There are several possible error messages that indicate an activation issue with FaceTime or iMessage, but the most frequent one is the Waiting for activation error that appears in the iMessage or FaceTime panels in the Settings app, as pictured above. My case was somewhat unusual because I was trying to activate a secondary phone number on the same iPhone.
This is quite obvious but if you don’t have any cellular or Wi-Fi connection, iMessage and FaceTime won’t be able to check in with Apple’s servers to start the activation process. In Settings, go to Messages and turn off iMessage.
Then, in Settings, go to FaceTime and turn off FaceTime. This is not obvious at all, but if you are trying to activate FaceTime and iMessage on an iPhone, Apple might try to send you an SMS as part of the activation process.
If you can’t receive SMS messages, which I admit would be quite unusual, then Apple might not be able to authorize the device to activate FaceTime and iMessage. In this case, double check with your carrier that you can indeed receive text messages. These people had to add a dollar or so of credit to their account to make sure they could receive SMS if needed. So if you’re having either Wi-Fi or cellular network issue, Apple won’t be able to activate your device over these two services.
To rule out issues related to your connectivity, go to Settings > General > Reset Network Settings. The activation issue may actually be a device-specific issue, and unfortunately, you might have to reset the device and set it all up again. I hope one of these solutions will work for you and that you will fix your waiting for activation issue.
If you’re switching from an iPhone, make sure you’ve deactivated iMessage for your number. Fix problems sending or receiving messages from specific contacts.
I’m getting unreadable text messages: If you switched from a phone with visual voicemail to one without, and you get unreadable texts from your mobile carrier, troubleshoot your voicemail notifications. I’ve switched from an iPhone to an Android phone: If you're switching from an iPhone to an Android phone, be sure to turn off iMessage.
If you can't send or receive messages, or have trouble connecting to Messages on web, try the following suggestions below.
You should be able to receive text messages right away but it might take a few hours for some Apple devices to recognize that you're not using iMessage when they send you a message.
Make sure to turn iMessage off before you remove the SIM card from your iPhone. If you're in any group chats with friends who have iPhones, to keep getting their messages, start a new group chat.
You may fail to activate iMessages due to the corrupt network settings of your phone. Additionally, make sure you have credit in your SIM, and sending/receiving of international SMS is enabled.
In this context, disabling your cellular data and using a Wi-Fi connection to activate iMessage may solve the problem. If you are already using Wi-Fi, then switching to cellular data (reported by some user to work) may let you activate iMessage.
In this scenario, changing your mobile number in the iPhone’s settings may solve the problem. If not, then try adding your number in the phone’s settings without country code and check if the problem is solved.
You may encounter the error under discussion if the network settings of your phone are corrupt or not configured properly. You may encounter the error at hand if you are using a public beta program for iOS.
In some cases, users were able to solve the problem by using the beta program mainly because it is unstable and doesn’t fully support all system functions. On the problematic device, open a web browser, and navigate to the Beta website of Apple. Now restart your system and then check if the iMessage activation issue is resolved. There is a bug that does not let a user register for iMessage on a device that is already added to his iCloud account. Here, removing your device from your iCloud account and reactivating iMessage may solve the problem. Open a web browser and navigate to Find My iPhone on the iCloud page (sign in using your Apple ID, if asked to).
In this context, manually removing the number from iMessage and then activating it may solve the problem. If devices are not available at hand, then open Settings of your phone and tap on your user name.
If you don’t know why this is happening or are trying hard to figure out the solution, let me help. This article explains why you may be seeing the ‘Waiting for Activation’ error and how you can fix it.
Something from your carrier’s end is broken, which prevents sending and receiving text messages. You do not have sufficient balance to send the iMessage activation text message.
Interestingly the solutions listed in this article also work when you can not activate FaceTime. Note: Apple says that iMessage can take anywhere up to 24 hours for successful activation.
How to fix the iMessage ‘Waiting for Activation’ error on iPhone. For iMessage activation, your iPhone sends a standard SMS text message.
Open the Messages app and choose a friend or family (preferably those who use an Android phone). If not, please see how to fix iPhone not sending text messages issue.
To activate iMessage, your iPhone must have a working internet connection. Open Safari or the YouTube app and try to visit a website or play a video.
iMessage activation also requires the correct date and time. This is a pretty easy and neat hack that often fixes issues like this. You can enable and disable AirPlane mode from the iPhone Control Center or using the Settings app. Thus, to fix iMessage activation problems, go ahead and restart your iPhone.
Enter your Apple ID password and proceed to sign out successfully. To fix iMessage problems, it is advisable to check and install any pending carrier updates.
Additionally, it is also essential to reach your carrier’s customer support and see if there is some issue related to your account. Please ask if they have restricted your message sending capabilities or blocked you from activating iMessage. Apple regularly pushes iOS updates to fix bugs, resolve existing issues, and introduce new features.
If you are having problems sending or receiving messages on your device, it may be because your SIM card has not been provisioned correctly by Verizon. If you are switching from an Apple phone and can't get SMS or text messages someone sends you from an iPhone, you may need to turn off iMessage.