iMessages come in from email address instead of phone number
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Why is it that when a previous contact in my address book updates their iPhone and then text me they show up as an iMessage under an email address they have instead of their phone number?
A: This actually has nothing to do with your own address book, but is instead a problem on the other person’s iPhone. iMessage can be used with a phone number or an email address, and iPhone users who have signed in with an Apple ID generally have both options available and can choose which one is used as their “From” address by going into Settings, Messages.
While the phone number is normally used by default, it needs to be registered with Apple’s servers when initially configuring or updating an iPhone. In some cases, if this registration doesn’t occur right away, the Messages app may default to using the person’s email address instead, in which case all of their messages will start appearing to come from that address.
To make matters even more confusing, unlike Messages on the Mac, the iOS Messages app doesn’t consolidate iMessage conversations from different addresses, even if they’re assigned to the same contact record. Further, once a conversation has been started from an email address, that conversation will continue to use that address, even if the user changes their default sender address in their iOS Messages settings. In short, much like many email clients, Messages always sends replies from the address the the original message was sent to, regardless of your default address settings.
This means you may actually see a new, separate conversation thread when the other person starts doing this, even if they are in your contacts under the same name. If you reply in that new separate conversation thread, you’ll continue using the email address to communicate with the person rather than their phone number. To force it to go back to their phone number, you either need to send a new message to their phone number, or switch back to an older conversation that is using the phone number.
That said, continuing the conversation with an email address instead of a phone number will work just fine, but you will lose the ability to fall back to traditional SMS messages should the other person be unreachable via iMessage.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple Q3 earnings call set for July 26
- Apple’s UK tax bill under scrutiny
- Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection
- Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- Phiaton BT 460 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app