iMessage won't verify my phone number. When I try to select my number for messages to be sent, it's greyed out. So I receive my iMessages over email which I don't want to do.

I've tried: turning iMessage on and off, resetting network settings, rebooting my phone and nothing's worked.

Any ideas?

  • What happens when you turn iMessage on on your iPhone? What does it display in text below the iMessage on-off control? Where exactly are you "trying to select your number for messages" and finding it greyed out?
    – Old Pro
    May 19, 2013 at 21:20

5 Answers 5


Looks like you tried all the basic troubleshooting steps. Heres the next step:

  1. Make sure your data is backed up, either iTunes or iCloud.
  2. Turn iMessage off (make sure to do this).
  3. Erase all contents and settings (this will wipe your device.) Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Contents and Settings.
  4. Set the phone up as New (make sure to do this)
  5. Turn on iMessage, wait for it to activate. Once it's activated erase the phone again and restore from your backup.

This was an easy fix for me:

  • Backup on iCloud if you feel like you need to
  • Turn off your iMessage
  • Go and delete all your network settings
  • Let the phone restart
  • Turn on the iMessage again, wait for 10 seconds or so
  • 2
    This seems similar to what the OP says they tried and didn't work? Also more/less same as first answers?
    – beroe
    Oct 2, 2013 at 20:44

You need to sign in to iCloud on your iPhone before it can receive messages via iMessage. After you do that, you can even receive iMessages sent to your email address if you register the address with your Apple ID.


You must have an active cellular plan on your device and be able to send and receive text messages. If you’re out of cellular coverage, do not have a cellular plan at all, or have SMS blocked on your account for some reason, you will not be able to use your phone number for iMessage or FaceTime, as Apple cannot help. Call your carrier and ask them whether SMS are blocked from your phone number. Don't forget update to latest iOS version. If iMessage still cannot verify your phone number, call Apple.


With iOS 8, you can toggle iMessage off and on.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .