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 releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’
- Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app
- Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- iFixit highlights ‘Touch Disease’ affecting many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models
- Rebranded Nike+ Run Club app adds new tracking abilities
- Apple Music Festival set for Sept. 18-30
- Report: Apple planning three iPhone models for 2017, one with curved OLED display
- Distil Union Stanley Stand
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- 808 Audio Canz XL Bluetooth Speaker
- 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