Text messages being delivered to wrong iPhone


Q: I have two iPhones, one personal (Verizon) and one provided by my
office (Sprint). I have both devices getting apps from the same iTunes account. Since installation of the new iOS 7, I have had a misdirection problem for text messages.

Text messages being delivered to wrong iPhone

I send text messages out on my personal phone and the responses come to my office phone. I suspect this is related to how the phones are connected through the App Store and iCloud. I need some help figuring out what I
should do to get this text message routing corrected.

– Mike

A: This is very likely only a problem when receiving iMessages (displayed in blue) from other iOS device users as opposed to actual SMS messages (which are displayed in green); if you’re having a problem with SMS/MMS messages coming to the wrong device, that’s a serious problem with your carrier, however since both devices are on different carriers this is extremely unlikely.

Unlike SMS/MMS messages, iMessages travel via the Internet through Apple’s servers, and are addresses based on phone numbers and email addresses associated with your device(s) and your Apple ID. If you’ve logged into iMessage using the same Apple ID on both iPhones, there’s a good chance that your iMessage addresses—including phone numbers—are actually being used on both iPhones.

This has long been the practice when using an email address for iMessage—multiple email addresses can be configured and are all stored with the Apple ID for use across multiple iOS devices. With iOS 6, however, Apple also began doing the same thing with your phone number; once you configured your Apple ID on an iPhone, the phone number of that iPhone is automatically associated with your Apple ID, and can be used on other iOS devices such as iPads, iPod touches, and even other iPhones.

You can check this by going into Settings, Messages and selecting Send & Receive. This will display all of the addresses that are configured for iMessage under your Apple ID. Addresses that are enabled on the current device will be displayed with a checkmark beside them.


Text messages being delivered to wrong iPhone

If you’re using two iPhones with the same Apple ID, you’ll very likely see two phone numbers listed here—the one from the device you’re using followed by the one from your other iPhone. The first phone number will be greyed out and can’t be de-selected as it’s the phone number for the device you’re looking at, but you can disable receiving iMessages to any of the other addresses simply by tapping on them to clear the checkmark. Note that you can’t actually remove a phone number from here, as this list shows all of the numbers that are associated with your Apple ID, but simply disabling it will suffice in this case.



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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.