Fix: iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message

After updating iPhones to latest iOS, many iFolks are experiencing a problem when sending text messages. Instead of the standard “Message Sent” confirmation, the following message pops up: Cannot Send Message, iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message.

Until now, Apple doesn’t have any official response to this issue. However, here you can find some methods that we found helpful.

Fix #1 Check Apple iMessage Server

If Apple iMessage Server is down, nobody can use the iMessage service. This may be the cause of your problem. This is a rare situation, but it still can happen. Make sure you check it out before performing the following methods.

  1. Go to Apple’s System Status page (or write Apple System Status on Google and open the very first result).
  2. Take a look at the iMessage dot. If it is green, the servers are working fine, and the problem is located in your iPhone.

Fix #2 Reboot Your iPhone

Rebooting your iDevice may fix many everyday’s issues. Give it a try with this one.

  1. Hold Power until you see the Slide To Power Off slider, and slide it.
  2. 30 – 40 seconds after it turns off, hold Power again to turn it on.

Fix #3 Enable/Disable iMessage

Another way to fix “iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message” is to activate iMessage (deactivate and activate it again if it’s already ON).

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings and tap on Messages.
  2. Turn On the iMessage toggle. (If it is already on, turn it off and back on again)
  3. Try sending a text message.

If that doesn’t work, toggle iMessage ON. Then, turn off your iPhone and turn it back on.

Additionally, try turning off Facetime, and then toggle iMessage OFF and ON (try both combinations). Now, restart the iPhone.

Fix #4 Reset Network Settings

Resetting your iPhone’s Network Settings worked for some users. You can try as well.

  1. First, go to Settings > Messages and turn off the toggles Send as SMS and iMessage.
  2. Go to Settings and tap on General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Choose Reset Network Settings and type your password if required.
  5. Go back to Settings > Messages and turn on the toggles Send as SMS and iMessage.

Note: This procedure will NOT delete any data from iPhone’s memory. It will remove only your saved Wi-Fi passwords and networks adjustments.

Fix #5 Delete the Stuck Message/Conversation

If the “iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message” error happens when sending a message to a specific contact(s) only:

  1. Go to Settings > Messages > Turn Off iMessage
  2. Try deleting the first text message that is stuck on sending with iMessage.
  3. Once you delete it, try sending another text to the same contact.

If that doesn’t work, try deleting the whole conversation and start a new one.

Fix #6 Switch From iMessages to SMSs

  1. Go to Settings, and open Messages. Make sure iMessages and Send as SMS are both ON.
  2. Go back to Settings and tap on Cellular. Now, slide Cellular Data to OFF.
  3. Navigate back to Settings and tap on WiFi. Turn WiFi OFF.
  4. Open the Messages app and try sending a message to the contact you want to send SMS messages to.
  5. The message should start going out as a blue iMessage. Pressandhold the message bubble until you see the option “Send as Text Message.”
  6. Now press that option. Once you choose this, the message should go out as a green SMS.
  7. Send additional one or two messages to make sure they are still going out as green SMS.
  8. Repeat the Steps from 4 to 7 for each contact that you want to switch from iMessage to SMS.
  9. Now, go to Settings and tap on Messages. Slide iMessage to OFF.
  10. Navigate to Settings and go to Cellular. Turn Cellular Data back ON (if you were using cellular data.
  11. Go to Settings and tap on WiFi. Turn WiFi ON (if you were using Wi-Fi connection).

This method should set your message threads to SMS. That means all messages to the contacts you choose in Steps 4-7 will go as SMSs.

Note: If you have more than one contact that you want to switch from iMessages to SMSs, make sure you repeat the steps from 4 to 7 before going to Step 8. If you switch iMessage OFF, text messages will NOT go to contacts with an iMessage thread. Then the error “iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message” will pop up again. If you accidentally switch iMessage ON during this method, all threads will return to iMessage. Then you will have to start all over again.

Fix #7 Reset Your iPhone to Factory Settings

If none of the previous methods give you positive results, reset your iPhone to factory settings.

Note: This method will delete ALL THE DATA (pictures, music, videos) and settings from your iPhone. Before performing this, we highly recommend backing up your iDevice. Here you can see how to do it even without a computer.

  1. Go to Settings and tap on General.
  2. Scroll down to Reset, tap on it and choose Erase All Content and Settings.
  3. Confirm your action and type your password when required.

I hope you managed to fix “iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message” using one of the methods above. If you did, make sure you let us know which one has worked for you. If you didn’t, keep an eye on this article. We will update it if a new fix comes out.

Expert Tip

Fix: iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message

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