How to Fix iMessage not Working on iMac?

iMessage is an instant messaging service which was developed by Apple Inc. as part of the messaging platform on their devices. Like all Apple handheld devices, iMacs are also given the iMessages. Users from iPhones can easily communicate to iMac users seamlessly with excellent synchronization.

iMessage not working on Mac

Despite being the ‘star’ messaging of Apple, we came across numerous instances where iMac users were complaining that they could not iMessages to work. This can be true where either the messaging application has issues while syncing or it fails to start/connect altogether.

In this article, we will go through all the different methods which you can perform to ensure that this issue gets fixed.

What causes iMessages not to Work on iMac?

After doing our initial research and combining our results with other users, we concluded that the issue occurred due to several different reasons. Some of the reasons why you might experience this issue are but not limited to:

  • Bad messages cache: iMessages, like all other applications also keeps a cache for its operations. However, there might be instances where the cache can get corrupt or not-usable. We can delete it to get it refreshed.
  • Time settings: Apple makes use of your local time on your device to perform its operations. If the time settings are not correct, they will conflict with the mechanism and hence can conflict with iMessages.
  • Apple Account: Even though this might seem too obvious, there can be instances where the Apple account on your computer is not signed up properly. Refreshing the login process might fix any discrepancies.
  • ‘Reached at’ settings: All Apple devices have a setting of ‘reached at’ which allows users to choose where the number and email address can be accessed. This can be sometimes problematic and cause issues.
  • A device in error state: iMacs are no exception than other devices out there which tend to get into error states now and then. Usually, power cycling solves the problem altogether.
  • Network settings: If there are network issues in the network in which your iMac an iPhone are operating, you might experience several different issues including iMessages not working.
  • NVRAM issues: In some instances, the NVRAM on your computer might be out of order or having conflicts/issues. Here, resetting it might solve the case altogether.
  • Bad certificates: We also came across situations where there were bad certificates issued to the devices. If there are bad certificates, the iMessage network will not allow you to connect.

Before we start with the solutions, make sure that you save your work. Also, log in using an administrator account.

Solution 1: Deleting Messaging Cache

Before we try anything else, we will try deleting your messaging cache. The iMessage application creates and uses a cache for its operations. However, there are instances where this cache might malfunction and not work as expected. In this solution, we will delete the cache so then iMessages notices that it is missing, it will automatically create a default one with normal preferences.

  1. Open your Finder, right-click anywhere on any space and select Show View Options.
    Show View Options
  2. Now check the option ‘Show Library Folder’. A Library folder will be present in your Finder. Open it.
    Show Library Folder – Mac
  3. Once in the Library folder, open Caches.
  4. Once in the Cache folder, find and delete all the folders with these names or those who start with these:
Deleting com folders
  1. Once done, navigate back and open the Preferences
    Preferences folder
  2. Once in preferences, delete the following items:
Deleting Preferences folders
  1. Once you are done deleting these, restart your computer completely and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 2: Checking Time Settings

If the time set on your device is incorrect, the authentication process of your iMessages will fail. This is because your computer takes into account the local time stored on your iMac when it is sending requests. If the time somehow mismatches with your geography, you will experience several issues including iMessage not to work. In this solution, we will navigate to the time settings and make sure that the time is set correctly.

  1. Click System Preferences and then select Date & Time.
    Preferences – Mac
  2. Now, check the title of Set date and time automatically.
  3. Save changes and exit. Restart your computer and then check if this solved your problem.

Solution 3: Checking Account Settings

Another thing to try before we move on to more lengthy and technical solutions is checking whether the account settings stored against your iMac’s iMessage settings are set correctly. Your Apple account and phone number should also be stored and synced with your iMac for iMessage to work properly. In this solution, we will navigate to these settings and make sure that all account details are set properly.

  1. Click on the button of Messages from the top-bar and select
  2. Once in preferences, click on Accounts. Here, all the accounts will be listed which are connected to the iMessage service. Validate that these indeed are the settings and save changes. You can also check the option of Start new conversations from option and double-check the Blocked
    Checking Account Settings
  3. After validating that all the information is correct and if any changes were made, restart your iMac and see if the issue went away.

Solution 4: Power cycling your Computer

Another thing which you should initially try is power cycling your computer completely. Power cycling is the act of shutting down your computer and all modules and disconnecting all devices. This act will ensure that all temporary configurations are removed forcefully from the computer and fix any issues if the ‘not responding’ problem was due to the corruption or incomplete. Make sure that you have completely saved your work before proceeding.

  1. Log out of your profile and then shut down the Mac computer.
  2. Now, make sure that you disconnect the power cable and wait for around 4-5 minutes before proceeding. Also, disconnect all peripherals from the computer
    Power cycling Macbook
  3. Press and hold the power button so the computer turns on. Wait patiently and then log into your computer. Now try launching the Finder and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 5: Resetting PRAM or NVRAM

Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM) is a type of memory which your Mac computer uses to store settings which it accesses during its operation. Parameter RAM (PRAM) on the other hand does the same thing and the computer switches between the two.

According to Apple’s official website, your Macbook might experience issues if either of the two is in error states or configurations. Here, we will manually reset both RAMs and check if this the issue at hand.

Note: It should be noted that these actions might erase some of your configurations so save your work before proceeding.

  1. Shut down your Mac computer. Now when you turn it back on, you need to press the following keys at once together:
option (alt) + command + P + R
Resetting PRAM or NVRAM
  1. Wait for around 20-30 seconds before releasing all the keys. During this time, your Mac will appear to start. Now there are two scenarios where you have to release the keys:

In some Mac computers, you will hear a startup sound the second time (the first time will come when you just opened your Mac before pressing the keys). When you hear the second startup sound, release the keys.

In other Mac computers where there is Apple T2 Security Chip, you can release the keys after the Apple Logo appears and disappears the second time.

  1. After the computer starts up, you can navigate to your settings and see if it was of any good.

Solution 6: Resetting Mac to Factory Settings

If neither of the above methods works, it probably means that there are some issues with your installation files which aren’t available for the normal user to access. Here, only resetting your machine to factory settings might fix the problem. We urge you to save all of your work before proceeding and backup your files and folders as they will be erased as well. Follow the steps below.

  1. First, you have to restart in Recovery Just restart your Mac and when the computer powers back on, press and hold the command + R keys until the Apple logo is visible.
  2. When the option comes, click on Disk Utility. Now, you have to select the startup disk (the disk where Mac is installed). Click on Erase. Also, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the format when asked.
    Choosing Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  3. Now, you can exit the Disk utility. Now from the same menu, click on Reinstall macOS. This will start the reinstallation process. Follow the steps below and by the time you are done, the finder will hopefully be working.

Solution 7: Contacting Apple Support

If all the above methods don’t work out and you still have a warranty with your mac device, it is recommended that you take your computer to the service center as soon as possible. As per warranty, you are entitled to get Apple’s support and they will try their best to fix it for you. If there exists any hardware problem, it will get fixed free of cost.

Contacting Apple Support

Before moving to the store, you can launch Apple support website and talk to the support personnel. They can try troubleshooting remotely on what’s going on with your computer. If they find something, it will instantly be fixed. If it doesn’t, they will redirect you with a ticket.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.
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