, and that itself requires a couple of other things. Here are simple fixes to the iMessage not working issue on your new iPhone 13.

Solution 1: Enabling iMessage

iMessage needs to be enabled for it to work, and it is possible that it is disabled or not working for some reason. The first thing and the easiest of all is to activate iMessage again. Here is how to do this:

Step 1: Go to Settings and scroll down and tap Messages

 imessage active

Step 2: If iMessage is toggled on, toggle it off. Wait a few seconds and toggle it back on.

If iMessage activates successfully, you should be able to send and receive iMessage from now on. Problem solved! However, if iMessage does not activate, this might point to another issue.

Solution 2: Is SMS Service Enabled?

This might seem absurd to you, but under some circumstances, SMS service may be currently non-functional on your iPhone, and activating iMessage requires SMS service even if you never see it. If you recently switched providers, it is possible that you are under a 24-hour cooling period wherein SMS is disabled on your line. The same holds true if you got a SIM change done, including if you upgraded your regular SIM to eSIM. Try again after 24 hours to see if it gets activated.

Solution 3: Is iMessage Set Up Correctly?

Now, even though iMessage is activated, it might not be set up correctly for you. iMessage uses your iCloud ID or Apple ID and your cellphone number. While it is supposed to work with your Apple ID alone, it may help to ensure that the cell number is active, too. There should be a checkmark next to it if it is.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Messages

Step 2: Tap Send and Receive

correct imessage settings in ios

Step 3: There are two sections here, the first section deals with sending and receiving. Check the email and phone number you wish to receive and reply from. If you see a checkmark already, tap it to remove the checkmark and tap it again after a few seconds to re-register the number for iMessage.

Take note that your iPhone is a dual-SIM phone. If you are having another line active, check that the line you want to use is selected. At one time, there can only be one line selected.

Solution 4: Check Internet Connection

If you are using cellular data right now, switch to Wi-Fi and check again. If you cannot do that, switch to Airplane Mode and back so that the phone is registered on the network again and that might resolve any network issue that could be causing iMessage not working on iPhone 13.

Here is how to enable Airplane Mode:

Step 1: Swipe downwards from the top-right corner on the iPhone to launch Control Centre

Step 2: Tap the airplane symbol to enable Airplane Mode

enable and disable airplane mode

Step 3: After a few seconds, tap it again to disable Airplane Mode and have the phone register on the network again.

Here’s how to enable/ disable Wi-Fi:

Step 1: Swipe downwards from the top right corner of the iPhone to launch Control Centre and look at the first quadrant:

disable and enable wifi

Step 2: If the Wi-Fi symbol is blue, it means it is On. Tap the Wi-Fi symbol to toggle it Off, wait a few seconds and tap it again to toggle it back On.

Solution 5: Reset Network Settings

Resetting network settings could help your iMessage not working on iPhone 13 issue, too, since this is a network issue after all. Here’s how to reset network settings on an iPhone 13:

Step 1: Launch Settings and tap General

Step 2: Scroll down till the end and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone

reset network settings in ios

Step 3: Tap Reset and choose Reset Network Settings.

Solution 6: Check for Carrier Settings Update

It is possible that your carrier might have released new settings for your device and your old settings have become incompatible, causing issues with iMessage on the network. To check for the latest carrier settings, if any:

Step 1: Go to Settings > General

Step 2: Tap About

Step 3: Scroll down to your ESIM or Physical SIM

update carrier settings

Step 4: Tap Network Provider a few times. If there is an update, this should show:

update carrier settings 2

Step 5: Click Update to update carrier settings.

Solution 7: Check for iOS Update

You never know how a software bug may manifest for you. That iOS update you’ve been holding out on? It might just fix your iMessage not working on iPhone 13 issue. Keep your iPhone updated to the latest and greatest iOS at all times. It is even more important today since the newest updates not only add features and fix bugs, they also include security updates. Here is how to check for software updates on the iPhone itself:

Step 1: Go to Settings > General and tap Software Update

Step 2: If there is an update available, it will be listed here.

To update, connect your phone to Wi-Fi and charging cable and tap Download and Install or Install Now, as the case may be. The installation will take place only if the battery is over 50%.

Solution 8: Delete Those Old, Really Old Messages

This is bound to feel strange, but, occasionally, deleting old messages kickstarts iMessage. Nobody knows why this happens, but it does. iMessage, for all its goodness, is buggy and there’s no knowing what might help. Here’s how to delete the old messages from the Messages app:

Step 1: Launch the Messages app and scroll down to the end of your messages

Step 2: Swipe left on the message thread you want to delete

delete old messages in ios

Step 3: Tap the trash can icon

delete old messages in ios 2

Step 4: Confirm delete by tapping Delete once again.

Solution 9: Fix iMessage Not Working on iPhone 13 With Dr.Fone - System Repair (iOS)

Dr.Fone is an amazingly nimble tool designed to help you breathe easier. How? Whenever you have any issue with your phone, be it Android or be it iPhone, think Dr.Fone and you will have a solution at hand. It features several modules, each designed to tackle specific issues, and together, this is one of the most comprehensive software tools in the world for fixing issues with your smartphone. This is Dr.Fone! Here is how to use the System Repair module in Dr.Fone to fix iMessage not working on iPhone 13 issue quickly and with no data loss:

Step 1: Get Dr.Fone

Step 2: Connect the iPhone to the computer and launch Dr.Fone:

system repair

Step 3: Choose the System Repair module.

system repair 2

Step 4: Standard Mode is used most commonly as it fixes most everything without deleting your data. Advanced Mode is used when Standard Mode does not resolve the issue.

Step 5: After Dr.Fone detects your device and iOS version, verify that the detected iPhone and iOS version are correct and click Start:

device model

Step 6: Dr.Fone will download and verify the firmware and after a while, present you with this screen:


Click Fix Now to start restoring iOS firmware on your iPhone and fix the iMessage not working issue on iPhone 13.

Part III: Specific Problems with iMessage On iPhone 13

1. What should I do if an error occurs during iMessage activation?

If an error occurs during iMessage activation, there is no reason to panic. You can start the process again. Simply toggle iMessage off and back on. Here’s how to do that:

Step 1: Go to Settings and scroll down and tap Messages

Step 2: If iMessage is toggled on, toggle it off. Wait a few seconds and toggle it back on.

2. What to do if you are unable to send group iMessage?

If group messaging is not working for you, start with force-closing the Messages app, then restarting the iPhone, and finally, as a last resort, you can delete the thread and start over. Here’s how to force-close the Messages app:

Step 1: Swipe upwards from the bottom and hold without lifting your finder

Step 2: The app switcher will show open apps

ios app switcher

Step 3: Now, drag the screen left and right to find Messages, and flick the card up to force close the app.

Here’s how to restart the iPhone:

Step 1: Press the Volume Up key and the Side Button together and hold until the slider appears.

Step 2: Drag the slider to shut down the iPhone

Step 3: Use the Side Button to switch the iPhone On.

Here’s how to delete the group thread and start over:

Step 1: Launch the Messages app and swipe left on the thread you want to delete

Step 2: Tap the trash can icon and tap Delete again to confirm.

3. Why are iMessage visual effects not working?

iMessage features some amazing visual effects that are unique to Apple and iMessage. They are simply not available elsewhere, and if they are not working for you, one of the fixes is to check if Reduced Motion is turned On. Here’s how to do that:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone

Step 2: Tap Accessibility and then tap Motion

fix imessage effects not working

Step 3: Toggle Reduce Motion Off if it is On.

Step 4: Also toggle Auto-Play Message Effects On.

This is the most likely culprit and would resolve your issue, but if it does not, you may restart the device and see if that helps. Also, iMessage effects will work for iMessage to iMessage use only. You cannot send an iMessage effect as SMS to someone.

4. How to recover lost or accidentally deleted messages?


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Is there a way to recover lost or accidentally deleted messages? Once messages are deleted from the iPhone, there is no official way to recover them on any of your Apple devices. However, third-party tools may be of help. One such is Dr.Fone - Data Recovery (iOS). You can use this intuitive tool to check for lost messages and recover them easily, and it works for deleted messages too. Here is how Dr.Fone - Data Recovery (iOS) looks after it scans your iPhone for lost and deleted messages:

data recovery


iMessage not working on iPhone is frustrating. Unless the issue is at Apple’s end, rest assured you can fix the issue in no time. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to fix iMessage not working on iPhone 13 including a way to help you get back accidentally deleted iMessage from iPhone and recover lost messages as well.

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Daisy Raines

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