14 Fixes: iMessage Needs To Be Enabled To Send This Message

imessage needs to be enabled

As an iPhone user, you must be familiar with iMessage. Apple Inc.’s instant messaging service launched in 2011 to connect with your friends, family, or relatives. Despite so many other ways to connect remotely, iMessage is the most straightforward means of communication that works effortlessly. 

But sometimes, you might have encountered the warning saying, “Cannot Send Message. iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message.” 

This mostly happens after you have recently installed an update. 

Luckily, this issue isn’t big and can be resolved quickly at home by you. And that is precisely what we’ll discuss here. So, you won’t be tensed in the future by this error.

Let’s start without any further ado.  

Solutions To Fix “iMessage Needs To Be Enabled To Send This Message” Error

Here are the top working fixes to solve iPhones’ most common “iMessage needs to be enabled” problem. 

  1. Enable/Disable iMessage 
  2. Restart Your iPhone
  3. Enable/Disable The Airplane Mode 
  4. Force Quit The iMessage App
  5. Check To Send/Receive Settings
  6. Check The Apple iMessage Server 
  7. Reset iMessage Settings 
  8. Reset Network Settings
  9. Delete The Stuck Message/Conversation 
  10. Switch From iMessage To Regular SMS
  11. Sign Out Of Apple ID And Sign In Again 
  12. Update iPhone To The Latest iOS Version
  13. Restore iPhone Using Recovery Mode With iTunes
  14. Reset Your iPhone To Factory Settings 

We’ll now discuss each of these methods in detail below. 

1. Enable/Disable iMessage 

So, the first thing you can check and ensure is already communicated to you by the warning message itself. That is, iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message

Hence, to fix the error, activate iMessage (if it is disabled) or deactivate first and then activate it (if it is already enabled). This will boost the messaging app, and some bugs will be removed. 

For this, the following are the steps. 

Tap on the Messages.
  • Check for the iMessage toggle. If it is ON, taps on it, turn it OFF, then again, turn it ON. Or, if it is already OFF, tap on it to turn it On.
Check for the iMessage toggle. If it is ON, tap on it, turn it OFF, then again, turn it ON. Or, if it is already OFF, tap on it to turn it On.
  • Then, go to the iMessage and try sending the message.

You can restart your iPhone and check the iMessage if this doesn’t work. Otherwise, before starting the steps, you can try turning off FaceTime and then carry on with the rest of the steps. 

You can try either of the ways, along with steps, and check if they work for you.

2. Restart Your iPhone

This should be your next fix, as it costs nothing, requires the least time, and doesn’t involve any technical or crucial steps. You need to restart your iPhone and check if the error is fixed. 

Different models of the iPhone have a few additional features. Therefore, to restart them, you need separate steps, which we have discussed next. 

Follow these steps to restart iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13. 

  • Press either the Volume button or the Power button. And hold it until you see the power-off slider on the screen.
  • Drag the slider.
  • Wait for around 30 seconds to turn it off. In case your screen is frozen, you can force restart it.
  • Press the Side button (on the right side of your phone) and hold it until the Apple logo appears on the screen. It will turn on your iPhone. 

To restart iPhone SE (2nd or 3rd generation), 8,7, or 6, follow these steps. 

  • Press the Side button. And hold it until you see the power-off slider on the screen.
  • Drag the slider.
  • Wait for around 30 seconds to turn it off. In case your screen is frozen, you can force restart it.
  • Press the Side button (on the right side of your phone) and hold it until the Apple logo appears on the screen. It will turn on your iPhone. 

Follow these steps to restart iPhone SE (1st generation) five or earlier. 

  • Press the Top button. And hold it until you see the power-off slider on the screen.
  • Drag the slider.
  • Wait for around 30 seconds to turn it off. In case your screen is frozen, you can force restart it.
  • Press the Top button (on the right side of your phone) and hold it until the Apple logo appears on the screen. It will turn on your iPhone. 

Now check if the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message warning pops up or not. If yes, head to the next fix.  

3. Enable/Disable The Airplane Mode 

This is another fix that won’t do any harm and is less time-consuming. And before moving to any technical fix, you should give it a go. 

You can enable and disable Airplane mode on your phone with the following simple steps. 

Open the Control Center of your iPhone by swiping down the Home Screen from the top right.
  • If your iPhone has a Home button, you can open the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. 
  • Tap on the Airplane icon.
  • When it is enabled, it will change its color to orange. 
  • Wait for a few seconds.
  • Then, disable it by again tapping on the icon. 

Try sending the message you could not send earlier because the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message error. 

4. Force Quit The iMessage App.

If the three methods discussed so far don’t work in your case, the next resolution is to force quit the iMessage app. 

Following are the steps to force quit the iMessage app on iPhone. 

  • Enter the App Switcher.
  • Swipe up from the bottom on iPhone with Face ID and hold.
  • In case your iPhone has a Home button, double press it. 
  • You can see all the apps you have currently opened. 
  • Close the iMessage app by dragging it up from the list.
  • Wait for 15 seconds.
  • Open the iMessage app again and check if the error is fixed and if you can send the message or not.

5. Check to Send/Receive Settings

Incorrect send/receive settings are the main culprits that lead to the “iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message error on your iPhone. Therefore, you should check your send/receive settings following the below steps. 

  • Open the Settings.
  • Tap on Messages. 
Tap on Messages.
  • Scroll down and tap on Send & Receive. 
Scroll down and tap on Send & Receive.
  • Next, you’ll see the screen with the “You can receive iMessage to and reply from” section. 
  • Make sure your Apple ID email address is mentioned under this section. 

It is because to send and receive messages on iMessage; Apple ID is used. Therefore, it must be mentioned under this section along with your phone number. 

6. Check The Apple iMessage Server. 

After trying all of the above fixes, if the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message error message is still popping up, then we advise you to check the Apple iMessage Server Status. There is a high possibility that the server is down, and no matter what fix you try from the list, it won’t work until the server is up again. 

This happens rarely, but still, there is no harm in checking, and to do this, here are the quick steps. 

  • You can either open Google, write Apple System Status, and open the first result, or directly select the above link.
Open Google and write Apple System Status. Open the first result.
  • Check for the iMessage Dot or the color of the word – Available. 
Check for the iMessage Dot or the color of the word - Available.
  • The green color means the server is up and acceptable, and the error is caused due to some issue on your iPhone. And in the opposite case, if it is not green, you need to wait for the technicians to fix it. Then, check it after some time.

7. Reset iMessage Settings 

As aforementioned, if the iMessage server is up and running. And you’re still getting the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message pop-up while texting; try resetting its Settings on your iPhone. This might fix this error. 

For this, you need to follow the below steps. 

  • Open the Settings on your iPhone. 
  • Tap on Messages. 
  • Scroll down and tap on Send & Receive. 
  • Next, you’ll see the screen with the “You can receive iMessage to and reply from” section. Make sure your Apple ID email address is mentioned under this section.
  • Tap on your Apple ID email address.
  • Check and tap on the Sign-out option.
  • Restart your iPhone (you can check the steps mentioned under the 2nd fix.)
  • Activate the iMessage from the Settings.
  • Sign in to your Apple ID again. 

Check if you can send the iMessage or not. If the “Cannot Send Message. iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message” error strikes the screen again, work around the network settings. Read on to know how. 

8. Reset Network Settings

Some users have reported that resetting the device’s network settings has worked for them to fix the error of iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message

To reset network settings on your phone, you need to follow these steps. 

  • Open the Settings.
  • Tap on Messages. 
  • Please tap on the toggles of Send as SMS and iMessage option to turn them off.
  • Go to the Settings.
  • Tap on General. 
  • Tap on Reset after scrolling down. It might ask you to enter your password.
  • Go back to Settings.
  • Tap on Messages. 
  • Tap on the toggles of Send as SMS and iMessage option to turn them ON again.

This fix will not delete data or files but only the saved Wi-Fi password and network adjustments. 

9. Delete The Stuck Message/Conversation 

Following are the steps to delete the stuck message or conversation. 

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on the Messages.
  • Check for the iMessage toggle. If it is ON, then tap on it to turn it OFF.
  • Delete the first message that is stuck while sending it in iMessage. 
  • Then try sending the message to the same person or contact them again.

If this won’t work, you can also try deleting the entire conversation and starting a new one with the same contact. 

This fix will only if you are getting the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message error while sending the message to one particular person.

10. Switch From iMessage To Regular SMS

Following are the steps to switch from iMessage to your regular SMS. 

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on the Messages.
  • Check whether the iMessage and Send as SMS toggle are ON.
  • Go back to Settings.
  • Tap on Cellular.
  • Turn OFF the cellular data.
  • Go back to Settings.
  • Tap on Wi-Fi.
  • Turn OFF the Wi-Fi.
  • Open the Message app.
  • Try sending the message again to the contact you want to send an SMS to.
  • It will proceed as a blue iMessage.
  • Press the message bubble. And hold it until you see a few options.
  • Tap on Send as Text Message option. After this, the message will proceed in green.
  • You can send one or two extra texts to ensure you proceed with the green messages.
  • Repeat steps 4 to 7 with each contact where you wish to change the text to SMS. 
  • Go back to the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on the Messages.
  • Turn the iMessage to OFF.
  • Go back to Settings.
  • Tap on Cellular, and turn On the cellular data. (In case you are using cellular data).
  • Go back to Settings.
  • Tap on Wi-Fi, and Turn On the Wi-Fi. (in case you are using the Wi-Fi connection.)

If you are selecting more than one contact for which you want to change the iMessage to SMS, repeat the steps from 4 to 7 before going to the 8th step.

11. Sign Out Of Apple ID And Sign In Again 

Following are the steps to sign out of Apple ID and again to resolve the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message problem. 

  • Launch the Settings app on your phone.
  • Type your name at the top.
  • Tap on the Sign Out button after scrolling down to the bottom.
  • Restart your iPhone.
  • Go to the Settings app again.
  • On the top, tap on the Sign-in button.
  • After signing in, launch the iMessage and check for the error if it is fixed. 

12. Update iPhone To The Latest iOS Version

Often, outdated or old software leads to errors and bugs on the iPhone. Therefore, updating the latest iOS version can help fix the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message error in this case as well. 

To do this, the following are the steps. 

  • Go to the Settings.
  • Tap on General. 
Tap on General.
  • Tap on Software Update.
Tap on Software Update.
  • Install the latest version of iOS available.

Tip: Keep your iOS updated to the latest version to avoid bugs, hanging issues, and more. 

13. Restore iPhone Using Recovery Mode With iTunes

To fix the iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message error, you can try restoring your handset using recovery mode with iTunes. Though this fix has a little disadvantage, it will delete the data on your phone. But still, this has been proven to be among the fixes that have solved this error.

So to move forward, the following are the steps. 

  • Launch iTunes.
  • Connect the device to the PC using a digital cable.

Next, you need to Force Start your device, which involves different steps for different models of iPhones. To know them, keep reading.   

To force start iPhone 6 or below, follow these steps. 

  • Press the Power button and Home button together.
  • Hold them until you see the recovery-mode screen. 

To force start iPhone 7 or 7 plus, follow these steps.

  • Press the Power button and Volume Down button together.
  • Hold them until you see the recovery-mode screen. 

Follow these steps to force start iPhone 8, 8 plus, or X.

  • Press the Volume Up button, and release quickly.
  • Press the Volume Down button, and remove it quickly.
  • Hold the Power button until you see the recovery-mode screen. 

A pop-up window will appear on the screen as “iTunes detects your device.”

  • Click on the Restore iPhone.

After this, the process will be done. The iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message issue won’t haunt you again. 

14. Reset Your iPhone To Factory Settings 

This should be your last fix. If none of the above worked for you, you’d be left with the device reset option. We didn’t discuss the method earlier because a complete reset fix will erase all your phone data. 

So if you are still going forward with this fix, we suggest you first back up all your essential data. 

After this, the following are the steps to reset your iPhone to factory settings. 

  • Go to the Settings.
  • Tap on General. 
  • Find the Reset button by scrolling down and tapping on it.
  • Tap on Erase all content and settings.
  • Confirm your action.
  • Enter the password if required. 

With this, we have covered all the possible fixes that might work for you. Except for the Factory reset fix, none of these fixes will erase the data on your iPhone. 

But sometimes, you need to perform this fix, as some bugs will only be eliminated once you have factory reset your handset. Because after this your phone has all settings as it had when bought. 

Otherwise, resetting the fixes will work for you in 90% of the cases. 

Conclusion

So, here you go. We hope we helped you fix your iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message error. If you are a new user, you might get irritated with this error and take your device to the Apple Store, which will be time-consuming and sometimes expensive.

But you don’t need to do that. The error can be easily fixed at home with the above fixes. Otherwise, we always recommend you start with the primary fixes to have time to try the critical and technical fixes. 

But even after trying them all, nothing works, so you need a professional’s help. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Happens When iMessage Is Not Enabled? 

When iMessage is not enabled, you will get all your messages and texts in SMS or MMS on your phone.

Is iMessage Enabled By Default On iPhones? 

No, iMessage is not enabled by default on iPhones. But when you first buy your iPhone, you get the option of allowing the iMessage. 

How To Enable iMessage On iPhone? 

Below are the steps to enable iMessage on iPhone. 
– Unlock your iPhone.
– Go to the Settings app on your device.
– Find the Message option by scrolling down and tapping on it.
– Find the iMessage on the top.
– Turn on the option by tapping on the slider. If the color of it – changes to green, it means the iMessage is enabled.