How to enable and active (or re-activate) iMessage
iMessage lets you send and receive SMS-like text messages, and MMS-style multimedia messages just like a phone. Instead of a just a phone number, however, it uses your email address, and it only works with other Apple devices, like other iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, and Mac. Before you can start using messages, and sending texts, photos, videos, voice memos, locations, and contact cards, however, you need to set it up.
If you set up your device using iCloud there's a change iMessage is already set up as well, and good to go. If not, we'll show you how to get started, and get messaging, quickly.
How to enable iMessage on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad
When you first update or turn on iOS 5, you'll be asked to login
When you first install, or first start using, iOS 5 for the first time, you'll be asked to login with your iCloud account, or create one if you don't have one already. Once you do that, iMessage is automatically enabled for you. If you don't think it's enabled, or you want to check:
- Launch Settings
- Tap Messages in the sidebar on the left
- Toggle iMessage to On (if it isn't already)
How to enable iMessage on your Mac
When you first install, or first start using, OS X Mountain Lion for the first time, you'll be asked to login with your iCloud account, or create one if you don't have one already. Once you do that, iCloud is automatically created for you. If you don't think it's enabled, or you want to change settings, you can also do that manually.
- Launch Messages on your Mac
- Click on the *Messages** menu and choose Preferences (or just type CMD+,)
- Make sure the Enable this account is checked.
How to re-activate iMessage on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iMac
iMessage is a service run on Apple's servers, and the first time it connects it needs to activate and register the Apple ID you're using with the device you're using. The way it does that is by having you login with your Apple ID. If the connection is ever lost for some reason, it may ask you to do it again.
If for some reason it looks like iMessage is stuck on the Activation screen, wait for a few minutes, then try the following, in the following order:
- Turn iMessage off and then on again, wait a few minutes
- Turn Airplane mode on and then off again, turn iMessage off and then on again, wait a few minutes
- Make sure your iPad is on Wi-Fi, reboot your iPad, turn iMessage off and then on again, wait a few minutes
- Wait and try again later -- Apple's servers can get overwhelmed or experience outages just like anyone else's
If none of that works, jump into our forum and we'll troubleshoot with you.
Once iMessage activates you can send and receive texts and multimedia messages with other Apple users just like SMS and MMS.