A number of Mac users are reporting issues with logging into iMessage and FaceTime after they updated their Macs to OS X 10.11.4, indicating there may be a bug in both apps’ account activation processes. The El Capitan update was released on Monday.
Mac owners have taken to Apple’s Support Communities forum to report (1, 2, 3, 4) an apparent Messages and FaceTime authentication issue in OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan that prevents users from using either service. AppleInsider has also received multiple reports detailing identical problems. OS X 10.11.4 was released on Monday with various feature additions and improvements.
After installing the latest version of OS X, most users report seeing an error dialog that reads: “Could not sign in to iMessage” and “An error occurred during authentication.” Other users report that while the iMessage setup window appears to send user login information to Apple’s servers, it hangs there, without timing out with an error.
Users affected by the issue report iCloud logins appear to be unaffected, so the issue may be related to Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime control services. Some users report multiple errors within a single household of users, which could indicate a faulty node may be affecting a geographical group of users; and at least one Mac user saw the issue persist, even after downgrading to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, indicating a server-side issue.
Some users report workarounds consisting of attempted generating of app-specific passwords, toggling two-factor authentication on and off, reinstalling the update and performing fresh installs, but no one reliable resolution has been reported.
We’ll keep you update when we hear when a fix becomes available. Users report Apple Support representatives are aware of the issue, and have been told Apple engineers are working on a fix.