How To Fix iMessage Not Syncing on a Mac

One of the many benefits of using Apple devices is its “iCloud” and “Continuity” features. Once signed in to all your devices using the same Apple ID, you’ll be able to access real-time data from any of your devices. You can pick up where you left off and access up-to-date iMessages from your Mac. Whenever iMessages stops syncing to your Mac, it is typically down to a change in settings.

How To Fix iMessage Not Syncing on a Mac

Read on to find out how to fix your Mac and iMessage sync issues.

Try A Manual Sync

When your iCloud account isn’t syncing on its own, you can manually sync your text messages. Here’s how:

  1. On your Mac, open the “Message” app.
  2. Under the “Messages” menu, choose “Preferences.”
  3. Select the “iMessage” tab.
  4. Ensure the “Enable Messages in iCloud” option is checked.
  5. Press “Sync Now.”

This usually does the trick, and you should see your new texts appear in iMessage on your Mac. However, if this isn’t the case, work your way through the following options.

Check the Settings

Other than checking that your Mac and iPhone are signed in under the same Apple ID, you could verify that your iPhone is set to sync iMessages. Here’s how:

  1. From your iPhone, launch the “Settings” app.
  2. Select “Messages” and ensure the “iMessage” toggle switch is activated. If not, tap on it to turn it green. It might take a few seconds to activate.
  3. Press “Send & Receive.”
  4. If “Use your Apple ID for iMessage” displays, select it, then sign in using the Apple ID you used on the device you wish to sync with.
  5. Beneath the “You Can Receive iMessage to and Reply From” heading, ensure the mobile number, Apple ID, and email addresses you use to text are enabled.
  6. Beneath “Start New Conversations From,” tap your mobile number, unless you prefer to use one of your email addresses.
  7. At the bottom of the screen, your Apple ID will display. This is the ID you’ll need to sign in with when accessing iMessage from your Mac.

For FaceTime:

  1. Go to “Settings,” then select “FaceTime.”
  2. Beneath “You Can be Reached by FaceTime at,” ensure your mobile number and Apple ID are enabled.

Ensure Your Mac and iPhone Are Updated

In order for iMessage to function as expected, it needs to be running on an up-to-date OS. Follow these steps to update your macOS and iOS on your iPhone.

Update macOS on Mac

  1. Access the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences.”
  2. From the “System Preferences” window, click “Software Update.”
  3. Click “Update Now” or “Upgrade Now.”

“Update Now” will install the latest update for the Mac operating system installed. “Upgrade Now” will install the latest Mac operating system .

Update iOS on iPhone

  1. Plug your iPhone into a power source and connect it to the internet using Wi-Fi.
  2. Open “Settings.”
  3. Select “General,” then “Software Update.”
  4. Select the one you wish to install if there are two update options.
  5. Press “Install Now.”

If “Download and Install” is displayed instead, press it to install the latest update. Enter your passcode, then press “Install Now.”

Try Restarting iMessage

A simple app reboot might do the trick once you’ve verified that your devices have the latest OS installed. Here are the steps:

  1. On your iPhone, launch “Settings.”
  2. Tap “Messages.”
  3. Deactivate the toggle switch beside “iMessage.”

And on your Mac:

  1. Launch the “Message” app.
  2. Select “Messages,” “Preferences,” and “Accounts.”
  3. Deselect the “Enable Account under the Apple ID” option.

After five minutes or so, turn on the iMessage app on both devices, then try again.

Check Your Apple ID

Ensure the correct Apple ID is listed by signing in to the Apple ID website:

  1. Navigate to Apple ID and sign in to your account.
  2. Go to “Reachable At” and check that your Apple ID and mobile number are listed. Otherwise, add those details.
  3. Try rebooting your iPhone and Mac to see if the messages have now synced across.

Try Sending an iMessage From Your Mac

There may be a delay in updating your Mac, so try sending one from your Mac to help trigger the sync. Here’s how to send an iMessage from your Mac:

  1. Launch the iMessage app and sign in to your Apple ID account if prompted.
  2. Click on the “New Message” icon.
  3. Type a name, number, or email address for a recipient to send a test text message. Or use the “Add” button to choose from your contacts.
  4. Place the cursor in the message field to enter a message.
  5. Hit “Enter” to send the message.

Once the message is sent, it should prompt your Mac to start the sync process.


Does deleting a message on iMessage delete it from all devices?

If you delete a text message from your Mac, for example, once iCloud syncs, it will be deleted from all your devices.

Can I find deleted iMessages?

If you need to retrieve deleted text messages on your iPhone, you can do using an iCloud backup. You can also use “Finder” or “iTunes” to recover texts if you save backups on your computer. If these options fail, it’s also possible that your cellular carrier may be able to restore your deleted messages.

How do I delete iMessages from my Mac?

Here’s how you delete an iMessage conversation using your Mac:

1. Open the “Message” app and click on the text you want to delete.

2. Hit the “Delete” key.

How do I decide how long messages are kept for?

Follow these steps to set how long your texts are kept:

1. On your Mac, open the “Messages” app.

2. Select “Messages,” “Preferences,” then “General.”

3. Select the “Keep messages” pop-up menu and choose how long you want them kept.

If you select any option other than “Forever,” your conversations with attachments will be removed automatically after the stated time elapses.

Mac iMessages Updated!

Apple caters to a seamless experience between devices with sync features such as “iCloud” and “Continuity.” Once you are signed in to your devices with the same Apple ID and the synchronizing settings are correct, you should have no problems viewing all your text messages from your Mac. If this isn’t the case, you can try kick-starting the sync process by performing a manual sync in iCloud or sending a text message from your Mac.

Are your Mac iMessages up-to-date now? What did you do to fix the issue? Tell us about it in the comments section.

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