Earlier this year, Apple ran into trouble when users who switched from iPhone to other phones (Android, Windows etc.) stopped receiving messages from their pals (who were using iOS devices to send iMessages). This was a major iMessage glitch which Apple was “reportedly” working on at the time.

Apple seems to have finally figured out a way to help people de-register and deactivate iMessage even when you no longer have the iPhone/iPad where you activated it. So far, we’ve not been able to do this. Here’s more.

How to Deactivate iMessage for your iPhone Number

Apple has put up a special “Deregister iMessage” page where you can deactivate iMessage for your number. What you do is enter your number; Apple sends you a verification code; after this, you enter that on the website. Apple will de-register your number from iMessage so that any message sent to your number (from other Apple devices) will be delivered to you as SMS (instead of getting lost in iMessage black-hole).

Not Getting Messages After Switching from iPhone? Here’s How to Deregister iMessage

  • Go to this website
  • For Step #1, pick your country and enter the number you used for iMessage. (you should be able to receive SMS messages on this number). You will receive a verification code.
  • Next, enter the verification code in Step #2. That should let Apple know that your number needs to be de-registered.

How to Deactivate iMessage for iPhone Number

We’re not sure how quick the de-registration happens but it takes a bit of a time. Once done, you will start receiving messages from people who you couldn’t receive messages from. To these senders, the messages will now be sent as SMS instead of iMessage.

Currently, about 30 countries are supported. Apple should hopefully be adding more countries to the list soon.

Note that it’s still better to deactivate iMessage on your iPhone before you switch to another phone or give it away. If you still have the iPhone with you, put the same SIM in it and deactivate iMessage (and delete the iCloud account within iMessage.)