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How to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation Error on iOS 9

Upon updating to iOS 9, many users have encountered a rather annoying bug in iMessage. When trying to enable iMessage in the Messages settings, users would get stuck in the “Waiting for activation…” screen and eventually get an error popup. We’ve tried some solutions ourselves and were able to compile a list of solutions. Here are some ways to fix iMessage Waiting for Activation error on iOS 9.

fix iMessage Waiting for Activation error on iOS 9

Before you proceed:

  • Make sure you have set the Date and Time correctly under the General settings. Enable the Set Automatically option and verify the correct Time Zone you belong in.
  • Make sure that you have a stable and uninterrupted network. Wi-Fi or network issues can lead to this iMessage activation error, so opt to use cellular data when activating.
  • Ensure that you have listed your phone / mobile number under the Phone app. You should be able to find your number in the My Number field within Contacts. If not, navigate to Settings > Phone > and enter your number in the My Number field.

How to Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation Error on iOS 9:

Here are a couple of fixes that you can try.

Airplane Mode Fix

Airplane Mode iOS 9
This one is an old solution but it’s really worthy trying. Follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Settings > scroll to and tap Messages > Disable iMessage and Facetime.
  2. Enable Airplane Mode, you’ll see Wi-Fi being disabled.
  3. Enable Wi-Fi.
  4. Browse to Messages (still under Settings) and enable iMessage.
  5. You will be asked for your Apple ID if you haven’t filled it out yet.
  6. Now go back to the main Settings and disable Airplane Mode.
  7. You might get a popup saying “Your carrier might charge you for this SMS”, tap OK.
  8. In case you don’t receive the popup notification, return to Messages, switch off iMessage then turn it ON again.
  9. At this point, iMessage should activate.

Sign Out / Sign In Apple ID Fix

  1. Navigate to Settings > Messages > scroll down to the ‘Send & Receive’ option and tap it.
  2. Tap Apple ID and select Sign out.
  3. Disable iMessage.
  4. Wait for a few moments, then enable iMessage again.
  5. Fill in your Apple ID details and attempt to activate iMessage again.

Reset / Restore Fix

Reset Network Settings iOS 9
If you are still experiencing the error, you should try resetting your Network Settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. After the reset, login with your Apple ID and try activating iMessage.

If all else fails, you should consider getting in touch with your mobile carrier. Or you could try a fresh install of iOS 9 by restoring. Hopefully, one of these solutions will fix your iMessage Waiting for Activation error on iOS 9.

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