iMessage users on macOS Big Sur 11.1 reporting multiple issues: Unable to sign in, app not starting/syncing, & more

macOS Big Sur hasn’t exactly been shy of issues for some iMessage users. And this is evident from the fact that there has been a spike in the number of complaints on various forums pertaining to Apple Messages soon after update version 11.1.

This is quite unsurprising though considering Big Sur’s recent release. And Messages isn’t the only thing giving users problems, for in the past we have highlighted several other issues that can be accessed from our dedicated Big Sur bugs/issues tracker.

But for now, we aim to cover the Apple Messages app’s most common issues on Big Sur in this piece and provide resolutions for them accordingly, if any.

iMessage sign-in issues after Big Sur 11.1 update

imessage sign in issues big sur
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I am having the same problem, after I updated I was not able to sign in at all, I sign in, and about a few moments later it prompts me to sign in again. I re-installed macOS Big Sur, and it did not resolve my issue. Even restarting the Mac, and not using it for a few days didn’t fix my issue. I thought it would be fixed in a patch, but there hasn’t been a patch since Big Sur came out.
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Users facing this issue report that upon launching iMessage, the app prompts the user to login again. And after login, the app simply closes on its own and repeats the prompt.

This happens even when the user is already logged in globally with their Apple ID.

If you are one of the users facing this annoying issue, then try out the workarounds given below.

1. Disable iMessage and re-login:

1) Go to Messages app – Preferences – uncheck iMessage on cloud
2) Sign out
3) Sign back in with your Apple ID password
4) Enable the settings again
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2. Get iMessage unlocked from Apple: It could be possible that Apple, for some reason, has blocked iMessage functionality on your PC. In this case, your best bet would be to directly contact Apple.

I finally contacted Apple Support and they said my MBP was locked out of iMessage server-side. They unlocked it and I was instantly able to sign in to iMessage and FT. Make sure to let them know you’ve tried SMC, PRAM resets, because they will suggest that and effectively end the chat while you reset.
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3. Check proxy settings: In case other apps and sites are not working for you at all along with iMessage, make sure that your proxy settings are proper.

Just go to the wifi icon, click Network Preferences, unlock the padlock, enter your Mac OS user account password, click Advanced, select the Proxies Tab and then untick Auto Proxy Discovery.
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Messages no longer syncing SMS on Big Sur

Some users are reporting that SMS from the iPhone fail to show up on MacBook or other devices running macOS Big Sur even though all their settings are set up correctly.

big sur messages not syncing
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This is causing a huge inconvenience to many as they’re now missing out on important texts. And if you are one of such, then there’s a couple of things that you can try to work around the issue.

1. Check if text message forwarding is on: On your iPhone, head over to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding and make sure it’s on.

2. Turn on “Allow calls on Other Devices”: If the above did not work for you, then you can also try turning on “Allow calls”. To turn it on, head over to Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices, then turn on “Allow Calls on Other Devices”.

This seems to have done the job for several users.

Users that are unable to send messages to non-iPhone users, or any kind of users for that matter, may also give the above workarounds a go.

Messages app not opening on Big Sur

Several users have also reported that their Messages app fails to start up at all on Big Sur. The icon simply bounces on the dock upon clicking but doesn’t really open up the app.

big sur messages not opening
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If you are one of the users facing this, then chances are that your Spotlight function isn’t working as well. In this case, you can try the workarounds given in this story previously covered about broken Spotlight functionality.

This Messages issue is seemingly linked to Spotlight and fixing Spotlight might get rid of it.

With that being said, let us know in the comments below if the above workarounds solved the iMessage issues on Big Sur. Also, inform us of any other fixes that you may be aware of.

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Zohaib Ahmed

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.