Fix Repeated “Your message could not be sent” Messages Error on Mac
Mac users may encounter a pop-up error originating from the Messages app in Mac OS which informs them “your message could not be sent”. Often when this error dialog appears, it’s seemingly out of nowhere or when a Mac wakes from sleep or has rebooted.
While it’s possible to encounter the “your message could not be sent” error for legitimate sending failures, or because iCloud or iMessage is down (very rare), it’s also possible the error can appear due to a syncing issue in which case there is nothing to adjust, and the solution in that case is a bit goofy.
The full text of the error you might see, as well as the three options is: “There was an error sending the previous message. Would you like to send it again? Ignore – Open Messages – Resend Message” You can choose ignore, and the error likely comes right back immediately. You can choose Open Messages, and you will also usually see the same error again. If you choose “Resend Message” if there wasn’t a failed message, you may end up re-sending an old message, or nothing may happen at all. Clear as mud, right? Anyway since this is a bit of a nuisance, here is what you should do if you experience this on a Mac.
1: Check iMessage & iCloud Settings
Before anything else, make sure iMessage settings and iCloud are enabled as expected on the Mac. It’s possible to encounter this error message when an iMessage or text message has actually failed to send from the Mac, in which case you can almost always resolve the issue by double-checking Messages app preferences and making sure the Mac is configured to send messages, text messages, and has iCloud enabled and logged in.
- Check the Apple ID / “iCloud” system preference panel and make sure iCloud and Messages are enabled and logged in as expected.
- From the Messages app, pull down the “Messages” window and choose Preferences, and make sure account settings are configured and enabled as expected.
2: The Repeatedly Cilck “Ignore” Solution
Yes, it’s just as dumb as it sounds! If you continuously encounter the “Your message could not be sent” error when turning a Mac on after it has been off for a while, or waking a Mac from sleep after it has been asleep for a while, the error could be due to a curious syncing issue with the Messages app, and not an actual message send failure. The solution in this case is to repeatedly ignore the dialog window, which seems to reappear for about the total number of messages which need to sync with another iOS device or Mac using the same Apple ID.
So, what do you do? Click the “Ignore” button. Click it many times. The dialog window keeps reappearing, so keep clicking “Ignore”. Yes I know, this sounds goofy because it is goofy.
Eventually, the error message goes away, presumably because all of the unsynced iMessages will have synced properly between all same-Apple ID Apple devices and things will work again as expected.
3: Make Sure Text Forwarding is Enabled on iPhone
You can often remedy message issues on the Mac, by turning to your iPhone. Say what? This is because the Mac relies on the iPhone to relay text messages, so we need to make sure this feature is enabled.
On the iPhone, open Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding > make sure the device you are trying to send a text message from is toggled to the ON position.
Try to send the message again, it should go through just fine.
Do you have another solution to this error? Perhaps you know another cause? Let us know in the comments.
dear sir/madam-i am unable to send message please clear error in earliest
Just started getting this error today. None of these solutions helped, but rebooting fixed it!
Alesh, when you say reboot is that the same as a computer restart?
Did you ever get the answer to this question?
I started having this issue a few months ago. It only happens when I am sending a photo or video. If I delete the photo or video from the message on the mac (that failed to send) the error message stops coming back… but happens every time I send or receive any kind of media.
I tried deleting my messages library from the library folder and that didn’t work. I also tried turning off and on the message forwarding as suggesting above. Not sure what else to do!
Same as Jessica
Same as Jessica and Jake
Yep, same here. Turned off message forwarding on my phone and it made no difference. Doesn’t happen all the time, just when I open iMessage for a couple of times then it stops for a while. Only happens on a couple of recievers and I get a red circle with an exclamation mark in it. But I know they get the messages anyway. Happened when I updated to the latest iOS and 10.13.6 high sierra. Getting a bit sick of it all.
Me, too, Nick…
SAME. The most frustrating thing ever.
I have Text Forwarding set to on, and I’ve tried turning it off and back on etc. Also factory resetting both iPhone and iMac.
But the current beta version of the OS lets me receive text/imessages on my desktop/laptop, but not send. Everything still works on iPhone and iPad.
I’ve submitted a few bug reports. Glad to hear others are experiencing this issue.
LVC has the fix. I had this same issue continuously and didn’t realize I had not enabled forwarding on my MacPro – Once I did, the issue stopped for me too. Much better than repeatedly pressing “Ignore” only to have to KEEP doing it every time the machine wakes up. (until the next ‘update’ ??) We’ll see…
Im just getting this from 1 or 2 numbers that i know are fine because i text them from my non-iphone number and they get there, etx. Sms relay is on (everyone else is getting my texts on sms)…
This was like a ‘needle in a haystack’ to find… Gold!.. I’ve been enduring this for weeks and obviously my ‘searching’ was looking in the wrong place… but THIS appears to have fixed it… (no errors in the last 5 minutes!!)… Serendipity!…
Actually — you have it all wrong!!!! fix is simple. You need to turn on SMS RELAY on iPhone. Go to Settings > Messages > Text Forwarding > allow devices (listed) to send and receive text messages from “this” iPhone.
Thank you. I looked at several sites that provided answers that did not work. Your suggestion did it.
Thank You!!!! You are my favorite person today!!!
YES! I knew “click Ignore” couldn’t be the real solution. So glad I kept scrolling for this comment. THANK YOU!
GREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. You are a genius LVC! Worked like a charm!
Still doesnt work for me.
Beautiful, simple and worked. Thanks
thank you-you’re the only correct answer!
I have this messages issue repeatedly on both of my Macs. Thanks for the tips.
It’s a shame, Apple used to “just work” but now I frequently see a mismatch in the number is unread emails. Syncing ought to be easy enough.
I have the same issue! Since I updated my iPhone to 10.3.1 and my Mac to 10.12.4, I cannot send regular text messages from my Mac or my iPad. I still RECEIVE text messages on both the Mac and iPad, and iMessage works great, but I cant send text messages from these two devices (which I could before). Very annoying!
This is my issue as well. Services worked prior to this last update and now I am having Messages issues (on my mac only) with those who do not have iPhones.
Same here. I don’t have an “ignore” option, just “cancel” and “try again”
In Messages, it says my iCloud account is enabled, but I don’t see Messages in the roster for iCloud in System Preferences. Should Messages be listed in the iCloud system panel?
I keep getting this w/ *email* msgs. I had several attachments. The weird thing is I started to resend and the person stated she had received my message and all the attachments (7) for our organization.
Pop-up window Force Quit Application
Select Force Quit in this and the following pop-up.
Nuke the damn thing from orbit. Easier on the hands.
Is osxdaily purely concerned with Mac issues now or are you still doing articles relating to iOS?
This is an article about resolving a problem on the Mac which relates to syncing messages with other Macs or iOS devices.
We have articles about iOS frequently, including the day prior as well as today…
Sandy, I think you’re missing the point of the website. It’s called OSXdaily. You know what OSX means don’t you or does a tutorial need to be created for just you?☺️😳
You can just hold ESC or Spacebar (if you have the full keyboard control on).