How to remove a phone number from iMessage

Earlier today, we talked about something called the iMessage purgatory syndrome. A common problem for one-time iPhone users that have since switched to an Android-based smartphone or other device is that their phone number is still linked to iMessage. The person might then be unable to receive messages from other iPhone users, since the iMessages are never able to be delivered.

Apple is aware of the issue, and has a team of engineers tasked with identifying a solution. In the meantime, if you are someone in this situation, there is actually a very simple method to disassociate your phone number with iMessage. It will take just a few minutes or less. Read ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to remove a phone number from iMessage.

Update: since this post was published, Apple has now made a tool to help you unregister a phone number from iMessage.

How to unlink iMessage from a phone number

Step 1: Sign in with your Apple ID at My Support Profile on Apple’s website.

Step 1

Step 2: If you no longer own the device, click on the iPhone you wish to unregister.

Step 2

Step 3: Click on the Unregister button and confirm this action.

Step 3

Step 4: A validation screen will appear. I unregistered my iPod touch to demonstrate.

Step 4

I told you it was that simple. If all things went successful, your iPhone and phone number will no longer be associated with your Apple ID. You should then be able to receive text messages as normal on your new non-Apple smartphone without them being diverted as iMessages.

But, as Apple has noted, there really is no guaranteed solution to solve this problem yet. Other last-ditch solutions are disabling iMessage in Settings under Messages before switching away from your iPhone, or manually telling all of your contacts with iPhones to delete your number off of their phone.

This how-to is part of a series of quick tips here at iDownloadBlog. We hope that our audience will understand that there are both novice and experienced iOS users that read this blog, so please do not be overly critical if this topic is something you already know about. In fact, we encourage our iOS power users to suggest more advanced topics that they would like covered in the comments section down below.