How to Use iMessage on iPhone and iPad Without a SIM and Phone Number

How to Use iMessage on iPhone and iPad Without a SIM and Phone Number

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Using iMessage in this way is convenient for parents who want their children to send and receive messages without a phone number. It’s not rocket science to set up iMessage without a phone number.

Let’s see how to use iMessage without number and SIM card on iPad and iPhone.

iMessage vs. SMS

Before moving on to the steps, it’s important to know what iMessage is and how it works. As mentioned earlier, iMessage is Apple’s own instant messaging service, like WhatsApp. You can send and receive messages between different Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac. iMessage is not supported on other platforms like Windows, Android, etc. You can send messages like pictures, videos, location, audio document, etc. via iMessage to other Apple users.


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The iMessage service is present in the standard Messages app. And the SMS too. But the SMS service needs a working phone number and a SIM card to work. You can also send text messages to non-Apple users. But if your phone number does not work or if a SIM card is not inserted in your device, you will not be able to send or receive SMS. This is not the case with iMessage. You can use it without a phone number or SIM card installed on your current device.

The iMessage service can be used with a phone number, Apple ID, or both. It only works when you have a working internet connection. This can be via mobile data (if a SIM card is installed) or Wi-Fi. If the internet is not working, iMessages will not be sent or received.

How to use iMessage without SIM or phone number

The answer to this question is simple. Since iMessage also works with Apple ID, you need to select the same in the Messages app setting to use iMessage without SIM card or phone number. And of course, a working internet connection is also required. Basically, you will be identified by your Apple ID in iMessage when you use it without a phone number,

Here are the steps to set up iMessage without phone number or SIM on your iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: Make sure an iCloud account is added on your iPhone or iPad. To check or add this go to Settings and you’ll see a message at the top that says Add Account in case you haven’t. Tap on it to add your account. In most cases, you should have added an Apple ID when you activated your iPhone or iPad. Tap on your name and you will see the registered Apple ID.


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2nd step: Go to settings and then to messages. Turn on the toggle next to iMessage in case it is disabled. If the toggle is green, it means iMessage is active. If you are setting up iMessage for the first time, you will see the message “Waiting for activation”. Activation can take up to 24 hours. So be patient.

Pro tip: If no Apple ID is added to your device, you will be prompted to sign in at this point.


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Step 3: Tap Send & Receive. Here you will see your registered Apple ID and phone numbers if iMessage has been activated using a number on another Apple device. Tap your Apple ID under “ You can receive and reply to messages ” to make it the default send or receive address.


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If you don’t see an Apple ID, tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage. Select your Apple account and you are good to go.


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Usually, when there is no SIM card on the device, Apple automatically moves the profile to an email id. But sometimes it doesn’t happen and users can’t send or receive iMessages when using different SIM card or not. To resolve this issue, go to Settings> Messages> Send & Receive. Select the email address or phone number you want to use for iMessage. Restart the phone.

Pro tip: In a nutshell, you just need to select your Apple ID under Settings> Messages> Send & Receive to send messages over Wi-Fi without a SIM card. Even if you see Awaiting Activation, you can send and receive messages using your Apple ID.

Also on Guiding Tech

What will work in iMessage without a phone number or SIM card

With the exception of regular SMS, all other iMessage features work fine. You can send text messages, documents, videos, links, photos, etc. to other Apple users. You can turn read receipts on or off. You can even FaceTime without having a phone number or SIM card.

Troubleshoot: iMessage not working

If iMessages doesn’t work by following the steps above, restart your iPhone or iPad. Sometimes a simple solution like this works wonders.

If possible, insert your SIM card only once into one of your Apple devices registered with the same Apple account that you use on your current iPhone or iPad that does not have a SIM card or phone number. Authorize iMessage once with your number. That’s all. Now you can use iMessage on any of your iPad or iPhone with the same Apple account without worrying about having a SIM card.

Third, make sure your Apple ID shows up under Settings> (Your name)> Name, phone numbers, email> Contactable at. Tap Edit to edit or add a new account.


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Is iMessage free

Yes and no. Messages in any form (text, documents, images, etc.) that you send via iMessage do not count towards your SMS or MMS quota. Since iMessages are transmitted over the Internet, data charges (Wi-Fi or mobile data) will apply depending on the content of the message. Videos will consume more data than simple text messages.

Then:

If you are unable to use iMessage, sign out of your Apple ID and add it again. Find out what’s going on by signing out of Apple ID from the following link.

Last updated on Oct 15, 2020

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