Why Are My iMessages Not in iCloud El Capitan? [Fixed 2024]

So, you upgraded your Mac to El Capitan, and suddenly, iMessage stopped loading on your Mac. The Messages work fine on iOS devices, though. So, what exactly is going wrong?

Your iMessage will not load in El Capitan if you use two separate Apple IDs on your Mac and iPhone. Also, you must ensure text messages are forwarded to your Mac. Finally, check if the iCloud option is checked in the iMessage Settings on your Mac.

So, let’s go ahead and see how we can fix messages not loading on your Mac, right in this article.

Why Does iMessage Not Sync in iCloud on Mac OS El Capitan?

A fair share of users had problems when iMessage failed to load on their Mac. It can happen due to any of the following reasons:

  • iMessage is not configured properly on iPhone and Mac.
  • The same Apple ID is not logged in to both devices.
  • Text Message Forwarding is not enabled from your iPhone.
  • You did not enable messages from iCloud on your Mac.

Some reasons may sound rudimentary, but we often forget to properly set up iMessage. That would indicate why messages arrive on your iPhone, but the Mac won’t show it.

How to Fix iMessage Not Synchronizing on Mac OS El Capitan?

We have listed some possible reasons why your Mac is unable to load your messages. Check these fixes one by one and verify that iMessage is working properly.

So, the first thing to check would be:

1. Check if Your Apple ID is Used for iMessage 

The first thing to check on your iPhone and Mac is to see whether both devices have the same Apple ID logged in. You can simply go into your iPhone’s Settings, and you will see the email associated with that account listed.

Check if Your Apple ID is Used for iMessage

On a Mac, open Settings and click on your user account. See if the same email shows here. If that’s okay, then you can move on to the next steps. Otherwise, you have to sign in again using your Apple ID.

This is how to sign in your Apple ID to your Mac:

  • Click the Apple Menu and open System Settings.
Click on Messages from the Apple menu and open Settings
  • Press the Sign in option.
  • Enter your Apple ID email password and press Next.
Enter your Apple ID email password and press Next
  • Provide the verification code sent to your iPhone and press Continue. If you have an iPad where the same ID is logged in, you can check out there, too.
  • Enter your Mac OS password when the system asks for it.
Enter your mac password

Mac OS would now ask permission for some apps to sync data between the devices. Accept these, and you should see the Apple ID listed next to your username in the Mac Settings.

2. Turn on Messages in iCloud

So, the same Apple ID is on your Mac and iPhone. Let’s move on to iMessage and configure it properly.

First, check if Messages are enabled to save on the cloud from the iPhone. Plus, enable text messaging forwarding. You also need to enable iCloud messages from your Mac.

Configure iPhone’s iMessage settings:

  • Go into your phone’s Settings.
Go into your phone’s Settings
  • Tap on Messages.
Tap on Messages
  • Enable the toggle near iMessage.
Enable the toggle near iMessage
  • Locate Text Message forwarding by scrolling down and open it.
Locate Text Message forwarding by scrolling down
  • Press the toggle next to your Mac’s model name.
Press the toggle next to your Mac’s model name
  • Go back to your Settings page and open iCloud.
Go back to your Settings page and open iCloud
  • Go to Messages under Apps using iCloud.
Go to Messages under Apps using iCloud
  • Turn on the toggle near Sync this iPhone.
Turn on the toggle near Sync this iPhone

So far, so good, right?

Now go to your Mac and complete the remaining iMessage configuration there.

Configure iMessage on iPhone:

  • Open iMessage.
  • Click on Messages from the Apple menu and open Settings.
open System Settings
  • Press the iMessage tab.
Press iMessages tab
  • Mark the checkbox near Enable Messages in iCloud.
  • Ensure all iCloud email addresses are marked.
  • Press the Sync Now button.

Close the settings and iMessage. Depending on your internet speeds, it takes some time before all messages load up on your Mac. Because all previous messages are downloaded locally to your Mac. 

Now open iMessage. See if the old messages load or not.

3. Turn iMessage On/Off

If the older messages still do not show up, go check if Apple’s services are working properly. A server outage will mean you will experience delays in loading up newer emails and messages.

After this, turn off iMessage on both iPhone and Mac.

What this does is it clears any issues with the messaging service from loading on your Mac. This is very similar to turning Wi-Fi off and then back on in your phones when they do not work.

Turn on/off iMessage on iPhone:

  • Go to your Settings.
  • Scroll down and find Messages.
Tap on Messages
  • Disable iMessage by tapping on the toggle.
Disable the toggle near iMessage
  • Enable iMessage after some time.

Turn on/off iMessage on Mac:

  • Open iMessage.
  • Click on Messages > Preferences from the Apple Menu.
Navigate to Messages _ Preferences from the Apple menu
  • Press the iMessage tab.
  • Remove the checkbox near Enable Messages in iCloud.
Press iMessages tab
  • Select Disable this Mac from a pop-up that asks for your permission.
  • Wait a few minutes and mark the checkbox near Enable Messages in iCloud.

If your internet works perfectly, the old messages should turn up on the Mac very soon.

5. Sign Out of iMessage Across Mac and iPhone

It is also a good idea to sign out of iMessage and log back in on your Mac. If this works, it was probably a glitch in the iCloud server that was causing it.

Log Out of iMessage on Mac:

  • Open iMessage.
  • Navigate to Messages > Preferences from the Apple menu.
Navigate to Messages _ Preferences from the Apple menu
  • Click on iMessage.
  • Press the Sign Out button.
Press the Sign Out button

Once you do this, your Apple ID info no longer exists on iMessage. The next time you open it, Mac OS asks you to enter your Apple ID email and password. As you provide this, iMessage will load up your messages.

6. Reset NVRAM on Mac      

Resetting your Mac is a good idea if you reached this point and iMessage is still not working properly. The process typically involves removing the temporary files stored by Mac OS in the NVRAM and PRAM.

We have checked most iMessage settings in Mac OS, and they seem to work pretty well. There are also no iCloud server outages. So, the only problem may lie in your Mac OS.

These temporary files on Mac OS can sometimes get corrupted. This can make some services not work properly. One of those could be iMessage.

This process does not remove any personal files or apps. Your Mac and its files will remain unchanged.

This will reset your Mac’s NVRAM:

  • Turn off your Mac.
  • Press the power button.
  • Immediately press these keys at the same time: Option + Cmd + P + R
  • Let go of the keys when you hear the second startup sound. For Macs with T2 processors, release them after the Apple logo appears.

When the Mac boots up, correctly set up the startup disk and set the system time. Open iMessage when Mac OS finishes loading up. See if this fixed the issue.

Additional Reasons Why iMessage Will not Sync on Your Mac

Also, consider going over some common troubleshooters when iMessage does not work on your Mac. It is a good idea to check these out, even if they seem pretty rudimentary.

1. Unstable Internet Connection

Your Mac will download the messages from the iCloud server. If Mac OS faces a problem connecting to the server, you will experience a delay. This can be due to a bad internet connection on your end or when the iCloud server is facing downtime.

So check that there are no internet connectivity issues. Run a speed test on the Mac and on another device in the same network. This will help eliminate the situation of whether the problem lies on Mac’s end.

2. Unsupported MacOS Version

Even though we specifically mention Mac OS El Capitan in this article, that is not supported anymore. So, maybe iMessage has stopped the OS version that you are running on your Mac. That can be a reason why you cannot get your message on your Mac.

As MacOS gets old, its security certificates are not recognized by the server that it is trying to connect to. In our case, it is iCloud. So, as a defensive measure, the server will block any incoming connection request. And the Mac would be unable to sync the latest messages.

So, check out the Apple support page for iCloud and see if your Mac OS supports the latest version of iMessage. If Apple has stopped supporting the Mac OS version, it is time to upgrade it or get a newer Mac.

3. iCloud Storage Full

At its heart, iCloud is similar to any other cloud storage. The free plan gives you 5GB of space to store your messages and personal files. Once this space fills up, the newer messages will no longer backup on iCloud.

On the Mac, you will see only the old messages. In this situation, neither the Mac nor iCloud is at fault. It’s just that you need more space to store the newer messages.

So, open iCloud from your phone and see the iCloud status. You will see which files are taking up the most space. Review these, and if not important, delete them.

iCloud Storage Full

Clean up old backups from other devices connected to the same iCloud account. Remove the old messages and conversations. Clear out images and videos that you do not need anymore.

Once you have freed up some space, try opening iMessage on the Mac and see what happens. You will see that it tries to sync the newer messages. Clicking on any message will open them up once they are downloaded.

4. Bulk Message Syncing

If you have not opened iMessage on your Mac for some time, then you will see it takes some time to sync the older messages. When you add images and videos attached to the messages, these can easily reach a size of a few gigabytes.

You will see a progress bar showing how long before the download completes. Then, depending on the internet connection, it may take a few hours before you can open the messages on your Mac.

Frequently Asked Question

The above steps should fix the iMessage issue on Mac OS. If you still have any confusion, this section aims to answer those.

How do I sync my iPhone messages to my Mac El Capitan?

To make your iPhone’s messages sync with your Mac, ensure iMessage is turned on and synced with iCloud. Also, ensure both devices have the same Apple ID signed in.

Why don’t my messages show up on iCloud?

You may not have enabled iMessage to sync up on iCloud. To fix this, Go to your iPhone’s Settings and navigate to iCloud > Messages > Sync this iPhone and enable this option. 

Why is my Mac stuck on downloading messages from the iPhone?

If your Mac freezes while downloading messages from your iPhone,

check if your internet connection is working. Also, check the status of iCloud servers. Finally, try logging out of iMessage and back to your Mac.

How long does it take to sync messages from iCloud?

It all depends on how many messages are being downloaded and its overall size in gigabytes. It also depends on how fast your internet speeds are. For messages of a few gigabytes, it will take at least an hour to complete downloading.  

Final Thoughts

If iMessage is still not functional, pay attention to this.

Apple does not support Mac OS El Capitan at this point in 2024. The security certificates are too old, and the iCloud servers may be simply refusing a secure connection with your Mac.

So, fixing iMessages will require you to update the Mac OS or get a modern Mac.

Hope this article helps you out. Comment for any further queries.

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