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I have iMessage on my Mac and iPhone.

I treat iMessage on my phone as the primary tool. Mac iMessage is convenient to send messages occasionally, but my Mac is not always connected to the internet.

A message has been delivered to my Mac, and after several hours it has not appeared on my phone. I have tried logging out of iMessage. Turning iMessage off. restarting by holding down home and power. waiting ten minutes and reconnecting.

Can't make it budge. I have had an ongoing conversation since then.

  • I don't think your question is a duplicate, but you may find this answer useful. Try making sure the addresses and numbers are all matching per those instructions, and see if that helps. If there are any changes that need to be made, you may then need to wait/reboot/etc. to force the sync. – Timothy Mueller-Harder Dec 30 '16 at 7:53
  • thanks for the quick reply. the linked answer and a multitude of articles online all point to having the correct details in the settings of the Mac and iPhone - which of course they already were, as a long time user. I turned thing off and on for good measure. – jakethedog Dec 30 '16 at 8:01
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I have no solid reference to back this up, but I have seen it empirically many times over many years & devices.

Once a message has been received & read by your account, no matter what device, other devices will no longer receive that message.

There may be a timeout period - as you can clearly see when you have your phone & Mac next to each other, receiving at the same time. The one that last 'spoke' will be the one on which an incoming message will actually 'ping' & the other will wait about a minute before also pinging...

...But if one is off [& this is the bit about which I have no real information ... how long it needs to have been off & remain off], & the message is received & read on the other, then the first will never receive the message at all.

The same can be seen if your phone is outside reception range & a message is received on the Mac [at home]. You only discover the message when you get back home.

See related: How to tell Messages "I'm not at home"?

  • Such a pain. Most messages are delivered to all devices simultaneously, so the solution posted in that answer is really overkill. It may be as I think you are suggesting in your answer that the message is broadcast, but if one device times out (I think I may been on a train at the time) it doesn't try again if it gets picked up by at least one device. – jakethedog Dec 31 '16 at 1:02
  • Yes, it appears to timeout if one device has already received the message. The linked question was more a case of "You're not alone, this has been going on a while" & we never actually got a satisfactory resolution to it. – Tetsujin Dec 31 '16 at 9:42

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