Does iMessage have an issue verifying your account? Here are some troubleshooting tips!

While iMessage is a great service that lets iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac users correspond for free with any other iOS user, it can also be a bag of hurt at times. One of the largest issues I see people complain about is the verification issue. Namely, iMessage will randomly sign you out of your account and you're kicked back to the login screen when you launch the Messages app. You sign back in and iMessage asks you to choose the numbers and emails you'd like, you click next, and the verification step rudely throws you back to the login screen.

If this sounds like an issue you've had, follow along and we'll walk you through how to try and resolve it.

Check iCloud system status

The first thing you'll want to do before attempting to troubleshoot an issue is to check and make sure iMessage is up and running and no server-side issues have been reported. You can do so by clicking on the link below and viewing the status for iMessage. If you see a green icon next to it, all is well and you can continue on to the next troubleshooting tip. If there are known issues at that time, wait and see if they resolve on their own before continuing.

Verify your iOS time and date settings are correct

One of the biggest reasons people get kicked out of iMessage is because it can't verify the correct time. If the server shows a different time than what your system time on your device shows, this can cause verification to fail. I had to turn auto-update off on my iPad mini as we live so close to a time zone line it kept kicking me between central and eastern time. This was causing iMessage to go nuts.

Verify the date and time are correct under Settings > General > Time and Date. If it is, move on to the next step. If it isn't, correct the time and date manually and then try to verify iMessage again.

Update iOS

If you're running an older version of iOS, you may have issues receiving picture messages or sending and receiving iMessages altogether. While this isn't a problem we see very often, I have encountered users that had issues with iMessage because they were running an extremely outdated version of iOS.

Unless you jailbreak or have a specific reason to stay on an older version of iOS for app compatibility reasons, we highly suggest making sure your iOS software is always up to date.

Restore your device

This is obviously a last ditch effort if all else fails and you still can't get iMessage to behave properly. In some cases, corrupt software could be causing the problem. This is not common at all though and every other option should be looked at.

If iCloud system status is showing iMessage to be up and running, we'd check back after a few hours and see if new reports are surfacing before wiping your device. You can even report an issue to Apple (opens in new tab) yourself to see if it can be remedied on their end first.

And if all else fails, restore your device and try again.

Other issues?

If you have other issues with iMessage or none of these steps work, our forums are a great place to get help. We even have a forum dedicated to iMessage. If you've found another iMessage bug or found a way to solve an existing one, make sure to drop it in the comments below!

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Never had any issues with verification or anything of the sort, however the one painful issue that I encounter is when someone who had previously been using an iPhone moves to another platform... my iPhone continues to, for a considerable amount of time (approx. around 6 weeks in one instance) show that user to be using iMessage. As an example, my brother had the iPhone 4S, he moved to Note 2... and now evertime I have to send a message, i have to make sure that I tell it to send as a text message otherwise it sends as an iMessage and obviously he doesn't receive it. After a couple of weeks of doing this, it finally stopped sending iMessages to him the last day or two ago. I believe it's got something to do with Apple's refresh rate at their server level or such?
  • A while back before I switch to Razr Maxx, my iPhone 4 (verizon) would not produce iMessages. It would say they were iMessages, but I was still getting billed for these messages. No one could figure out why. Verizon obviously reversed the charges, but still kinda miffed that this could happen. The phone wasn't jailbroken or anything at the time. #shock
  • Wow! Glad you told me this because I was having similar problems with a couple different people I was sending to, but had NO idea I could still be charged for the messages! Good to know, thanks for posting! I'll keep an eye out for this now!
  • Actually, the best bet is to disable iMessage before changing over to the new device. Also, if there are other iOS devices you would also want to check and make sure that the cell phone number is no longer associated with receiving iMessages. It's completely confusing lol.
  • Here is how: you have to go and change the phone number type in the contact info for your desired contact from iPhone to mobile. Then it will automatically send only SMSs and not iMessage.
  • I can't say I've experienced this particular issue. The issue I encounter is how unreliable the sync is between my MacBook Air, iPad, and iPhone. Additionally, on my MBA, iMessage continuously reads as offline and requires me to quit the application numerous times before it registers that I'm online again. I don't know how related this other issue that I have is, but FaceTime on my MBA will ask me to re-sign into my iTunes account and go through the validation process in order for me to use it. The validation process will hang, and I have to quit FaceTime and restart the application in order for me to use it.
  • I've had this issue a couple of times, also have seen people have it but it just took a couple of hours and attempts for it to log in again. Never understood why. I'll keep this tips in mind next time.
  • I've had several problems with this issue, and have 2 other friends that have as well. One, in particular, is constantly being logged out of iMessage, thus, she doesn't receive any of my messages, but I don't even get a notification that she didn't receive it! That's the most frustrating part from the opposite end of the problem: the sender has NO idea the message wasn't received. It will soon up in the feed as green now, instead of the blue iMessage color, but that doesn't necessarily mean they didn't receive it, though. It would be nice if they system somehow generated response messages so we knew the receiver actually HADN'T received it, because just because someone doesn't respond to a message from me, I do lot automatically assume they didn't get it. Some people don't respond intentionally to certain messages because of their limited data plans, so I don't think anything of it. I'm definitely going to forward this information onto them, so maybe it will help ensure we're all getting each other's messages! Thanks for giving us the info!!!
  • I haven't felt with this issue, but a good tip to keep in mind in the event this happens. You guys provide great tips!
  • This seems to happen a lot on my iPad mini. I simply removed the iCloud account from the device, then restored. Signed back in, and put everything back the way it was and it seems to work fine!
  • What happens when I switch off data and somebody writes me? I never receive any messages so they should be send as SMS or? But not happens and so I end up getting messages four hours later when switch on wifi
  • It depends. There is an option for sending as SMS if iMessage fails, as it should in the case of data being turned off. All depends on each user.
  • Read my message below: this doesn't always work! It will LOOK and ACT as of the message was sent as SMS, but it doesn't always, and the system doesn't tell you either! It would be nice if we got an error message back or something, but it didn't do that for me when I'd sent a friend several msgs that she never received. It just looked, on my end, as if they'd been sent as SMS, as you stated. Was very frustrating! I actually thought she was mad at me because I couldn't figure out why she wasn't responding! It never occurred to me she may not have received them because I DIDN'T get an error message.
  • I have a friend that does the same thing (because she thinks it saves on her data plan, can't seem to convince her it doesn't save at all, but actually costs her more, due to the fact iMessages can be sent over wifi and don't charge your cell service anything!). If you turn off data, you should still receive ALL text messages over wifi and they should still come in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, when my data plan had been temporarily turned off (by AT&T because my bill was late), and I was using wifi only, I had MANY times where I didn't receive messages at all, received them DAYS later in a couple cases, and it just seemed like it was all over the place? The thing is, when your data and wifi are both on and you send messages, everything reacts completely normal, so if a message isn't sent, received, or otherwise, you really are never going to be aware of it! I was kinda glad that AT&T had turned me off for those days because, otherwise, I would never have known there were so many problems with iMessage and the potential for people to not receive my msgs and vice versa! So, just be very aware of someone not responding to your message, that normally would, and let people know that if YOU don't respond, it's probably a problem with your device, and not you just ignoring them! Lol! Good luck!
  • cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool
  • Just become a member to thank the author for this info. Mine was just set to the wrong date.
  • The userid/ password verification screen appeared after I had reset my ipad3 in an attempt to clear another issue(iPad audio disappearing - eventually solved by brushing socket for charging).
    I tried all suggestions above and then went to the local Apple Store who, to be fair, did offer me an appointment to look at the issue. They also suggested that I use Apple Care on line to investigate. As a last resort I decided to change my Apple ID password.
    Happily, This resolved the problem. iPad 3
    IOS 9.2.1 Cheers
  • Thank you I have been searching for days and this site was the only one that helped. Most fail to state the fact that time settings are crucial. My date was wrong so I changed it and it logged me in no time!