Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Messages Beta for OS X may impact iMessage for iOS

Delayed correspondence may be caused by problems with Apple's Messages Beta program.

Topher Kessler MacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Topher Kessler
2 min read

Apple's iMessage service for iOS is a convenient way to send messages to friends and colleagues, and because of its popularity Apple has implemented the service in its Messages Beta for OS X, which will be appearing in full in the upcoming release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Many people have downloaded and use Messages Beta for OS X, but recent findings suggest having the program installed and configured with Apple's iMessage service may interfere with the way messages are received on your iOS device.

The problem appears to be some hangup with the iOS service that results in messages being delayed for quite some time. When this happens, there are no indications of any network or configuration problems and messages appear to go through, but neither they nor any responses from contacts are received. Then at a later time the messages are all received at once.

New York Times editor Brian X. Chen recently described his experience with this problem, in which contacts appeared to stop replying to messages in the middle of a conversation, and then all of the messages arrived in a flood the next day.

Such delays in messages have been reported by others in the Apple Support Communities, and through some investigation Chen found that the problem may be linked in part to Apple's Messages Beta program in OS X. Apparently having Messages Beta configured to the same account as the iMessage program in iOS may cause a conflict that can result in these delays.

After correspondence with others who had this problem, Chen reports that upon uninstalling Messages Beta he noticed a major improvement in message response time. To uninstall Messages Beta, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Messages Program
  2. Choose "Uninstall Messages Beta..." from the "Messages" application menu
  3. Confirm you wish to uninstall the program
  4. Restart your computer

While uninstalling the Messages Beta program is one approach to tackling this issue, if you use Messages Beta for other services such as AIM, Yahoo, or Google Talk, then you can also try keeping the program installed but disabling the iMessage service within it. To do this, open the Messages preferences and go to the Accounts section. Then select the iMessage account and uncheck the "Enable this account" check box, or click the Account Details button followed by clicking "Sign Out."

If you are still experiencing message delays after uninstalling Messages Beta or disabling iMessage in OS X, then the problem may be that you're exchanging messages with others who still have the beta installed. Therefore, check with your buddies and contacts to make sure they too have uninstalled Messages Beta or disabled the iMessage service.

Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or email us!
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and the CNET Mac forums.