iMessages Madness


I've rolled out several new iPhones in the last week and the configuration state of iMessages is completely inconsistent from device to device. These are all phones that are the same model, same IOS version, same department profile. Some show iMessages in the settings app as editable to toggle on and off. Others show it greyed out. And the ones that have it greyed out, it's greyed out and enabled on some, and grey out and turned off on others. I have not been able to see any pattern in the behavior. In fact, I deployed 2 phones to people in the same office with the same work roles. The phones were set up at the same time, same model, same IOS, same department/profile etc. Both have the iMessage toggle greyed out. One is enabled and the other is turned off.

Unless I am missing something, this is problematic because unless a message sender specifically sends a bare bones SMS message, the recipient will not receive it until iMessages is enabled. I have checked the status of the setting before and after assigning the device to a department/profile. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Honored Contributor

What is the source of the AppleID's the users are using? iMessage is something managed AppleID's cant use.

Use Managed Apple IDs in Apple Business Manager - Apple Support

We don't use AppleIDs on the devices. As far as I know, there's no reason why iMessages cannot be used to/from a phone number vice a signed in user account.

Honored Contributor

The AppleID is how Apple manages the identity of the message. If an AppleID is not logged in to the device iMessage will be grayed out.

I'm looking at 2 iPhones on my desk right now that don't have AppleIDs logged in and iMessages is not greyed out and all iMessages settings are available.

Just for clarification, the use of an AppleID is not required for configuration and use of iMessages. BUT, the AppleID restriction in Jamf is greying out the iMessages settings, preventing setup and use of iMessages. We lifted the AppleID restriction but DID NOT SIGN IN to an AppleID. All iMessages settings are now available to configure and iMessages is working tied to the phone number.

Unfortunately, this demonstrates the behavior but it's not what we want. We want people to be able to use iMessages, but we don't want them to be able to log in as an AppleID. We have demonstrated that iMessages is configurable and usable without logging in with an AppleID but as soon as the AppleID login option is removed, all iMessages settings are unavailable.