iMessage is Great on iOS and Mac OS X But Here’s What to do if You Can’t Log into iMessage on Mac OS X
Apple iMessage is a great little app that lets any iOS or Mac OS X user send instant messages to any other user. I’ve used it across a variety of Apple devices and normally don’t have an issue. However, no matter what I have tried there is one of my Mac Pros that I just can’t log into iMessage on Mac OS X. It wasn’t a big problem because I had portable devices I used iMessage on mostly anyway. But every now and then I would try something else to try to log into iMessage but it would never work.
When I can’t log into iMessage on Mac OS X the symptoms are always the same. I would enter my Apple ID and password in the login fields. I would click the Sign In button and the fields would gray out for a few seconds. Then they would just come back to normal. But nothing would happen. No message. No moving to another screen. It would just sit there at the Login screen.
Finally one day I had some extra time so I called Apple’s tech support to see if maybe they would have an idea what to try. The initial tech quickly determined that I had tried all the normal remedies and escalated the call to a senior tech. He progressively worked through a number of more in depth attempts to determine why the login was failing. I was extremely impressed with the knowledge, professionalism and most of all tenacity of the Apple tech. He stayed with the issue for over two hours while working through various remedies.
At one point he mentioned he was trying to get to the preferences. I said I could get him to the preferences without logging in because I had done that before. I mentioned that instead of clicking the Sign In button you could click the Not Now button. This bypasses the Login screen and goes right to the message screen. Once there you can open Messages -> Preferences. When we had the Preferences panel open he then had me go to the Accounts panel. The Accounts panel has a separate login section. Logging in there worked!
So if you can’t log into iMessage try this:
- Bypass the initial login screen by clicking Not Now
- Open Messages -> Preferences
- Click on Accounts Icon
- Try to sign in with your Apple ID there instead
Apparently the initial login screen and the preferences login section use different authentication methods. So if the initial login screen is failing, the preferences login section may still work.
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