With the same Apple ID configured on your iPhone / iPad and MacBook, messages (sent and received) can be accessed on all connected devices. While syncing is intuitive and works seamlessly, there are times when handshaking from iOS data to macOS does not work well, especially for Apple apps and services. Without wasting any time, let’s see what to do when iMessage won’t sync on your MacBook.
First, make sure your Mac has an active internet connection that works consistently. It is important. If you want, try restarting your Mac before implementing any of the solutions below. You can also go to the methods below and restart your Mac only if none of the five (5) troubleshooting fixes in this guide restore iMessage sync to your Mac.
1. Check iMessage addresses
Go through the iMessage settings on both devices and verify that they are configured to send and receive messages on the same addresses.
Step 1: Go to Settings and select Messages.
2nd step: Tap “Send & Receive”.
Step 3: Note the address (es) enabled for iMessage on your iPhone.
Now go to your Mac’s iMessage settings to confirm if you have enabled the same address.
Step 4: Launch the Messages app on your Mac and tap Messages in the top left corner of the menu bar.
Step 5: Then select Preferences.
Step 6: Go to the iMessage section.
Step 7: Make sure that the active iMessage address or numbers on your iPhone (in step 3) is also checked in the iMessage settings menu on your Mac.
2. Activate iMessages in iCloud
You may also experience issues syncing messages on your devices if iMessage is not synced with your iCloud account. Try to reconfigure the iCloud configuration of your devices to include iMessage and see if that helps.
Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and tap on your Apple ID account name.
2nd step: Then select iCloud.
Step 3: Finally, turn on Messages.
Skip to step 4 to do the same on your MacBook.
Step 4: Launch the Messages app and tap Messages in the menu bar.
Step 5: Select Preferences from the context menu.
Step 6: Go to the iMessage tab and check the option “ Enable messages in iCloud ”.
If this option is already enabled, click the Sync Now button to retrieve messages from your Apple ID devices to the MacBook.
You should see a message in the lower left corner of the Messages app informing you that the messages are being downloaded from iCloud.
Wait for this process to finish and check if messages from your iPhone or iPad are showing on Mac.
3. Check the device date settings
On iOS and macOS, the proper functioning of some apps and features depends on the correctness of the “Date and time” configuration of your device. For example, you might not be able to install an app from the App Store if the date and time on your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook is incorrect. It could also disrupt the synchronization of calls and messages between your Apple ID devices.
Make sure your iPhone / iPad and MacBook are set to automatically update their “Date and Time” settings. You should also make sure that they are both set to the correct time zone and location. Here’s how to do it.
Check date and time on iPhone / iPad
Step 1: Launch the iPhone settings menu and tap General.
2nd step: Select “Date and time”.
Step 3: Activate the Set automatically option.
Check the date and time on Mac
Step 1: Launch System Preferences and select “Date & Time”.
2nd step: Tap the lock icon in the lower left corner of the menu to change your Mac’s “Date & Time” settings.
You’ll be prompted to enter your Mac password or authenticate using Touch ID.
Step 3: Check the “Set date and time automatically” box.
Step 4: Then go to the Time Zone tab and check the box next to “Set time zone automatically using current location”.
4. Reactivate iMessages
If iMessage still won’t sync with your Mac, try turning off email service on your Apple ID devices.
Reactivate iMessage on iPhone / iPad
Step 1: Open Settings and select Messages.
2nd step: Disable iMessage.
Step 3: Wait about a minute and turn it back on.
Wait for iMessage to be activated. When finished, you should receive a prompt on your MacBook informing you that your number is now in use for iMessage on a new device (iPhone or iPad).
Note: Your network operator may charge you for (re) activating iMessage on your iPhone or iPad.
Reactivate iMessage on Mac
Step 1: Open the Messages app and click on Messages in the menu bar.
2nd step: Select Preferences.
Step 3: Go to the iMessage tab and click on the Sign Out button.
Step 4: Click Logout when prompted and iMessage will be immediately logged out of your Mac.
Step 5: To reactivate iMessage, enter your Apple ID credentials in the box provided and click Next.
Note: Disabling iMessage will not erase your chat history or media files.
5. Update macOS
As far as we know, this issue could also be caused by a bug that was present in your MacBook’s operating system version. Download and install the latest macOS on your device and check if that brings iMessage back to normal. To update your Mac, go to System Preferences> Software Update and click the Update Now button.
Don’t miss the messages
As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, restarting your Mac can help. So, do it if iMessage still won’t sync with your device. And if that doesn’t give any positive results, sign out of Apple ID from your Mac and sign back in. Leave a comment below if you have any comments or need additional help.
Want to use iMessage on an iPad or iPhone without a SIM card? Read the tutorial linked below to learn how to set up iMessage to work on iPhone and iPad without SIM card or phone number.
Last updated on Nov 10, 2020
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