iMessage is stuck in "Waiting for activation" mode.

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  • Updated 5 months ago
PROBLEM: my iMessage is stuck in "Waiting for activation" mode.  I have tried dozens of online troubleshooting tips, but nothing works. BACKGROUND: I have an iPhone 5c which I'm using in Africa for 6 months.  I had Koodo unlock my phone so I could use a local SIM card, and am paying the monthly Koodo fee to suspend my account so I can keep my phone number.  For the first three weeks in Africa, I have had no problem using iMessage and FaceTime with my family in Canada.  However, I recently upgraded to iOS 10.2.1 and now neither works.  When I go to Messages>iMessage>Send&Receive, my Koodo phone number is greyed out and the spinning icon just keeps spinning.  I don’t know whether I should de-install iOS 10.2.1.  Help?
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Posted 1 year ago

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Ivan, Mobile Master

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If you're still in Africa, you may be stuck without iMessage. You can't roll back the iOS update.

In order to activate iMessage, you need your phone to be connected to a carrier that supports iMessage activation. Clearly this isn't the case with your provider now in Africa.
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David, Mobile Master

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I believe this is your issue: iMessage is trying to confirm your account by sending a text / SMS /iMessage to your Koodo phone number. As it has been temporarily disconnected, the message cannot complete, and confirmation does not occur.

Here are steps you might try to address this:
Make sure your Apple ID is up to date in your phone.
Add your current Africa phone number to your iMessages account through iCloud
Possibly temporarily remove your Koodo number from iCloud.
You may need to be on Wi-Fi for much of this to happen.
If you have set up two-factor authentication, you will likely need another trusted device to receive confirmation codes.

Last option would be to remove the vacation hold, so SMS can reach you Koodo number.

I do not believe rolling back to previous versions of iOS will fix this issue, as the confirmation still has to occur.