Phone Number Is Not Registered With iMessage, Fix

Several users have reported that they are unable to send text messages using iMessage on their iPhone, iPad or Mac. When they attempt to send an iMessage, an error popup appears. The error message says:

Your message could not be sent. +1 217 555 5555 [phone number] is not registered with iMessage.

If you are experiencing this problem, this article explains how you can troubleshoot it.

Phone number is not registered with iMessage.

Why do you see this message?

You may see this message on your iPod touch, iPad or Mac. You see this message because the recipient cannot accept iMessages because the recipient does not have an iPhone or does not have iMessage enabled.

To give more background, iMessage is Apple’s messaging service. And iMessage can only be sent to another iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.  For example, you cannot send an iMessage to an Android phone. You can, however, send a regular text message. This does not mean that you cannot send messages from your Mac or iPad. Here is how:


To fix this problem, you will need to set up text message forwarding. Doing so will enable you to send and receive SMS and MMS messages from your Mac, iPod touch or iPad. This will let you use your iPhone to send and receive any type of message (iMessage, SMS, MMS) on your other Apple devices. This means that you can send and receive messages to and from non-Apple devices. Here is how you can do this:

Before you do the following steps, make sure that you are using the same Apple ID on all of your devices. You can check what Apple IDs are being used:

  • On your iPhone: Tap Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
  • On your Mac: Open the Messages app and then click Messages > Preferences. Then click the iMessage tab. Then you will be able to use your Apple ID.

See also: How To Remove A Device From Your Apple ID Device List


On your iPhone:

  • Tap Settings > Messages.
  • Tap Text Message Forwarding. Text message forwarding
  • Select your other devices.Select devices to forward
  • Note: if you are not using two-factor authentication, you will be shown a code. Follow the onscreen instructions. If you are using two-factor authentication, you are done.


Still having issues?

  • In some cases, you may not see the “Text Message Forwarding” option in Settings. If you are having this problem also, on your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage. Wait one minute. Then turn it on. Wait until it activates.
  • Make sure that your Apple ID and your phone number is selected in Settings > Messages > Send & Receive:
    • There are two sections here: (1) “you can be reached” section and (2) and “start new conversations” section. Please ensure that your phone number and your Apple ID is selected in the “you can be reached” section.
  • When you go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and If you see “Use your Apple ID for iMessage,” select it.
  • Ensure that you sign in with the same Apple ID on your other devices (e.g., your Mac).
  • Make sure that your Mac and iOS devices are running the latest version of the iOS or macOS software:
    • To update your Mac: Click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update. If there is an update available, click Download to install it.
    • To update your iOS device: Tap Settings > General > Software Update. if there is an update available, follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.
  • Make sure that iMessage is turned on on your iPhone. You can check this by going to Settings > Messages.
  • Restart your devices.
  • If you see Your Carrier May Charge For SMS Messages Used To Activate iMessage.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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6 thoughts on “Phone Number Is Not Registered With iMessage, Fix”

  1. I switched from an iPhone to android and now cannot receive text messages from one particular iPhone user. When I tried to deregister my number on apple’s website, it said it wasn’t registered. So how do I fix my issue?

  2. Hi,

    Whenever I try to send an Imessage from my Mac to another Mac; the message “is not registered with iMessage.” pops up. I have read your page above however have not found this helpful. Currently, I have an android phone and my Mac is updated. Any support will be much appreciated.

    Kind regards

  3. I have heard for YEARS that Apple’s MAC is easy to use, and I can communicate
    with non-Apple devices with (relative) ease. Now that I own an iMAC with Catalina OS, I must use “work-arounds” to effectively communicate with non-MAC devices & apps. This seems to be true for iMessages as well.

    Heretofore, I have used PC’s for … approx. 40 years. My frustrations escalate with each use of my iMAC. I have three (3) external WD drives for photo storage (primarily). Total capacity is approx. 11.5 TB. Easy access to these drives (Windows 8) from the iMAC seems to be hit-and-miss. However, after consulting with an Apple Support person, there are less instances of hit-and-miss. I need ZERO instances.

    • Moving to Apple is just that. It is NOT MS Windows. Do not judge from the perspective of Microsoft. You need to forget what you knew and embrace the apple system. If you set up your Apple system in the same way you set up your Microsoft system you are asking for trouble. Help is available from Apple directly and from the Apple community. I spent a very long time with Microsoft – my whole working career. I am so glad I made the change. I will never go back. We have a PC with Windows 10 in the house. I have to use it occasionally. What annoyed me before still annoys me. I am always happy to go back to my Mac desktop.

    • Absolutely agree. Apple used to be known as the simplest. Now it is absolutely frustrating. I have the next to latest Mac, 27 inch monitor and it’s a paper weight.


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