Messages Not Updating On MacBook: Here’s What You Can Do!

Is your MacBook failing to keep up with your messages, leaving you frustrated and disconnected?

There are various causes for this issue, but a primary one is having a poor internet connection. An active internet connection is essential for using iMessage and synchronizing it with your Mac. Furthermore, inadvertent sign-out from your Apple ID can also result in this problem.

There can be few other reasons also, so if you are having issues with messages on your Macbook keep on reading to learn more!

How Does iMessage Work on Mac?

Apple introduced a messaging app known as iMessages which ensures you can send and receive text messages from anywhere without any carrier charges and using only the internet.

How does iMessage work on Mac

You can send an infinite number of messages using Apple’s messaging service to other users of Apple products, including iPhones and Macs. The iMessage works in the same way as other online messaging apps like facebook messenger and Whatsapp.

So, you do not need any sim or carrier charges to use the iMessage on your Mac and the only cost is the internet cost.

All you will need to do is sign in to iMessage with iCloud ID and you are done. Now you send iMessages to anyone within your contacts using iPhone, iPad or Macs.

Additionally, if you use the same iCloud ID for your iPhone/iPad and Mac then all of your messages will sync between the devices.

What Causes Messages Not To Update On Macbook?

If your messages are not getting updated on Macbook then it can be quite annoying and this can happen due to a few different reasons.

  • No internet connection
  • You have signed out or of your Apple ID or you used a wrong ID
  • Wrong iMessage setting on Mac and iPhone
  • Internal system bugs
  • Problems with iCloud synchronization

How to Fix Messages From Not Updating On Macbook?

You already know the most prevalent reasons that can prevent messages from being updated on your macbook. To your luck these issues are solvable and we will go with a step-by-step approach to fix these problems.

Restart your Mac

If iMessage isn’t updating on your MacBook, it can be due to temporary bugs. You can often fix these bugs by just a simple restart of your computer.

Restart your Mac

Click on the Apple menu at the top left corner of your macbook screen and here you will find the “Restart” option. Restart the macbook and wait for it to turn back on; it should fix the message update issue if it was due to temporary bugs.

Make Sure You Are Signed in

If you have signed out of messages on Macbook then iMessage won’t work properly. On your Mac, launch Messages and go to Settings from the Messages menu.

Make sure you are signed in iMessage

Here you can see if you are signed in with your Apple ID or not; if you are using iMessage on both mac and iPhone then make sure this ID is the same.

In case you are using 2 different Apple IDs on your macbook or iPhone then your texts won’t sync between the devices.

Check iMessage Settings

At first you will need to check message settings on your iPhone/iPad. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and choose Send & Receive under Messages.

Check iMessage settings
choose Send & Receive under Messages

Check out the email addresses and phone numbers given below.  Here, you can confirm whether a check mark appears in front of the email address and mobile number that you are using for iMessage. You can also change the credentials as required.

check mark appears in front of the email address and mobile number that you are using for iMessage

After you have checked the settings on your iPhone, you will need to check the settings on your Mac. Just like the previous step, open messages app and select “preferences” and here you can see a list of all the email ID and phone number connected with iMessage.

Turn iMessage on and Off

Turning iMessage on and off is one of the quick fixes you can try to fix messages not updating on your macbook. First, go to the message settings on your mac and deselect the “Enable messages in iCloud”. Wait for some time and select it back again.

Turn iMessage on and off

You will need to do the same with iMessage on your iPhone/iPad; go to settings and scroll down to messages, then toggle the slider beside iMessage to turn it off.

Enable the toggle near iMessage

Again wait for a few minutes and turn it on again. Now check if the messages are getting updated on your Mac or not.

Your Devices Needs to Have an Active Internet Connection

As you might already know, iMessage requires active internet connection to work properly. So, if your mac doesn’t have any internet connection then your messages will not get updated.

Hence, make sure that your macbook has an internet connection before trying to message. Also check if you have turned or Airplane mode as it cuts down network connection temporarily.

Check if Apple Server is Working Properly

Sometimes, messages cannot get updated on your macbook due to issues with iCloud synchronization which happens when the server is down.

Check if Apple Server is working properly

Apple servers usually do not get down but it is possible that the server can go down when it’s getting updated or they are trying to fix some issues in it.

To check if the Apple server is working properly or not, go to their system page following this webpage. Here you can see a complete list of resolved issues, maintenance list and everything else.

If the servers are down, the only option left for you is to wait for Apple to fix the issues.

How To Sync Messages From iPhone to Mac?

Before trying any fixes when messages are not updating on Mac, you should make sure that your iMessage from iPhone is properly synced to mac. Keep on reading to know how

Setting up iMessage syncing on iPhone

  • Step 1: Fix some settings on your iPhone, go to settings on your iphone and enter messages.
Check iMessage settings
  • Step 2: Make sure your phone number, Apple ID, and any related email addresses are listed in the “You Can Receive iMessages to and Reply From” section of the same Messages settings on your iPhone.
choose Send & Receive under Messages

You are done setting up iMessage syncing on your iPhone, now move onto your Mac

Settings for Syncing iMessage on Mac

Open Message app on your macbook and select preferences; inside it go to “iMessage ” and sign in with the same Apple ID as you used to sign in inside your iPhone.

Settings for syncing iMessage on Mac

Also select all the other IDs and numbers that you have listed inside message settings on your iPhone. After you are done click “Sync Now” and all iPhone will be synced with Mac.

After you are done syncing iMessage between these devices, you can move forward in syncing regular messages also.

Setting Up Message Syncing in iPhone

Inside of the message settings, scroll below and you will see an option “Text Message forwarding”. Enter it and you will see a list of synced devices with your iPhone, toggle the slider beside your mac and now you will also receive text messages on your Macbook.

choose Send & Receive under Messages

Tips To Update Messages On Macbook Quickly

If your messages are taking too long to update on your Macbook, then take a look at our tips below. These tips will help you to update messages quicker.

  • Allow Automatic updates when they are available to make sure your Messages app is always up to current.
  • Keep your iPhone/iPad and MacOS always updated with the latest operating system.
  • Messages may not update in the background if you’re using the “App Nap” feature. Disable this to allow faster and regular message updates
  • Sometimes restart your macbook to get rid of any temporary bugs and problems and free up the RAM.

If you’re experiencing issues with iMessages syncing, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on ‘iMessages Not Syncing on Mac‘ for solutions and troubleshooting tips.


If you are still having some questions regarding messages not updating on your Macbook then read our FAQs below to clear all your confusions.

Can lack of storage cause issues with messages updating on your Macbook?

Yes, lack of storage can cause many issues with the proper functioning of applications like Messages on your Macbook. Even though messages take up very less storage space however, attachments that come in iMessages do take up a lot of space. So,when space runs out on your mac newer messages can have an issue on downloading in the server.

Why can’t I sync messages across any devices?

Ensure that you have the same Apple ID logged in to iMessage across all of your devices like iPhone/iPad and Mac. Using different Apple IDs prevents message syncing. Additionally, select which devices your iPhone can use to send and receive text messages.

Can I use iMessage without any internet connection?

No iMessage doesn’t work with internet connection, even if you do not have WiFi you will need to use a data plan for this to work. However, without an internet message app will still work and iMessages will go through as regular text messages which will cost you carrier charges.

How To Reinstall Messages App On Macbook?

Message is a pre-installed application that comes with your Macbook so it is possible to delete it. So, there’s a high chance you may have positioned it somewhere else. So, open the finder and search for a message and hopefully it will show up.

Final Words

If your messages are not getting updated on your Mac then this can be quite annoying as you can miss getting your important messages on time.

But this issue is always related to software or some internal settings which makes it easier to fix.

Following these quick fixes you can fix the issue yourself without spending any money for the fixing.

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