iMessage not syncing on Mac? 9 ways to solve

Apple syncs messages from your iPhone to Mac (and vice versa) if both devices use the same Apple ID. If you are not receiving iMessages (or text messages) on your Mac, the following troubleshooting solutions should fix the problem.

Your Mac may not sync iCloud messages and other data over slow or unstable Internet. Make sure your Mac has internet access before attempting to troubleshoot iMessage sync issues.

1. Check the Apple ID and iMessage server status

Go to the Apple System Status webpage in your web browser and check the indicator next to iMessage and Apple ID.

A green indicator means that both services are working correctly, while a yellow or red indicator means that they are temporarily unavailable.

Apple ID and iMessage work hand in hand – Apple uses your Apple ID to sync messages between your devices. Your Mac may not sync messages from your other devices if the iMessage or Apple ID server is down.

Apple fixes server issues in time, so messages from your other devices will sync to your Mac when iMessage is back online.

2. Check the Apple ID and iMessage address

Make sure your Mac uses the same Apple ID account and iMessage address as the other devices.

  1. To open MessagesTo select Messages on the menu bar and select Preferences.
  1. Open the iMessage settings tab and check that the Apple ID is the same as connected to your iCloud devices.
  1. Also, make sure there is a check mark next to the iMessage email address or phone number.

Go to Settings > Messages > Send Receive to check and compare your iPhone’s iMessage addresses. If an address is only active on your iPhone, messages sent to the address will not sync with your Mac.

  1. To select Disconnection if the Apple ID does not match the account on your iPhone or iPad. Your Mac will sync your messages when you log into the same Apple ID on your other Apple devices.

3. Check the date and time settings

Apple may not sync messages to your Mac if the date and time settings don’t match your current location. Connect your Mac to the Internet and set the date and time using Apple’s time server.

  1. To open System Preferences and select Appointment.
  1. Go to the “Date and Time” tab and select the padlock icon in the bottom corner.
  1. Enter your Mac password or use Touch ID to unlock the Date & Time preferences page.
  1. Check the Automatically set date and time box.
  1. Select the “Time Zone” tab and check Automatically sets the time zone using your current location.

4. Manually synchronize messages

macOS has an option to manually sync conversations from your iCloud devices to your Mac. Start a sync if your Mac doesn’t automatically update the conversations. Connect your Mac to a Wi-Fi network and follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Messages app, select Messages on the menu bar and select Preferences.
  1. Head to the iMessage tab and select Synchronize now button.

The sync speed depends on the speed of your Internet connection and the number of messages synced by your Mac. Wait 2-5 minutes and check if the conversations in the Messages app are up to date.

5. Re-enable messages in iCloud

Reactivating the messaging service on your Mac can also fix the sync problem.

  1. To open MessagesTo select Messages on the menu bar and select Preferences.
  1. Go to iMessage tab and deselect Enable Messages on iCloud.
  1. To select Disable this device in the confirmation window.
  1. Check the Enable Messages on iCloud box.

You should see a “Download messages from iCloud” progress bar at the bottom of the Messages app window. Missing messages or conversations should appear on your Mac after the download is complete.

6. Enable the forwarding of text messages

If you are not receiving text messages on your Mac, check that “Text Message Forwarding” is enabled on your iPhone.

Open your iPhone Settings app, tap MessagesTo select Forwarding of text messagesand enable text message forwarding for your Mac.

Your devices must use the same Apple ID for text message forwarding to work. If your Mac is not on the message forwarding page, connect your Mac to your iPhone’s Apple ID and double check.

7. Restart your devices

Turning off your computer and resetting it can fix sync issues and other Mac problems. Make sure you close all applications before restarting your Mac so you don’t lose unsaved data.

Select the Apple logo on the menu bar and select Restart in the Apple menu.

8. Disable and enable iMessage on your iOS device

Waking up iMessage on your iPhone or iPad can restore message sync on your Mac.

Go to Settings > Messagesswitch off iMessageand turn it back on.

Wait for your network operator to activate iMessage and check if your device is now syncing messages to your Mac. Find out what to do if your device gets stuck in the “Waiting for activation” step.

9. Update your devices

Apple often releases updates for iOS and macOS that introduce new features and fix problems with Apple apps and services. Update the operating system of your devices to the latest version and check if the messages are now syncing with your Mac.

To update your Mac, go to System Preferences > Software update and select Update now (or Update now).

Go to Settings > General > Software update and touch Download and install to update your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Your iPhone could be the culprit

If the problem persists, it is likely that your iPhone or iPad is not uploading / syncing your messages to iCloud. Make iMessage work properly on your iPhone and Apple will sync the messages to your devices without any problems.

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