It, of course, hurts to see Apple’s proprietary chat platform (that’s otherwise supposed to work dexterously on over 900 million Apple devices across the globe) not working on your Mac. And that even without any noticeable reason, right?
Sure, however, iMessage never fails to work unless there are a couple of bugs at the backend on your device. Yet it’s just a breeze to bring it back to life. And here’s all about that.
Why Isn’t My iMessage Working On My Laptop?
Though I am not quite certain if and which one of these may be the concern for you, some of the most fundamental reasons why iMessage may cease to work on your MacBook are:
- The iMessage service might already have got disabled due to some reason on your Mac.
- Tons of caches buildup may also create such mishaps.
- A conflict between the date and time zone on your laptop can also block the service from working properly.
- The iMessage encryption schematics may have encountered some errors.
- Or your iMessage, preferably your device as a whole, may just be needing a complete/fresh restart to fix lots of such performance glitches.
So let’s now go over all the troubleshooting tips to fix this issue.
iMessage Not Working On Mac? Here’s What to Do
Well, before we go down to the fixes for the worst scenario, I’d suggest you make sure if the problem is actually with the iMessage on your Mac and not somewhere else. For that, try this rudimentary stuff first:
Is the iMessage not working for one contact only or all your contacts?
Make sure you try tapping each one of your contacts (who you know uses the service) with a test message via iMessage. If you find it working for all the other people but not one (specific) of your contacts only, the issue may be on that person’s end and not on your device. But if iMessage didn’t work for anyone, proceed to the troubleshoots given below.
#1. Make Sure You Have a Sound Internet Connection
Unlike standard SMS/MMS messages which require cellular network only to be consigned on the other end, iMessage needs a sound internet connection to work. So the first thing is to make sure your laptop is connected to a stable and working internet connection.
#2. Give Your MacBook a Reboot
At times, just a simple system reboot can do the trick for you by eliminating lots of minor software hitches that usually build up because your laptop and OS are on and running 24-7.
So if you’re used to just putting the device in sleep mode and not completely shut it down every time after you’re done, you are literally not giving it enough room to breathe freely. Given that, there may always be such temporary hardware/software failures, and a fresh restart to your system may pretty much fix all such issues within seconds.
#3. Tweak Your iMessage Configuration and Send & Receive Settings
Only enabling the service on your device is not enough, you also need to configure it with all your email accounts and phone numbers so that you never face sync conflicts and other such “iMessage not working on Mac” issues. Here’s what to do:
- Go to your menu bar and open the Messages app.
- Select Preferences and then tap on the iMessage tab.
- Select your account and check out if all your email accounts and phone numbers are enabled therein.
- If not, put down and register the account/phone no. you want to use iMessage with, here with your Apple ID.
- If yes (i.e. all your data is already enabled and linked with your Apple ID), tweak some by disabling and enabling them back or completely restore the entire directory. It may hopefully work and iMessage may start working properly again.
Note though, before doing all this, make sure there is no issue with your Apple ID on your Mac laptop. Navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences > iCloud Settings, and see if you have the same Apple ID configured on your Mac as one on the other devices. If not, that may be the issue why iMessage is not in-sync and working. So make sure the right Apple ID is enabled here.
#4 Try Clearing Caches
Cache, as regards iMessage, means your chat history. So clearing cache means you’re gonna lose all your chats beyond this device as well. But it may be quite an effective solution if tried.
- Navigate to Finder and open it.
- Press Command + Shift + G all three keys at once to quickly advance through results in Find, type ~/Library/Messages/ in the box, and hit Go.
- After that, seek out the folders: “chat.db”, “chat.db-wal”, “chat.db-shm” in the list and delete all the files therein.
You can then clean your device’s Trash can as well to let the deleted files completely and permanently drain out.
#5. Disable/Re-enable or Sign Out/Re-login to iMessage
Trying to re-engage things from zero again also oftentimes does the job.
- Open Messages from Apple Menu.
- Navigate to Preferences > iMessage.
- Over there, uncheck the Enable Messages in iCloud box or tap the Sign Out button to stop the service on your Mac. (If the box is already unchecked, means the service is previously disabled, and checking it back can simply do the trick).
- Give your laptop a reboot.
- Finally, repeat all the steps, check that box again, (re-login if you’ve signed out as well in step 3), quit the Messages app, and open it back again. Hopefully, things would get on track now.
Ending Note – Bonus Tips Worth Considering
There may be a lot of reasons iMessage may stop working on a Mac laptop, and in riposte, there are plenty of ways you can fix the problem as well. Though the most fundamental ones of both the reasons and solutions have already been discussed above, here’s what more you can consider in this regard:
- Access and check out Keychain Access on your Mac for iMessage encryption schematics. If you find a list of encryption keys therein, fine. If not, you’ve got an iMessage encryption issue.
- Try resetting your device’s network settings as that can also effectively troubleshoot lots of your network connectivity and related issues.
- Check out if your laptop’s date, time, and time zone settings have changed due to some reason. If yes, iMessage is surely not working because of that. Fix them.
- Make sure the “message forwarding and relay” feature is activated on other devices if you’re also using an iPhone, iPad, etc. unless you won’t be able to use your laptop for messaging.
If nothing works, refer to Apple’s official system status website and see if the issue is not on a macro level due to some server letdowns, etc.
I hope you’ve, till now, got the answer to your question “why isn’t my iMessage working on my laptop?”. If not, let me know what issue you’re exactly facing with the service so that we can catch the exact pain point and fix it in the next post.
Your iMessage service can cease to work on your laptop due to a lot of reasons but it’s still a no-brainer to fix it back. Here’s why iMessage may stop working on your laptop and how to do the troubleshoot.
Q1. How do I set up iMessage on my laptop?
Ans. Setting up iMessage on a laptop is quite simple and straightforward. Here’s how to do that:
Open the Messages app from your Apple menu or by using Finder > hit Preferences > select iMessage > put down your Apple ID and password > and finally, follow the on-screen prompts to complete two-step verification (if asked). And that’s all it requires to set up iMessage on laptop.
Q2. How do I link my iPhone messages to my MacBook?
Ans. First, open the Settings app on your iPhone > tap Messages > switch the iMessage toggle ON and tap Send & Receive > sign in with your Apple ID > make sure all your details i.e. phone no., email, Apple ID are checked under You can receive iMessages to and Reply from > and finally, put down your phone no. (or email if you wish) in the box under Start new conversations from.
Now go back to main settings and tap on FaceTime to confirm that your contact details show up checked here.
After that, follow the steps listed in the previous question to access iMessage on your MacBook, and make sure you sign in here with the same Apple ID you used on your iPhone just earlier. Also, check out the other details (i.e. those under You can be reached for messages at and Start conversations from, etc.) and make sure everything is exactly the same as it was in your iPhone.
And that’s it. All your iPhone messages, etc. are in-sync and linked to your MacBook now.