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I bought an iPhone 3GS and tried to activate iMessage on it, but it won't work. I tried everything to activate it, but it still says "waiting for activation". What should I do?

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What OS is loaded on the iPhone? – bmike Nov 19 '12 at 16:15

A few of the things that are under your control are as follows:

It's hard to guess what exactly is wrong, but you also can edit your question to list what steps you have done to troubleshoot this and perhaps someone can guess or point out a missed step.

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If no other messages appear (e.g. incorrect username or password for your iCloud account), that typically indicates that there's a problem contacting or getting authorization from Apple's iMessage servers. I've had that happen periodically when setting up or resetting iMessage on an iOS device.

Unfortunately, as it's a problem on Apple's end, there's not much to be done other than wait and try again periodically by turning iMessage off, then on again. At times when I've run into it, it's typically resolved itself within 5 to 30 minutes, sometimes even less.

If you still can't get it working within a few hours, then amend your question with that information and/or contact Apple.

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I had the same problem with locked Sprint iPhone 5. Im using R-SIM7 for unlock and couldn't activate my phone, SMS, 3G, iMessages and Facetime wasn't working (Waiting for activation). Long story short, I managed to fix:

  1. To fix this you need to jailbreak with evasi0n and download iFile from cydia(or you can just use ifunbox).

  2. Go to (CarrierLab.bundle or 00101 folder) /System/Library/Carrier Bundles/iPhone/00101/carrier.plist

    • back up the file carrier.plist (just in case)
    • Go to the following line and add +011 so it looks like +011447786205094 <key>PhoneNumberRegistrationGatewayAddress<string>+011447786205094</string>

    • SAVE

  3. Now go to /System/Library/CarrierBundles/iPhone/Unknown.bundles/carrier.plist

    • ADD -> "+011" To all the 10 numbers you see. <key>PhoneNumberRegistrationGatewayAddress</key><string>+011447537410207</string>
    • SAVE
  4. Now go to /System/Library/Carrier Bundles/iPhone/[carrier that your phone is locked to]/carrier.plist

    • Find SMS perfix under <key>international</key> and delete "011" value so it looks like <string></string>

    • SAVE

  5. To fix 3G go to /System/Library/Carrier Bundles/iPhone/Unknown.bundles/carrier.plist find <key>SIMs</key><array> and copy all those "xxxxx" number from there and now go to /System/Library/Carrier Bundles/iPhone/carrier that your phone is locked to/carrier.plist4. and find this line:

    • <key>intldataroamingallowed</key>
    • <array> paste here </array>
    • SAVE then reboot.
    • If 3G still not working change to correct APN using
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I have been reading forums and tried different solutions and what worked for me was to switch off 'Send as sms'.

My iMessage is still 'waiting for activation' but iMessaging works and so does regular sms

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I faced this problem before and fixed it by logging out then logging in my Apple ID. There are couples of other methods that you can see at here.

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Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. – patrix Oct 13 '15 at 13:02

I would also do a hard restart between attempts. Hold down sleep button and Home at the same time for abt. 10 seconds, wait for Apple logo to reappear.

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Try logging into iTunes. Not sure what this would have done but it worked for me...

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