How to fix Receive/Send iMessage Not Working On Mac Big Sur, MacBook Pro Catalina – Q&A – Issues

Last Updated on Nov 10, 2020

Many Mac users have been complaining that unable to use Messages app or iMessage send or receive on your Mac running macOS 11 or macOS Big Sur with effects or Catalina. I Know macOS has the biggest update ever, Are you new Mac user or Setup Clean install macOS. Then you might be not getting or sending a message from your Mac cause of old settings are reset or overwrite.

we are happy to help you, submit this Form, if your solution is not covered in this article.

In this article, we cover all major issues and troubleshooting tips on how to refresh your Mac again to use iMessage.

Thankfully, Apple is abandoning the need to download third-party applications and developing a better world for its customers. If you want to connect with video call, then simply go to FaceTime [Having FaceTime issues], want to pay money then Apple Pay is there for you, etc. Likewise, to text someone without spending extra bucks than use iMessage, only you will need an internet connection. All these facilities are available on almost all devices like Mac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

Though it will take some time to build a stable platform. Till then we have to face and fix our issues whether it is FaceTime Not Working or iMessage waiting for activation. The problem with iMessage in Mac after updating to macOS Mojave to macOS Catalina is, in spite of perfectly logged into iCloud are showing Authentication error, and so iMessage is down in macOS Mojave after Update MacOS Catalina.

iMessage Problems on Mac & MacBook, That Won’t Receive and Send: macOS Not Working

1 iMessage System Status on iPhone with iOS 11

Know Apple System Status for iMessage

My Mac Won’t receive or send Message: is apple server down? Check Apple System Status. Ope this link your Device Browser and look forward to iMessage service. It should be green to work iMessage perfectly in your region. Check out these links for the different regions where you are from?

  • System Status in Canada:
    • https://www.apple.com/ca/support/systemstatus/
  • System Status in France:
    • https://www.apple.com/fr/support/systemstatus/
  • System Status in the UK:
    • https://www.apple.com/uk/support/systemstatus/
  • System Status in India
    • https://www.apple.com/in/support/systemstatus/

Messages app on Mac required valid authentication; First Authenticate your Apple ID in Message app to start New Conversation, receive a message or reply text message.

Before Start your fix, Make sure about Date and Time Updated on Mac with the current location.

  • Open the “Messages app” on Mac using Spotlight Search.
  • Are you using the Message app first time then you need to log in with your Apple ID?
  • After a long time, you haven’t used Mac for Message. Logout and Login Message app on Mac.
  • Go to top Menu” > “Messages” > “Preferences” > “iMessage” > “Sign Out
  • And “Sign in” again.

1 Sign out iMessage on Mac with MacOS Mojave


Unable to log in with Apple ID On Mac’s iMessage or FaceTime app

Reboot your Mac in Safe more works in most cases, my Reader “titioft” share the problem and fix that work for him, boot in safe mode (maintain shift key while powering-on the mac until the beep and the apple logo). That helps you to login back in iMessage & FaceTime.


Everything is Fine then use iMessage for Apple ID

Use Apple ID for iMessage on Mac MacBook

Use Apple ID for iMessage on Mac MacBook

Use Your Apple ID for iMessage if reach message via Phone number is not working or iMessage Deactivated for a mobile number for any reason or not activated. we can set up these things under the Message app’s Preference on Mac. Open Messages On Mac > Preferences from Top Menu > Click on iMessage Tab > Settings Tab > You can be reached for Messages at “Select Apple ID checkbox” that’s it.

Try Reset Then Rebuilt keychain for iMessage on Mac

We can rebuild keychain by simply unlock keychain login and Reset by delete Keychain iMessage from Mac and Restore after restart your Mac. Follow the below sequential steps that most people found helpful who are struggling to use Messages on MacBook or Mac.

  1. From Launchpad, Search Keychain and Open keychain on Mac.
  2. On Keychain window, Click on Login option and From the top menu, File > Unlock Keychain “Login”.

    Unlock Keychain login on Mac

    Unlock Keychain login on Mac

  3. The keychain window will ask to enter your Mac System login password.
    Enter mac password to unlock keychain

    Enter mac password to unlock the keychain

    Once you verified, Your Mac Keychain will be rebuilt. Now Test with Message app, Hopefully, it will work. in it’s not working then delete FaceTime Keychain and Reset with the below steps.

    1. Next, it Reset your iMessages Keychain.
    2. On your Mac’s keychain window, Search “com.apple.facetime” from the top search box.

      Delete FaceTime keychain from Mac computer

      Delete FaceTime keychain from Mac computer

    3. You will find one result, Right-click on and Select Delete Keychain profile. Delete “com.apple.facetime:registrationV2”.

      Delete FaceTime Keychain Profile on Mac

      Delete FaceTime Keychain Profile on Mac

    4. Now Restart your Mac and Re-login your iMessage.
    5. That’s it.

Send and Received Text message from another device that signed in same iMessage account

Use your Mac when your iPhone is nearby, Start sending and receiving a Text message from your Mac, Before that you must have enabled text Message forwarding on iOS device.

  1. To enable Go to the Settings app on the iPhone.
  2. Find and Tap on the Messages option.
  3. Next, Tap on Text Message Forwarding and Enable the toggle for your Mac or Macbook.
  4. That’s it. Now you will get a notification on your Mac when you receive a text message on your iPhone.
Send and Received Text message from other device that signed in same iMessage account

Send and Received Text message from another device that signed in same iMessage account

Delete iMessage Cache File Under the Library

First of all, Open the Finder window on Mac. Now, Go to the top menu and Go > Go to Folder.

Now on your Finder window, New popup windows appear on the screen, Enter the below path and Hit to Go.

  •  ~/Library/Caches

Next, Find the Folder named,

  • com.apple.icloudhelper
  • Com.Apple.Messages
  • Com.Apple.imfoundation

Select the above folder and drag it to a Trash bin. Now Go back to Library Folder and Find Preferences folder. Finder the Below files and folder and delete it.

  • com.apple.iChat
  • com.apple.icloud
  • com.apple.ids.service
  • com.apple.imagent
  • com.apple.imessage
  • com.apple.imservice

After that Reboot your Mac and Try again. I m sure this will fix the issues iMessage not Delivery and failed to send from the macOS message app.


problem 2: Contacts not Showing in iMessage

You are unable to start a new conversation because of no any other device found on Mac. First Sync all the iPhone contacts means iCloud contacts to your Mac.

  • Go to “System Preferences” on Mac.
  • Click on “iCloud” > Login with “Apple ID” if not > Enable or “Keep selected Contacts”.

6 Enable Contact on iMessage on Mac

That’s it.

More, you can create Group chat for text with multiple people at once. Add more contacts and enjoy.

Now, you can search All the Contacts and Apple ID saved in the contacts app. Not necessary all contacts has iMessage enabled.


Problem 3: iMessage not sent: Your message could not be sent

  • Your Message Could Not Be send, Not Register with iMessage
  • You can only send or This Apple ID or number for that iMessage activated.
  • We can set it from the iOS device: First, try to activate iMessage on the Phone number. In case you failed, iMessage Waiting For Activation error than try to enable iMessage on Apple ID.

Activate iMessage on Apple ID from the iOS device:-

1 Enable iMessage on apple ID


Problem 4: iMessage not syncing between Mac (Mojave/Catalina) and iPhone (iOS 12/13)

iMessage not syncing between Mac and iOS Devices

  • Turn on “Sync Now” in Messages app on Mac,
  • Open the “Messages app” on Mac.
  • Go to “Top menu” > “Preferences” > “iMessages” > Enable “Messages in iCloud
  • Also Enable On iOS: Go to the “Setting app” on iPhone > “Profile Name” > “iCloud” > “Turn on Toggle” for Messages.

Sync iMessage in iCloud on Mac


Problem 5: Not Receiving Message for particular contacts or all

You should check Do not Disturb not turned on for the contact from Message app contact details.

  • Open your Conversation, Tap on “Details” at the top-right corner of the app.
  • Uncheck “Do Not Disturb”.

7 Turn off Do Not Disturb on Mac for Message

-> Check Blocked Contacts in iMessage

Contacts added in Blocked list unable to receive iMessage or send from your Mac. First, check the settings and unblock them.

  • Go to the Messages app preference on your Mac (MacOS Mojave/ macOS Catalina), Open “Messages app” > “Preferences” > “iMessage” Tab > “Blocked” Tab > Select “Contact” and Click on (-) sign to remove from list.

1 Check Blocked Contact on Mac


Problem 6: Unable to Sign in Apple ID in iCloud on Mac

  • Try Again or Force Close app, I think it should be okay now.

Log Out of iCloud account on Mac

  • Step 1: Click on the “Apple menu”. Open “System Preferences”.
  • Step 2: Choose “iCloud”.
  • Step 3: Click “Sign Out”.

1 Sign out iMessage on Mac with MacOS Mojave

  • Step 4: Select “Keep a Copy”.
  • Step 5: Download all files locally.
  • Step 6: Click “Keep on This Mac”. This will save credentials locally.
  • Step 7: Reboot Mac.

Re-Launch Messages app on Mac

  • Step 1: Open the Messages app on Mac. Log in with your Apple ID that you use on other devices (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch)
  • Step 2: After login successfully, you now send and receive iMessage on Mac.

Log into iMessage

  • Step 1: Open “iMessage”.
  • Step 2: Enter “iCloud” details.
  • Step 3: Click “Next”.
  • Step 4: Tap “Done”.

Your Mac Stuck on Date and Time Zone [iMessage/FaceTime issues]

Date and Time in Smart device is a crucial part of the system to work correctly, Your Smart device creates a log file that helps to prepare your data and send over at the right time. Sometimes users are looking for Timestamp of the message also called last seen. This point plays an important role here. Now, Let’s check how to do and set it Automatically or Manually depends on where you are? Select contradict options if Date & Time Automatically then select Manually or Manually to Automatic. The reason is some Firewall systems stuck on the update date and time.

  • First Go to the Apple logo on your Mac > System Preference.
  • Next, to This option, Select Date & Time.  Click on the lock icon and enter a password to change the setting right now. Enter your Mac’s username and password. Now uncheck the option, Set Date and Time Automatically.
  • Next, in the same windows, Move to the Time Zone tab. And Manually enter your location here, Click on Wold map to set your country. After change the time zone, close windows and reboot your Mac.

Problem 7: iMessage Sound Not playing on Mac: Mute & Unmute

Check Your Mac’s system sound is turned on.

  • Open Messages app on Mac > Top Menu “Messages” > “Preferences” > “General” Tab > Select “Play Sound effects
  • Do not disturb should be disabled

3 Play Sound Effect for incoming message on Mac


Problem 8: Keep Messages On Mac: iMessage Text

For Messages app on Mac, Open Messages app on Mac

  • Go to “Top menu” > “Messages” > “Preferences…”
  • Next to click on “General” Tab > Select One of three options from the Dropdown list.
  • Forever
  • One Year
  • 30 Days

5 Save Message History on MacOS Mojave

In case you remove the conversation from the list of Messages app.

  • Another option is here that prevents and stays all the conversation after you delete or remove/ Closed.
  • Enable – “Save history when conversations are closed”.

Problem 9: Old Conversation Won’t load or isn’t save

Force Close app and Reopen Messages app on Mac.

Change: Save Received Files to the location for message app on Mac

  • Go to Message preferences page, “Messages” > “Preferences” > “General” > Use Dropdown option and Click on “Other”.
  • Choose Finder location and “save” it.

Problem 10: How to use Tapback on Mac’s Messages app

  • Click and Hold on Message to see quick Tapback options in the popup. Or Right-click on Message to see Tapback option.

2 Tapback on Mac Messages

Problem 11: iMessage Effects Not Working on macOS Big Sur or later

Same like iOS & iPadOS, Your MacOS required system motion effect. We can find the Reduce motion settings on MacOS Under the Accessibility in System Preferences on MacBook, Mac. Follow the Below steps and Play iMessage Screen Effects and Bubble effects on your Messages app on Mac.

  1. Go to the Apple Logo from top Mac Menu > System Preferences.

    Mac System Preferences Option on mac

    Mac System Preferences Option

  2. Now, Select the Accessibility settings.

    Accessibility settings on Macbook mac system preferences

    Accessibility settings on Macbook mac system preferences

  3. Next, select Display from the sidebar and Uncheck the Reduce motion. Now you will play the message effects on the Mac messages app.

    Turn off Reduce Motion on macOS on MacBook and Mac

    Turn off Reduce Motion on macOS on MacBook and Mac

  4. Here’s the test in below screen,

    iMessage Effects on MacBook Mac in macOS

    iMessage Effects on MacBook Mac in macOS

  5. That’s it.

Above are the most common Q&A for iMessage problems that help to fix and answer your questions. More Burning Questions and troubleshooting, please share with us via comments.

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

8 Comments
  1. I tried this with no success. I finally called Apple Support and they asked me to boot in safe mode (maintain shift key while powering-on the mac until the beep and the apple logo). This actually did the trick and helped me logging in back again under iMessage and Facetime with my appleid. I was not able to do that before right after the upgrade.

  2. All the above works for me, but pics and videos… they show they are fine on the Macbook pro, but they she “downloading” on the phones, both mine and the people I am sending it to.

  3. I spent the afternoon with escalated Mojave Tech Support. My MacOS broken Messages app when texting Android devices showing “Messages Not Delivered” has been fixed:
    On each iOS device, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive > Apple ID > Sign Out. FaceTime is joined at the hip with Messages, so then go to Settings > FaceTime > Apple ID > Sign Out. Then on all Macs signed in to the same Apple ID, go to Messages > Preferences > iMessage > Sign Out. Then, on all Macs, launch FaceTime > Preferences > Log out. Then, re-boot all devices and repeat all in reverse order. FIXED!!

  4. I’m having an issue with viewing images in imessage. I used to be able to just click the pic and see it bigger in preview. Now, I have to control click, services, open, confirm service, run service.

  5. The solution to delete caches has a mispelling.

    “~/Library/Cashes”

    should be “~/Library/Caches”

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