Changing iPhone number for iMessage | iLounge Article

Article

Changing iPhone number for iMessage

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.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I recently changed my iPhone number with my cell phone company after moving back home from University by going to my account on their web site. The change seems to have taken affect for my phone calls already, but I’m wondering if there’s anything special I need to do to change it for iMessage, as I’m still receiving iMessages to my old phone number and text messages to the new one. Also, what happens to iMessage on my other devices like my iPad and my Mac? Do I need to do something to change the phone number there as well?

- Kathryn

A: Unlike SMS messages, which travel over your carrier’s network and are directly tied to your phone number, iMessages travel over the Internet via Apple’s servers. Your cellular phone number is used as an iMessage “address” to make this process as transparent as possible, but is not directly tied to your carrier’s network.

What happens is that when your iPhone is setup for iMessage, your cellular phone number is registered with Apple by sending a hidden SMS message to Apple’s servers. Since this SMS message comes from the phone number assigned to you by your carrier, this allows Apple to verify that it’s a correct and valid phone number, and allows iMessage to “just work” without requiring the user to go through a potentially complicated manual validation process.

To allow your phone number to be used for iMessage on other devices such as an iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, your iPhone automatically associates it with your Apple ID once it’s been verified and assigned to your iPhone. So basically, any phone number associated with iMessage on your iPhone will automatically be available to your other iOS and OS X devices, provided they’re signed in with the same Apple ID. Again, this process is designed to be entirely transparent.

When you change your phone number with your carrier, the carrier network sends out an internal message to your iPhone to notify it of the new numberer, and your iPhone should re-register with iMessage using the new number as soon as it detects this update, although sometimes it may take a few minutes for this to take effect. You can confirm which phone number is being used for iMessage by going into Messages in your iPhone Settings app and selecting the “Send & Receive” option. This will show you the phone number(s) and addresses that you can receive iMessages at.

If your new phone number is not appearing here, you can go back to the prior screen and simply toggle iMessage OFF and back ON again, which should for it to re-register with Apple’s servers using your new phone number. When turning iMessage back ON, you should see a “Waiting for activation” status and the “Send & Receive” list will only show your Apple ID e-mail address(es) as being active. Once iMessage activation completes, your new phone number will appear selected, and should also be pushed to your iPad and the Messages app on your Mac. Your old phone number should also disappear and be removed from your Apple ID once the new number is registered.

 

If iMessage activation fails to complete properly, or your old phone number still appears in the iMessage addresses, you can try powering off your iPhone and powering it back on again to see if this forces it to pick up the new phone number.

If you’re still having problems activating iMessage even after this, you will want to confirm with your cellular carrier that there aren’t any restrictions on sending SMS messages as part of your plan; since iMessage (and FaceTime) registration requires an SMS message to be sent to Apple’s servers, blocked SMS messages can cause the activation process to fail.

 

The most asked question at iLounge.com:

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« Blocking data access on an iPhone

Sending iMessages to an iPhone that is out of coverage »

Related Stories

Comments

1

Recently I switched my iphone number to a blackberry and got a new number for the iphone.  I deregistered the old number from apples servers, however, the old number is somehow still being recognized by apple for purposes of imessage.  If imessage is active in my iphone, i cannot text myself on my blackberry because the system thinks the blackberry phone number is imessage capable.  The texts simply show as sent on the iphone and disappear into cyberspace, never showing up on the blackberry.

Posted by steve on May 1, 2014 at 10:01 AM (CDT)

2

hey it worked! im running 7.1 and it finally fixed my imessage problems

Posted by joshbettes on May 8, 2014 at 11:46 PM (CDT)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy