Q. I switched my number from an iPhone to a new Android phone, but I’m not getting my text messages now. Why?
A. If you did not turn off Apple’s iMessage service on your old iPhone, your text messages are probably still going to your previous handset. If you still have the iPhone, start it up and open the Settings icon on the home screen. Select Messages and then turn off the button for the iMessage service.
Once you have disabled iMessage, go back to the iOS Settings and select FaceTime. Turn off the FaceTime service as well. (If you were able to use the same SIM card between the two phones, pop it temporarily back into the iPhone while you turn off iMessage and FaceTime before returning the card to the new phone.) Next, have someone send you a text message to test that it will now arrive on your Android phone.
If you no longer have the iPhone or the device is inoperable, you can go to Apple’s website and deregister your phone number from the iMessage service. Point your browser to https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage, enter your phone number and wait for the six-digit code from Apple to confirm the separation from iMessage. If that doesn’t work do the following:
How to fully deactivate iMessage from Apple’s servers
Unfortunately, there isn’t a list of steps you can perform on your own. Instead, you need to call 1-800-MY-APPLE in order to have Apple manually de-register your phone number from the Apple servers. In order to do this, make sure you have your Apple ID on hand as well as the phone number in question.
To expedite the process of your call, be sure to ask for technical support when calling in. Then just tell them you’re switching to a smartphone that isn’t an iPhone and you can’t receive messages so you need them to manually unregister you from the iMessage servers.
Update: Why does this happen with iMessage?
iMessage is completely integrated with SMS/MMS in the iOS Messages app. Apple effectively intercepts SMS/MMS and replaces it with iMessage for iOS users. That ease of setup and phenomenal experience comes with a downside — if you stop using iMessage you have to tell Apple by turning it off. Otherwise Apple will keep trying to deliver iMessages for a week and, if you’re not using iOS, you won’t get them unless and until iMessage times out or you go online or call up Apple and ask them to disconnect you.
More questions on how to operate your mobile phone? Check out the rest of our blogs on the topic! Just click “Mobile Devices” under Categories and read away.