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iMessage is a convenient and secure messaging service exclusive to Apple products, but like any technology, it may not always work as expected. If you are having trouble with the service and cannot send messages to some of your contacts, we are here to help.

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Why Is My iMessage Not Working on Certain Contacts?

As reliable as Apple devices and services can be, you may occasionally encounter errors, such as your messages not going through on iMessage. A relatively common complaint with iMessage is that it will inexplicably work for some contacts but not others.

Your iMessage may not work on certain contacts for various reasons. The service may have a bug or configuration problem, or the recipient may have turned iMessage off. Also, the recipient might no longer have an iPhone or other Apple device.

This article will explore some things that might be affecting your iMessage, causing it not to work as expected, as well as some things you can try to get it up and running again.

Why Can’t I Text Someone on iMessage but They Can Text Me?

If someone can text you on iMessage and you are unable to respond, the main reason that this could happen is that the recipient has blocked you. It sucks when this happens unexpectedly, but it happens to even the best of us.

The reason you can’t text someone on iMessage, but they can text you is they’ve blocked you. If a recipient blocks you on iMessage, your messages will not be delivered, but they may still be able to message you.

You may also be able to text them via SMS if they have blocked your Apple ID email and not your cellphone number.

This might not be what you wanted to hear, but it happens. People will block contacts for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it might seem completely random—you’ll be texting them back and forth with no sign of anything being amiss, only to find your messages are no longer going through.

Other Reasons Your iMessage May Not Work for Certain Contacts

Before you start worrying that your friend has blocked you on iMessage, other reasons could prevent your messages from going through.

The Recipient No Longer Uses an Apple Device

People change phones for various reasons—most often, it’s because an aging device isn’t performing as well as it used to, necessitating an upgrade.

You might find that someone who used to use an iPhone has replaced it with one of the many Android devices available. Their Apple ID will still be registered, but they will not be able to receive messages via iMessage.

Before you start thinking that your iMessage is acting up, ask your friend if they have changed devices. You might find that they have recently picked up a new Android device, which means they no longer have access to iMessage.

iMessage Has Not Been Set Up Correctly

In cases where your iMessage texts are not going through, you might find that iMessage has not been set up either on your iPhone or by the person you are trying to text.

Normally, Apple devices will prompt the user to enable iMessage on startup or when inserting a new SIM card, but the individual may have dismissed the prompt for whatever reason.

There Is a Problem With iMessage

iMessage is a reliable service, but like anything, it can have problems that are unrelated to your device or settings. If the servers are down, your messages will not go through.

Visit the official Apple System Status page to check if there is an issue with iMessage servers. If the indicator next to iMessage is red, there is a problem with the server, and the service will not function as intended.

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3 Easy Fixes for iMessage That Won’t Work for Certain Contacts

Before you jump to conclusions and start wondering if someone has blocked you, there are a few things you can try to solve potential configuration issues with iMessage that could be causing it to malfunction.

1. Make Sure iMessage Is Configured Correctly

It happens that, sometimes, your iMessage won’t work properly because of configuration issues. Usually, this is easily rectified by going through the settings and ensuring everything is as it should be.

To ensure your iMessage is configured correctly, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Open the settings page for Messages.
  3. Verify that the slider switch next to iMessage is on – it will be grey if toggled off.
  4. Click on Send and Receive under iMessage.
  5. Verify that there is a tick next to your mobile number under “Start New Conversations From” and that the mobile number and Apple ID are correct.

You might find that you either haven’t activated iMessage or have another activation error.

For example, if you have recently changed your mobile number and the device still has your old one registered, it will not work correctly – toggling iMessage off and on again will prompt the device to reconfigure.

2. Update Your Device

Sometimes, your message won’t go through because of a bug related to a new update you haven’t yet applied. Keeping your device up to date is important to maintain functionality.

Do the following to make sure your device is up to date:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Verify that Automatic Updates are on.
  5. If there are updates available, install them.

Updating your device ensures that it remains fully functional and helps keep your device secure. Using Automatic Updates will help here – you can also set them to install automatically overnight by toggling the relevant option under the Automatic Updates menu.

3. Restart iMessage

If you have verified that your device is up to date and that all the settings are correct, you may need to restart iMessage so it can reconfigure itself.

Restart iMessage with the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Messages menu.
  3. Turn iMessage off.
  4. Restart your device.
  5. Go back to the Messages menu.
  6. Turn iMessage on.

Following this process should refresh your iMessage service. It can happen that your device has some internal error, in which case simply restarting it can resolve the issue.

Turning iMessage off and on will refresh the connection to iMessage servers, which can also become problematic over time for no apparent reason.


As reliable as iMessage is, there are several reasons that could cause it to stop working on certain contacts. Most of the time, you’ll find that the user has switched to a different device without telling you. Still, there could also be configuration issues that are relatively easy to resolve.