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How to Fix iMessage Syncing Issues



Here’s how to fix iMessage syncing issues between your iOS and Mac devices. This will help you see the same messages and notifications across your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

There are many iOS 11 problems, including some iMessage syncing issues in iOS 11.4.1. We’ll help you fix iMessage syncing problems on iPhone, iPad and Mac, including how Messages in iCloud might help you.

One of the most common problems with iMessage is syncing new messages and read messages across all of your devices.


If you are running into problems with iMessage syncing correctly, you can follow these directions to fix syncing errors and issues.

Set Up iMessage Correctly

One common issue that can prevent iMessage syncing correctly is iMessage not being set up correctly.

iMessage will sync with all of your Apple devices as long as you sign in with the same Apple ID and turn it on in settings. Follow these steps to properly set up iMessage.

  • On your iPhone and/or iPad, open up the Settings app.
  • Tap on Messages.
  • Tap on Send & Receive.


  • Make sure your email address shows up at the top next to Apple ID. If not, tap on this and sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Also, make sure your main phone number is selected under the section titled Start New Conversations From.

Do this on all of your iPhones and iPads. This is what you need to do to be able to send and receive iMessages between all of your Apple devices.

Read: 3 Common iMessage Problems & How to Fix Them

To set up iMessage on Mac, follow these simple steps.

  • Open up the Messages app.
  • Click on Messages in the menubar in the top-left corner and then select Preferences (or just hit Cmd + comma on your keyboard).
  • Next, click on the Accounts tab and you should see your Apple ID email address in the sidebar. If not, click on the + sign at the bottom and add your Apple ID.


  • Once added, click on it and you’ll see some similar settings that you did on your iOS device. Simply make sure that Enable this account is checked, along with your phone number further below.
  • At the bottom of the Preferences pane, make sure your phone number is selected from the dropdown menu under Start new conversations from.

After that’s set up, you should be good to go, and any iMessages you receive on your iOS device will also show up on your Mac, and vice versa. However, if you’re still having problems, there’s a quick fix.

Turn Off iMessage & Turn It Back On

If iMessage is set up correctly, but you still have syncing issues, you can try this quick fix. This essentially resets iMessage which is the equivalent of turning it off and back on again. .

Essentially, you’re just disabling iMessage on all your iOS and Mac devices that have iMessage, and then re-enabling it on each device one at a time.


To do this on your iOS devices, go to Settings > Messages and toggle iMessage off on all of these devices. On Mac, you’ll open up Messages and then click on Messages > Preferences > Accounts. From there, uncheck Enable this account and close out of Messages and then open it back up.

At that point, go back to your iOS devices and re-enable iMessage, and then head to your Mac and do the same thing. Give it a few minutes for your devices to communicate with each other and eventually iMessage will be ready to go. From there, you shouldn’t have anymore problems.

Turn On Messages in iCloud

A new feature introduced in iOS 11.4 can help you solve iMessage syncing issues and problems. This will also help free up storage on your iPhone or iPad by saving messages and photos in iCloud.

To do this, read this guide, which will help you set up this new feature on your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Additional reporting by Craig Lloyd.

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  1. christina

    07/14/2015 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for this article! It fixed the issue I was having and was super easy to follow.

  2. kristiporter

    08/06/2015 at 7:07 am

    I’m still having an issue on my MBP. It’s not letting me freely text people. For a few friends, it’s saying they don’t have iMessage accounts, and therefore won’t send the message. That just started happening this week. Do you know what that might be?

  3. SEO

    09/21/2015 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you for you great explanation. I follow up and it is working!. Can I sync past messages so I can have them as an Archive?

  4. thatscharles

    09/30/2015 at 1:26 pm

    Even after verifying all these steps and making sure everything is alright both on my iPhone 5s and my Macbook Air and it still won’t receive the messages I receive on my phone and it won’t send my texts. Help !

  5. Draco

    10/20/2015 at 1:05 pm

    There is no option on my iPad 2 (running the latest iOS 9) to add a phone number under iMessages. It only gives an option to add an email address. If you try to add a phone number it just says “this email is not recognized.”

  6. Spartacus

    10/27/2015 at 8:22 pm

    Didn’t work for me either. When I send texts from my iPhone and MBP, people get two separate message threads as if two different people are sending them messages, and their replies are similarly segregated to phone or computer as well.

  7. someone867someone

    11/18/2015 at 6:43 pm

    that u this helped a lot

  8. Deidre Brown

    11/26/2015 at 8:21 am

    Thank you! This worked perfectly!

  9. Guy Incognito

    12/01/2015 at 10:40 pm

    Hi, I was frustrated by my MB not even showing my phone number (already set on my iPhone) as an option in Messages. I tried adding an “email” to the account – but entered my phone number instead. Then, after a series of popups on my phone and MB – success. My phone number appeared as an option to “Start New Conversations From…”. Hope this helps.

  10. Laura Tucker (@LauraATucker)

    12/16/2015 at 9:33 am

    Thank you! Somehow my Apple ID logged out of iMessage on my phone. Drives me nuts, but I love texting and messaging from my computer!

  11. Aka

    01/08/2016 at 1:46 am

    Great, but not very reliable service/app. Wish Apple could fix this, can’t be too difficult?

  12. Dimas

    02/05/2016 at 6:36 pm

    Im using two iphone (5 & 6+), and my iphone 5 stop receiving imessage, and i cant send imessage from that device either. While the imessage successfully sync with my ipad. I’ve tried to restart the setting, tried to log out and signing back in, tried anything but nothing work. Can you help me?

  13. colleen macaddino

    02/19/2016 at 7:28 am

    I am getting my iMessages on my work computer and would like to disable it, suggestion above isn’t helping.

  14. Tish Downs

    02/24/2016 at 7:10 pm

    My MacBook Air will receive all the messages that are texted to my iPhone 6, but when a message is deleted from the iPhone, it will stay on the MacBook Air. Messages deleted from the MacBook Air will stay on the iPhone 6. I would like for them do sync with each other when deleting.

  15. Shirley Andrews

    03/29/2016 at 11:40 pm

    I’m just now having a problem with my iPad syncing with my iPhone. Last week I could send iMessages from iPad to anyone in contact for 2years now I can only send to a few people. It’s very disturbing specially when I was enjoying how can be working a message come across an I could respond but now I need my cell phone to catch messages. I notice the change after I downloaded my update. I wish Apple would fix this problem.

  16. Nicole

    04/05/2016 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you, this fixed my problem!

  17. Christopher Triolo

    06/02/2016 at 12:52 pm

    Thank YOU!!!! This was perfect. Made my day….

  18. Athena R De La Pena

    07/15/2016 at 10:48 am

    worked like a charm. thanks.

  19. Jenna

    07/16/2016 at 1:48 pm

    This was the first thread that actually helped me open and use my messages on my mac since my last update. Thank you for the explanation!!! Perfect!

  20. Dan Botto

    10/13/2016 at 8:52 pm

    THANK YOU BASED GOD. Oh, and thanks Craig.

  21. mitch

    10/18/2016 at 2:09 pm

    you need to visit the account section of to add missing phone numbers, email addresses for messages on your devices which reference the applleid email address and account details your provide there. If you see phone numbers that aren’t yours you need to reset your password at to make them disappear on your devices.

  22. Kevin

    01/10/2017 at 11:21 pm

    I fixed this by going into my iphone, turning off Text Message Forwarding to my Mac, and turning it back on.
    Entered PW on my mac, and viola, back again. So weird!

  23. Susan Cooper

    04/15/2017 at 9:24 am

    Great help. Thank you.

    Now, can you tell me how to get the messages that were not syncing to be on all 3 of my devices so I don’t have to keep going from one to the other to find a text thread?

  24. howtoisolve

    08/26/2017 at 4:35 am

    Really a great post.

  25. CoopTown

    12/13/2018 at 6:34 am

    almost 2019 still does not sync right ! the only thing in this list is iCloud if that helps – i often can’t have my phone to far from my MBP so i can make sure the thred is current – and my MBP receives messages first then seconds later my phone on the same wifi i would expect it to be the opposite really —

    What about the message forwarding button on the phone ??? seems to me it not needed if you are pulling from the same server ?

    Thank you !

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