Apple recently launched a new web tool to help users deregister their phone number from iMessage, in the event they switch to Android or another non-Apple device. The tool helps resolve the text message delivery issue that has long-plagued iPhone switchers.
The site Apple has set up offers two solutions for deregistering your number: one for those who still have their old iPhones, and one for those who don’t. The steps are fairly easy to follow, but given what a pain point this has been, we’ve put together a quick tutorial.
How to disable iMessage if you still have your iPhone
Step 1: transfer your current (active) SIM card to your iPhone.
Step 2: make sure you’re connected to the cellar data network.
Step 3: open the Settings app on the iPhone and tap on Messages.
Step 4: tap the iMessage toggle to the Off position (no green showing).
This should disable iMessage, thus deregistering your phone number from the service.
How to deregister iMessage if you don’t have your iPhone anymore
Step 1: visit Apple’s new Deregister iMessage page.
Step 2: scroll down to where it says ‘No longer have your iPhone?’
Step 3: enter the phone number you want to deregister.
Step 4: enter the confirmation code Apple sends you.
Once again, this process should deregister your phone number from iMessage.
Since iMessage launched in 2011, users switching away from iPhone have complained of issues receiving text messages from other Apple devices. The problem is, if an iPhone sees a number still attached to iMessage, it’s going to try to send it an iMessage, not an SMS.
The issue has been well documented and widespread, as evidenced by this Apple support forum with more than 335,000 views. One user had even become so upset over the matter that she filed a lawsuit against the company, specifically looking for class action status.
Hopefully you won’t have to go that far and if you followed the steps mentioned above, you probably be successful in getting rid of iMessage once and for all.