How to Fix iMessage Syncing Issues

While iMessage is one of the most-used services for iOS users, it’s definitely not without its problems. Here’s how to fix iMessage syncing issues between your iOS and OS X devices.

iMessage has changed the way that many people communicate with their family and friends on a daily basis. With iMessage being available on all of your iOS devices, it makes it even more convenient to use.

We’ve discussed many common problems with Apple products in the past, but iMessage is something that deserves some special attention, considering that many users come across all sorts of problems with the messaging service on a regular basis.

One of the biggest issues that we’ve seen with iMessage is syncing the service across all of your various Apple devices, including iOS devices and Mac computers running OS X. Sometimes, there are many problems that can arise when dealing with multiple devices and getting iMessage synced across all of them.

iMessage

If you’ve been having this kind of trouble with iMessage lately or are just preparing for those inevitable problems to arise, read on to learn how to fix iMessage syncing problems.

Set Up iMessage Correctly

It’s possible that you didn’t set up iMessage properly, which could be why the service may not be syncing up correctly.

iMessage should sync up with all of your Apple devices together as long as all of them are signed in under the same Apple ID, but surprisingly, it doesn’t work that smoothly sometimes. 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.

imessage-iphone

  • 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.

Repeat these steps on all of your other iOS devices. This will allow you to send and receive iMessages not just between your iPhone and Mac, but you’ll be able to add in an iPad that you might have lying around as well.

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.

imessage-mac

  • 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 you set up iMessage correctly but are still coming across syncing issues, there’s a quick fix that you can perform to sort of reset iMessage and knock it back into proper position.

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

How-to-Turn-Off-iMessage

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.

24 Comments

  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.

    Reply

  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?

    Reply

  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?

    Reply

  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 !

    Reply

  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.”

    Reply

  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.

    Reply

  7. someone867someone

    11/18/2015 at 6:43 pm

    that u this helped a lot

    Reply

  8. Deidre Brown

    11/26/2015 at 8:21 am

    Thank you! This worked perfectly!

    Reply

  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.

    Reply

  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!

    Reply

  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?

    Reply

  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?

    Reply

  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.

    Reply

  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.

    Reply

  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.

    Reply

  16. Nicole

    04/05/2016 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you, this fixed my problem!

    Reply

  17. Christopher Triolo

    06/02/2016 at 12:52 pm

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

    Reply

  18. Athena R De La Pena

    07/15/2016 at 10:48 am

    worked like a charm. thanks.

    Reply

  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!

    Reply

  20. Dan Botto

    10/13/2016 at 8:52 pm

    THANK YOU BASED GOD. Oh, and thanks Craig.

    Reply

  21. mitch

    10/18/2016 at 2:09 pm

    you need to visit the account section of appleid.apple.com 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 appleid.apple.com to make them disappear on your devices.

    Reply

  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!

    Reply

  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?

    Reply

  24. howtoisolve

    08/26/2017 at 4:35 am

    Really a great post.

    Reply

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