If you are an iPhone user that has decided to switch to Android, the transition can be an exercise in frustration if you have used Apple’s iMessage service. Heck, sometimes iOS users have a love–hate relationship with Apple’s SMS replacement. And herein lies the problem, iMessage essentially takes over the role of sending and receiving SMS messages. If you are on a limited texting plan, this makes for a great feature, since it does not count as a text. As long as you have unlimited data, you’re good. For those who decide to test the waters with another platform, it’s not that easy to break free from the clutches of iMessage. As a result, the first experience for folks switching from iPhone to Android has not been stellar. Imagine moving to a new platform and no longer receiving texts. There is a fix, but it’s not terribly easy. Here’s how to disable iMessage when switching to Android.

Read receipts iMessage

Before you trade-in your iPhone or gift it to a lucky relative, you’ll want to completely sign out of iMessage. To do so, following these steps.

Go to Settings > Messages > Toggle iMessage ‘Off’

Turn off iMessage

If turning off iMessage on your iPhone was sufficient enough to solve the problem, you would not see the ever growing number of support threads on various forums. When you disable it on your iPhone, there is a waiting period of sorts. Basically, the changes you’ve made need to make their way to Apple’s servers.

If you no longer have access to your iPhone, you can unregister it from your account.

Sign in to your support profile at Apple.

  1. Select ‘Edit Products’
  2. For products which you no longer own, select ‘Unregister’.
  3. You’ll be asked, “Are you sure you want to unregister and delete this product? (As long as you no longer own the product, it’s safe to unregister.”
  4. You’ll receive a confirmation that the device has been unregistered.

Disabling iMessage on your Mac

  1. To disable iMessage on your Mac, you’ll want to follow these steps:
  2. Open the Messages app (Applications > Messages).
  3. Navigate to Messages > Preferences > Select Accounts tab.
  4. In the left column, select your iMessage account.
  5. Sign out of iMessage.

As mentioned earlier, this might solve your problem immediately or it could take time for Apple to process your request. If none of the above tips work, you can contact Apple directly to disable your phone number from iMessage. You can call using 1-800-MyApple or use their chat service. Having gone through the process, I had to verify my identity using a code received oddly enough through a text message. The rep will verify your identity and ‘revoke your phone number association with iMessage’. Within a matter of minutes, your phone number will be removed from iMessage and you should start to receive text messages in Google Hangouts or your preferred messages app.

iMessage deactivate


Tip: Once your phone number is removed, there’s no reason why you cannot continue to enjoy iMessage on your other iOS devices.

Switching from iPhone to Android is no easy task. Finding replacments for your favorite apps, learning a new operating system are just some of the hurdles. Those are all understandable, but not receiving text messages can take the fun out of any new phone. Follow the steps outlined above and you’ll be able to safely disable iMessage and start receiving texts. While I enjoy handling technical problems myself, the best and fastest solution might be contacting Apple.