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Posted on November 28th, 2013 by Barry Collins

Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage

HTC One top

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, wrote a much derided 900-word guide to switching from iPhone to Android the other day. I should have read it more closely, because in there – aside from the slightly eccentric suggestion that you email your photos from one phone to the other – is a very useful nugget of information about iMessage.

I made the switch from the iPhone 4s to an HTC One at the weekend, and while the transition has been remarkably smoothly, one thing I didn’t notice until I switched my iPhone back on last night was that I’d been missing out on text messages, because I neglected to switch off iMessage on my old handset.

iMessage, for those who are unaware, is Apple’s SMS alternative, which redirects text/photo messages sent between iPhone users over the internet, rather than via the regular SMS channels. Consequently, messages from other iPhone users don’t arrive on your Android handset – even if they’re replying to an SMS message you’ve sent them.

To make sure you can receive text messages from iPhone owners on your new Android handset you need to switch off iMessage first.

On your iPhone (iOS 7), go to Settings | Messages and make sure the iMessage slider is switched off.

If you have an iPad or other iOS device, you’ll need to make sure you do likewise on all of them.

If you no longer have your old handset, visit the Apple Support site, login with your iTunes account details and deregister your device.

Finally, apologise to all the friends whose messages you’ve inadvertently ignored for the past week.

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27 Responses to “ Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage ”

  1. David Price Says:
    December 4th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Tim. Thanks for this. I’ve been on Android from Apple for over year and the prompt to visit the Apple Support Site showed everything I’ve ever owned (many since sold or broken) still listed against my profile. Have cleared out now. Wasn’t a big iMessage user but haven’t knowingly missed anything from my contacts who remain on the Apple cart. DJP (davidprice4)

  2. Ashley Says:
    December 5th, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I just made the switch over the weekend as well to an HTC One. I noticed that I had the same issue so i switched off imessage. However, i have imessage on my macbook air and almost everyone with an iphone who texts me goes to that instead of my htc..

  3. Ramondo R. Gee Says:
    December 8th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    See Sunday’s (12/08/2013) New York Times “The Haggler” column (David Segal). I’ve never owned an “Apple” product. I’m kind of glad I didn’t. All of my mobile devices have been other than “Apple” & I’ve had a few.

  4. Ashley c. Says:
    December 18th, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Hey guys I followed all of the above and I still couldn’t get message from imessage users. So as a last resort, I logged onto my apple account and I deleted my actual number out of my contact info and I was immediately able to receive imessages to my phone as SMS. Hope this helps.

  5. Keith Says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Following this advice worked for me, also. I went ahead and deleted my phone number form Apple’s help site, as one other commenter mentioned. I failed to turn off iMessage, also, when I traded in my iPhone 4 last night, even after reading the Google Chairman’s 4-step plan to switch over to Android, just like the author of the article :-)

  6. jose Says:
    January 6th, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    I turned off the imessage and I turned it back on and it still sends as an android. any solutions??

  7. RW Says:
    January 27th, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I also switched to an HTC One S and I am not receiving messages. I turned off the imessages on iphone a day after I realized this (yesterday) and now neither my iphone nor my HTC is receiving msgs from iphone users. I am getting regular texts. I did a test text with my boss and when he pulls me up it still wants to send it via imessage but he gets the fail and then gets the option to send as text. However, this is each time a text is sent. I logged into my ID support profile and my phone wasn’t there for me to remove. Other ideas?

  8. kris Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Like RW (11:37pm above)I am not getting texts from iPhone users on my HTC android; instead they go to my retired SIII android. Just texts from iPhones.. Here’s the kicker: I have never owned an iPhone, and I have had the same cell number forever. Any ideas?? Carriers, apple & HTC are all stumpted.

  9. connor Says:
    February 5th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I purchsed my iPhone used, so it is not on the apple list of products of mine, I physically still have my iPhone. Anything I can do? Do I need to have my new android deactivated, then reactivate my iPhone, then turn off iMessage, then deactivate my iPhone and reactivate my android? Help! Thanks!

  10. Brittney Says:
    February 5th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I had to log onto my apple account and delete my phone number entirely. It seems to be working now.

  11. Jane Says:
    February 5th, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Had the same problem and I think I figured it out. Tell your iPhone friends that when they send you a text they have to hold the blue call button down for a second. Then they should get the option to send as a text. They should choose that option. Then have them send you another text. Supposedly once they do that their iPhone no longer sees you as an iMessage user and it will revert to using SMS instead of data to send texts.

  12. chris Says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 6:35 am

    I have done this buy nothing has seemed to happen I still can’t receive messages from iPhone users is it an automatic switch off or does it take a while to work

  13. MarkP Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I am trying this wiht the Galaxy S4…. I deleted my Iphone 4s from the website, and I deleted my phone number. I just re-booted the Galaxy phone, and I am still not receiving text messages from i-phone users. Any other tips? Thanks!

  14. Cory W Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Same problem as MarkP. Any help would be appreciated

  15. Vince Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 2:02 am

    I did the following:
    (i) disabled WiFi – so the iPhone4 is now a glorified iPod
    (ii) turned iMessage off on the handset

    That didn’t quite work.

    So I went and deleted by number from my Apple profile. It seems that worked.

  16. Cory W Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 3:17 am

    So I finally had to call 1800MYAPPLE to get them to manually take my phone number off the imessage servers. So far it seems to be working.

  17. Michele Says:
    February 25th, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Calling Apple worked..finally!

  18. Sarah Says:
    March 5th, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    THANK YOU!! I hope this works. I’ve had to tell all of my iPhone friends to manually change their texts to SMS (annoying and inconvenient)- and after losing all of my contacts when my iPhone stopped working for no reason, it was a huge disappointment to find out that I wasn’t getting most of my text messages. I really can’t thank you enough. Only helpful blog on this topic I’ve found on the internet thus far.

  19. Ernst Says:
    March 6th, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Pretty sure you saved me on this one. Thank you very much.

  20. Heather Says:
    March 13th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I’ve done all of this…no luck all the iphone users have to manually send as text. Also called apple twice. Arggg

  21. Nikolle Says:
    March 17th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I had to finally call Apple (800myapple) and they were able to disable it for me and seems to be working now :)

  22. Edgar Says:
    March 19th, 2014 at 3:45 am

    I had the same issue even my iMessage was not getting to my iphone or my mac after i turned it off, and switched to my new galaxy phone. I had to contact Apple support (via web chat) and they found that my number was still enabled to receive iMessages. They were able to turn it off and since then everything seems ok. I hope this helps.

  23. Phil Says:
    March 23rd, 2014 at 3:05 am

    To delete your cell number from your Apple ID, go to Click on “Manage your Apple ID” and log in. Click on “phone numbers” on the left, then delete your number(s) and save changes.

  24. tlmas Says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I have turned off imessage, called apple and they do not have my number in the system anymore, said it was all decertified, and i still can mot get messages from conatacts that have a iphone on the same carrier as me. anyone no a fix i went from the iphone to the HTC One

  25. Derek Says:
    March 29th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    My friend recently switched from iPhone to Samsung and his old phone was destroyed to he can’t turn off iMessage. But every time I try to text him, it first tries to send the message thru iMessage. Then, about 20 minutes later it sends as a text. How do I tell MY phone not to send him an iMessage?

  26. Kevin Says:
    April 1st, 2014 at 1:53 am

    When I use my android to text my wife on her iPhone my text goes through but her reply goes to someone else. Had to turn off imessage on her iPhone, as well as a friends whose messages to me were going elsewhere

  27. Cindy Says:
    April 1st, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you! I lost my iPhone and switched to an Android but wasn’t getting any messages from my iPhone friends. Thanks for the quick and simple solution!


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