iMessages Not Syncing on Mac – Ultimate Guide to Resolve     

You send an iMessage from your iPhone, expecting it to pop up on your Mac. But it doesn’t. Why?

It’s because messages not syncing on Mac. Needless to say, it disturbs your workflow and connections. However, it’s effortless to solve the issue but the question is, how?

You can do it in two ways: manually and by updating software. In this post, I’ll walk you through everything from the very beginning to finish. So you can solve the problem yourself without being tech-savvy and any hiccups. Let’s start…

Understanding iMessages and Syncing Fundamentals

We should first decode the essentials of Apple’s messaging systems and how they are designed to work in unison. Understanding these basics sets the stage for troubleshooting the sync issues effectively.


It is exclusive to Apple devices, requires an internet connection, and features blue bubbles in the Messages app. Besides,  iMessages allow you a wide range of benefits to use (like group chats, encryption, and digital effects.)

iCloud and Continuity features

iCloud and continuity features play a vital role in moving messages seamlessly from one device to another. Such as


  • Stores your messages and keeps them updated across all your devices.
  • Works in the background to sync your conversations.
  • Requires you to be signed in with the same Apple ID on all your devices.


  • Allows you to start a conversation on one device and continue it on another without interruption.
  • Enables call and message forwarding to your Mac when your iPhone is nearby.
  • Relies on both devices being on the same Wi-Fi network and signed into iCloud.

Convenience of synced messages across all devices

The ultimate convenience of synced messages creates a unified and effortless messaging experience across the  Apple ecosystem.

Seamless Integration

  • You can start a message on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac without losing context.
  • Keep all your conversations up-to-date, whether you’re at home or on the go.

Access Anywhere

  • You can view and respond to iMessages and SMS texts from any device. So, it maximizes your flexibility.
  • Manage group chats and share media across all your Apple devices with ease.

Unified Experience

  • Experience the full range of messaging features, like reacting to messages or using digital touch, across all devices.
  • Stay connected in your Apple ecosystem. It ensures no message ever gets left behind or unseen.

Why Are My iMessage Not Syncing Between iPhone and Mac?

Indeed, facing the imessages not syncing issue is inconvenient. But it’s crucial to understand the common culprits that hold back your iMessages from appearing where they should. Otherwise, it seems too hard to solve the problem. Here, we enlist the 6 not syncing common reasons.

  • Using Different Apple IDs: iMessages relies on a singular Apple ID for syncing. If your devices are logged into different accounts, the devices can’t recognize you. So, syncing won’t happen.
  • iCloud Settings Misconfiguration: Your iCloud settings are the backbone of sync functionality. Incorrect settings can lead to a breakdown in the iMessage syncing process.
  • Server Issues on Apple’s End: Occasionally, the problem is out of your hands. Apple’s servers can have outages and affect iMessage delivery and sync.
  • Network Connectivity Problems: A stable internet connection is essential for syncing Macbooks and iPhones. Flaky Wi-Fi or cellular data can interrupt the sync signal.
  • Sync Feature Not Enabled: Sometimes, the sync feature might be accidentally turned off. It alters the flow of messages to your Mac, and you face no syncing issues.
  • Outdated Software Versions: Software updates often contain fixes for syncing issues. If your devices are not up-to-date, they might not speak the same language anymore.
  • Disabled Text Message Forwarding: A key yet often overlooked aspect is text message forwarding. If you keep the text message forwarding option disabled on your devices, iMessages won’t sync.
  • Incorrect Date and Time Settings: Just like outdated software, wrong date and time settings on your Mac can disrupt iMessage syncing. Because, your devices can’t recognize each other due to mismatched date and time.
  • Limited Message Storage Space: Lastly, never underestimate the impact of storage space. If your iPhone or Mac is running low on space, it can hinder new messages from syncing.

How To Sync iMessage on Mac?

Now, we have reached the main point of our discussion on how to solve  iMessages not syncing on Mac. As we informed you in the intro, there are two ways to solve this problem; manually and automatically by updating software. First, we show you how you can do it manually and then automatically. Let’s start

How to sync images on Mac Manually?

If you love old-school (manual) ways to solve the syncing iMessage on Mac, you can follow these 7 methods.

Method 1: Syncing iMessage

You can try to sync iMessages to Mac manually by checking the messages system. It’s simple and a convenient way to solve the syncing issue. Follow the below steps to do that

  • Step 1: Choose the ‘Messages’ app on your Mac
Choose the Messages app on your Mac
  • Step 2:  Head to the top bar and click on ‘Messages’. From the drop-down, pick ‘Preferences’
Select-Preferences in message
  • Step 3: Hit the ‘iMessage’ tab to see your options
Select iMessage tab to see your options
  • Step 4: Check for a tick next to ‘Enable Messages in iCloud’ — that’s your golden ticket
Enable Messages in iCloud
  • Step 5: Finally, click the ‘Sync Now’ button to get things moving.
click the 'Sync Now' button in imessage

Method 2: Reset iMessages from both devices

Sometimes, a fresh start can do wonders, and the same goes for iMessage when it’s feeling out of sync. Because it refreshes your iMessage connection and helps to sync. To do that,

On your iPhone

  • Step 1: Dive into ‘Settings’
select iPhone Settings Icon
  • Step 2: Scroll to ‘Messages’ and give it a tap.
Scroll to Messages and give it a tap
  • Step 3: Flip the iMessage switch off, putting it on a brief hiatus.
Flip the iMessage switch off

On your Mac

  • Step 1: Open up the ‘Messages’ app
Choose the Messages app on your Mac
  • Step 2: Click ‘Messages’ on the menu bar, then ‘Preferences’, and finally, ‘Accounts’
Select-Preferences in message
  • Step 3: Remove the tick mark from the box next to ‘Enable this account’ for your Apple ID
Uncheck-Enable-Account in message

Give it about five minutes of downtime – think of it as a coffee break for your apps (haha). Then, reignite iMessage on both your devices reversing the steps. Hopefully they start chatting up a storm, back in perfect harmony.

Method 3: Enable Text Message Forwarding

You want your texts to fly from your iPhone to your Mac. Think; is it possible unless you ‘enable text message forwarding’ on iPhone? Absolute, not. Here’s how you can check it

  • Step 1: On your iPhone, head to ‘Settings’ and tap on ‘Messages’.
  • Step 2: Select ‘Text Message Forwarding’.
  • Step 3: From there, turn on the switch for your Mac that you want Sync imessages.

Method 4: Check Mac storage space

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on how much space you have left on your Mac to sync iMessages. Here’s a quick way to check, straight from the Apple playbook:

  • Step 1: Start by clicking on the ‘Apple menu’.
  • Step 2: Then navigate to ‘System Settings’, and select ‘General’.
  • Step 3: Scroll down a bit until you see ‘Storage’ and give that a click.
  • Step 4: Next, hit ‘All Volumes’. This screen will show you the free internal space of your Mac. The light gray area lets you know the available space.

Method 5: Sign Out and Back In

A simple sign out and back is also helpful to sync iMessages on your MacBook. So, this time we’ll share how you can try this method

  • Step 1: Go to ‘Settings’ on your iPhone.
  • Step 2: From there tap ‘Messages’ and  then ‘Send & Receive’.
  • Step 3: Next tap on your Apple ID. It shows you ‘Sign Out’, tap on it.
  • Step 4: Reverse the steps and using your same Apple ID you can  sign back.

Method 6: Check iCloud Sync Settings

If you haven’t yet checked iCloud on your Mac, it’s time to check it. As it plays a vital role to sync iMessages. Here’s how you can ensure it’s set up right.

  • Step 1: Go to the Apple menu and select ‘System Preferences’.
  • Step 2: Click on ‘Apple ID’ and then ‘iCloud’.
  • Step 3: Ensure ‘Messages’ is checked. If not, give it a tick.

Method 7: Sending a Test iMessage

You can send a quick ‘hello’ from your Mac to wake up your iMessage. Here’s how you can do

Choose the Messages app on your Mac
  • Step 2: Click the pencil and paper icon to craft a new message.
craft a new message
  • Step 3: Into the ‘To’ field, type in a contact’s (name, number, or email), or hit the ‘Add’ button to select someone from your contact list.
select someone from your contact list
  • Step 4: Click into the text box and type out a test message – maybe something cheery like ‘Just saying hi!’
type out a test message
  • Step 5: Press ‘Enter’ to dispatch your digital note.

Sending this tester text from your Mac should encourage iMessage to sync up.

Your Mac should catch up with all your iMessages with these steps. If it’s still a no-show, don’t sweat it. There’s more we can try with updating software.

How to sync images on Mac updating software?

Keeping your Mac and iPhone updated is like giving your devices a fresh cup of coffee. It rejuvenates them and keeps them in sync with each other, especially when it comes to iMessage.

On your Mac

  • Step 1: Click the Apple icon on the top left and select ‘System Preferences’
Click the Apple icon and select System Preferences
  • Step 2: Find ‘Software Update’ and click on it. You’ll see if there’s an update waiting.
Find Software Update and click on it
  • Step 3: You’ll have a choice: ‘Update Now’ gives you the latest version of your current OS, while ‘Upgrade Now’ takes you to the newest OS available. Click on it and update the software.
Update macOS

On your iPhone

  • Step 1: Hook up your iPhone to power and connect to Wi-Fi.
Hook up your iPhone to power and connect to Wi-Fi
  • Step 2: Tap ‘Settings’
select iPhone Settings Icon
  • Step 3: Go to ‘General’, and then ‘Software Update’ is your next stop.
Click Software Update
  • Step 4: If you spot an update, tap ‘Install Now’. If it’s a ‘Download and Install’ situation, go for that, punch in your passcode, and set it off.
Install Update Process

With your software fresh and up-to-date, iMessage should keep up with your conversations, no matter which device you’re using.

How To Solve Further Troubleshooting?

If your Mac starts syncing iMessages after following any of these methods, congratulations. But, there are some cases, still you may face a few troubleshooting. If so, you should follow these

Verify Apple ID Sign-In on Both Devices

You should sign into iMessage with the same Apple ID on both your iPhone and Mac. It confirms both ends of a bridge are anchored firmly.

On your Mac

  • Navigate to the menu, and select ‘Preferences’.
  • Next, click on the ‘iMessage’ tab.
  • You can see your Apple ID, and from there, check if you are ‘Signed In’ or not. If not, you should ‘sign In’.

On your iPhone

  • Go to ‘Settings’ and tap your name.
  • And then ‘Name, Phone Numbers, Email’.
  • Check the Apple ID matches the one on your Mac.

Verify Apple’s Server Status

Once you’ve ensured that Messages in iCloud is active, it’s time to look outward to Apple’s servers. Unless it functions properly, you can’t sync iMessage if everything is okay. To do that,

  • Head over to Apple’s System Status page to see if there are any issues with their services.
  • Once you visit the page, you’ll see with a green dot there is written  ‘All services are operating normally’.
  • It indicates the system is okay, and the problem is anywhere else.
  • But unfortunately, if it’s not green, and you don’t see   ‘All services are operating normally’, the systems may not be working properly.
  • In that case, you have nothing to do except wait.

Inspect Your Internet Connection

If Apple’s status page is ok, but iMessages won’t sync that indicates to check your own internet connection. A speedy internet connection is a must for iMessage syncing.

  • First things first, toggle your Mac’s Wi-Fi off and on
  • If that doesn’t help, try moving closer to your Wi-Fi router
  • No luck? It might be time to restart the router itself.
  • And if you’re still offline, reaching out to your broadband provider is your next move.

Cross-check your Contact Details on Apple’s Website

After confirming your internet connection, the next step is to make sure your contact details are correctly listed in Apple’s records because these details are crucial for syncing.

  • Open a web browser and visit
  • Then, sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Click on ‘Personal Information’ from the sidebar menu.
  • Select ‘Contactable at’ to view the email and phone number associated with iMessage and FaceTime.

When to Seek Professional Help?

If you’ve ventured through the forest of self-help fixes without any luck, it might be time to call in the cavalry — that’s where Apple Support steps in.

Reach out to the pros when:

  • You’ve cycled through every troubleshooting step, and your messages are still stuck in limbo.
  • Error messages pop up like uninvited guests, cryptic and persistent
  • Syncing issues persist across multiple network environments or after software updates.

Don’t forget, Apple’s Genius Bar is like a tech sanctuary:

  • Book an appointment if your Mac or iPhone seems to be under a software spell that won’t break
  • When hardware hiccups masquerade as syncing issues, a physical check-up might be due
  • In scenarios where your digital DIY spirit meets its match, Apple’s seasoned experts are your go-to for restoring harmony to your iMessage universe.

Some Useful Tips To Always Get Ready Your Mac To Sync imessages

Embarking on the quest to keep your iMessage in sync doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are some parting pearls of wisdom:

  • Keep your Apple ID consistent across all devices. This is the glue that holds your iMessage universe together.
  • Regularly check for software updates. Because an updated OS is fundamental to guide your imessages well.
  • Backup, Backup, Backup. Before diving into deeper fixes, ensure your data is backed up. It’ll keep you from drifting into data loss.
  • A strong Wi-Fi signal is the lifeblood of cloud services while weak Wi-Fi is often the silent saboteur of syncing. So, ensure you use a strong broadband connection.
  • Sometimes, starting fresh is the best path. Don’t shy away from resetting network settings if things go awry.
  • Post-update, give your devices time to re-establish their digital handshake. Rushing can sometimes lead to more hiccups.

How Long Does It Take To Sync Messages To Mac?

Ok, you have done everything. Now in most cases a question pops up into your mind ‘how much time does it take to sync imessages?’.

First of all, there’s no specific time range to sync your iMessage. It depends on multiple things. Messages don’t take much time (around 5-10 seconds) to sync from Mac to iPhone or iPhone to Mac. You can say, it happens instantly if everything is ok and the number of messages are a few.

But, if there’s any issues (like slow internet connection, sending lots of messages at a time or server problems) it may take up to several minutes.

However, if syncing takes longer than an hour, you should check your settings or restart the process. Because, normally the message syncing process doesn’t take too much time.

If you’re curious about the reasons behind iMessages not syncing and want to explore the role of iCloud, check out our article on “Why Are My iMessages Not in iCloud” for a deeper dive into the syncing process.


If your old messages not syncing to Mac, stay calm. Quick checks and simple updates often solve the problem as we discussed above.

If issues linger, Apple Support is your next stop. Keep this guide close, and you’ll navigate syncing hiccups with ease. Sync success is just a few steps away.

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