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.