How to Enable iMessage on Any iPhone in 4 Easy Steps [2024]

Key Takeaways
  • iMessage offers an array of features that go beyond traditional messaging. From personalized Memoji stickers to subtle Tapbacks and special effects, it enriches conversations with creativity and expression.
  • You can easily enable iMessage by going to "Settings" > "Messages" and toggling the "iMessage" slider to on.
  • If you encounter "iMessage Needs to be Enabled to Send this Message" issue, after activating iMessage, check your network connection or see if there's a new iOS version.

iMessage stands out as a go-to messaging app for iOS enthusiasts, offering a seamless way to send text messages, share photos, and videos, and even drop a quick audio message to your buddies with Apple devices. But are you a new Apple user and don’t know how to enable iMessage?

So, if you’ve recently switched over from an Android device, and wondering how to kickstart this messaging powerhouse. Fear not, enabling iMessage on your iPhone is a breeze and only takes a few simple steps. Stick around, and we’ll guide you through the quick process of getting iMessage up and running on your iPhone.

Make the most of your iPhone by enabling iMessages

Why Would You Need to Enable iMessage

Enabling iMessage on your iPhone comes with a bunch of benefits that enhance your messaging experience. Here’s why you might want to enable iMessage:

  • iMessage seamlessly integrates with other Apple devices, allowing you to send and receive messages across iPhones, iPads, and Macs without any hassle.
  • With iMessage, you can share more than just text – send photos, videos, audio messages, and even your location to other iMessage users.
  • It utilizes Wi-Fi for sending messages, allowing you to stay connected even when cellular coverage is weak.
  • You can also express yourself with a vast array of emojis, message effects and even animated Animojis, adding a fun and personalized touch to your messages.

READ MORE: How to Play iMessage Games on iPhone [Step-by-Step Pics] ➜

How to Enable iMessage on your iPhone

Enabling iMessage on your iPhone is a straightforward process that enhances your messaging capabilities. Here’s a quick guide on how to enable iMessage:

Step 1: Navigate to Settings

Locate and open the “Settings” app on your iPhone, typically represented by a gear icon.

Select “Settings”

Step 2: Scroll and Select Messages

Scroll down the Settings menu and tap on “Messages.”

Tap on “Messages”

Step 3: Toggle iMessage On

Now, look for the “iMessage” toggle switch at the top of the screen. If it’s off (white), tap it to turn iMessage on (green). This enables iMessage for your device.

Toggle the iMessage slider

Step 4: Wait for Activation

After toggling iMessage on, your iPhone will attempt to activate the service. This process usually takes a few seconds, but in some cases, it might take a bit longer.

Wait for the activation

Once the activation is complete, you’re good to go! You can now enjoy the full range of features iMessage has to offer, including text messages, multimedia sharing, and more.

READ MORE: Steps to Logout of iMessages on MacOS ➜

How to Troubleshoot “iMessage Needs to be Enabled to Send this Message”

If you see the message “iMessage Needs to be Enabled to Send this Message,” it indicates that you haven’t activated iMessage on your device or there might be an issue with its settings. Here’s how you can resolve this:

1. Verify iMessage Activation

Make sure that you have activated iMessage on your iPhone. Ensure that the toggle next to “iMessage” is turned on. If not, toggle it on.

2. Check Internet Connection

iMessage requires an active internet connection. Ensure you have connected your iPhone to Wi-Fi or enabled cellular data on it.

3. Confirm Apple ID Sign-In

Confirm that you are signed in with your Apple ID in the “Messages” settings. Go to “Settings” > “Messages” > “Send & Receive” and check that your Apple ID is selected.

Verify your Apple ID

4. Update iOS

Also, ensure that your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS. Outdated software may cause compatibility issues. Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Software Update” to check for updates.

Check for recent Software Updates

5. Contact Apple Support

If the issue persists, it may be helpful to contact Apple Support for further assistance. They can provide guidance specific to your situation.

Apple Support

Tips & Tricks for Using iMessage

Here are some tips and tricks to enhance your experience while using iMessage on your iPhone:

  • Hold down on a message to react with a heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, or other emojis. It’s a quick way to respond without sending a separate message.
  • Quickly respond to a message with a Tapback. Double-tap a message, and you can choose from various quick response options.
  • After typing your message, press and hold the send button to access effects like balloons, confetti, or even screen-filling effects.
  • You can also create and use personalized Memoji stickers. In the iMessage app drawer, tap on the Memoji icon to access a collection of expressive stickers.
  • After typing a message, tap the emoji button, and iOS will actively highlight words that you can replace with emojis.
  • Rotate your iPhone to landscape mode while in the iMessage app to access a handwritten message.

READ MORE: How to Get iMessage on Your PC ➜

Final Words

In a nutshell, iMessage serves as the heartbeat of communication for iPhone users. It’s more than just texting – you can share photos, videos, and even your live location. The cool thing? It works smoothly across all your Apple gadgets.

It also keeps your chats private with end-to-end encryption. Plus, you’ll know when your message is read with read receipts. But it’s not all serious – you can add fun effects to your texts, and even create your own cartoon face with Memoji stickers.

So, next time you’re chatting on iMessage, remember, that it is not just about words; it’s a whole experience, making your conversations lively and uniquely you.


Why am I seeing “iMessage Needs to be Enabled to Send this Message” error?

This message appears when iMessage is not activated on your device. Check your iMessage settings, ensure you have an internet connection, and confirm that your Apple ID is signed in.

Can I use iMessage on non-Apple devices?

No, iMessage is exclusive to Apple devices. However, you can still send traditional SMS messages to non-Apple users.

Are iMessages encrypted?

Yes, iMessages are end-to-end encrypted, ensuring that only the intended recipient can read the messages.

Can I customize the appearance of iMessage?

While you can’t change the overall appearance, you can personalize your messages by using effects, emojis, and even creating Memoji stickers.

Is there a limit to the file size I can send through iMessage?

iMessage allows you to send a variety of media files, but there are limits. Videos and photos should be within reasonable sizes. If a file is too large, you might need to use alternative methods like email or cloud sharing.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.