Skip to main content

New Apple iMessage de-registration tool lets you switch to Android and reclaim your SMS

Apple had launched a new tool to make it easier for iOS users to switch to a competing smartphone platform and not lose text messages. Previously, iPhone users who switched to a rival operating system would still have their numbers locked into Apple's iMessage servers, creating problems with text messages not showing up. Now, with the new tool, users can unregister their numbers from the iMessage system and text messages won't be lost should you switch to Android or another platform.

The web-based tool allows you to enter your phone number into the system and Apple will send you a confirmation code via SMS. You'll need to type the code into the browser and your number will be released and freed from iMessage.

Have you tried the tool? Let us know how it works.

Source: Apple (opens in new tab); via: The Verge, Reddit

Have you listened to this week's Android Central Podcast?

Android Central

Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.

  • Good for Apple, doesn't seem like them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well it took them getting hit with a class action lawsuit to finally make the change. So, very much like Apple actually. It's not like they did this out of the kindness of their corporate heart. Posted via Android Central App
  • Still broken! Users should NOT have to take action AT ALL. This is 100% on Apple to fix and to fix automatically. Users shouldn't have to lose text messages, somehow notice that they lost them, figure out on their own that it's Apple's fault, contact Apple, go to a web site, and use some stupid tool.
  • And explain to me how texts auto transfer to another phone without you doing something...? Also it was an easy fix to do yourself anyways but w.e. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If this imessage fails, then send it to SMS on file. Posted via the Android Central App
  • iMessage only uses phone numbers as a way to identify other iPhones. It can be used with an email address as well, so in many cases iMessage will successfully send despite the number not being for an iPhone anymore. This is the best you'll get, and it's quite easy to do. Apple could have required that you call them afterall Posted via the Android Central App
  • Now if the would bring iMessage to Android, that would be cool. I could talk to all my iPhone friends.
  • True, even Blackberry realized that when they opened BBM for other Platforms
  • Because once you are Android you forget you ever had iPhone friends.
  • Well, my wife uses an iPhone, so... that's not happening.
  • Sure it can happen, it just costs half your stuff Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • +1 Posted via an AT&T HTC One Mini
  • This. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Prenup.
  • So just text her? Posted via the Android Central App
  • @just-some-person-without-a-body-or-whatever: This is why they need to legalize being able to have more than one spouse. Not to mention it would be great to have 3 or 4 extra incomes under one roof. Even the current data family plans support this. I'm just sayin. It worked for thousands of years then here comes Europe and their rules, while maintaining the highest divorce rate in the world along with America. It would solve the iPhone Android messaging problem, see? And no I don't live in Utah. I'm just thinking practical here. If you can have same same unions, then why not multiple of different amongst consenting adults? Who determined that it was wrong to love more than one? Is it not possible to treat everyone basically the same? If you had two kids would you neglect one while loving the other? Probably not. Things to think about on your Android device while you retrieve your iMessages.
  • My luck there'd be on on iOS, one one Windows and one on BlackBerry. What a disaster that would be.
  • This is just an awesome comment (2nd post above mine) that literally made me laugh out loud. That was the most humorous comment that I've read it a long time and with valid points as well. Thumbs up. Oh and about iMessage, I've got nothing. I've never owned and iPhone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • @ theShiz My inner dirka dirka approves of this post
  • Well you can't download imessage on Android but they can download google hangouts on iPhone so you can chat with your iPhone friends if they want to chat with you. Personally even if imessage was available for Android I wouldn't download it when there are a million cross platform chat apps available. Why should you tailor to them? Posted via the Android Central App
  • iMessage is actually really good. I use it on my rMBP to chat with my wife. I have had more dropped message and connection issues using hangouts than iMessage.
  • Lies Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3
  • Because it would also be "cross platform", and if that´s where folks are, well then what´s the problem?
  • +1
  • Why not just text them?
  • I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan that only includes 200 text messages.
  • I wouldn't know what to do with the other 27 days of the month Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Exactly!
  • your friends can use Google Hangouts.
  • They use iPhones, so they only know iMessage. But seriously, my wife and i have tried Hangouts on iOS. It's not as good (reliable) as iMessage. It's better than it used to be, but it's just not there.
  • You can text iPhone users.............. Ummm half my family has iPhone and other half use android phones Sent from my Nexus 5
  • Texts cost some people money you know. WiFi doesn't have the same huge charges for going over. Posted from the amazing whatever device I can afford because I'm a broke college kid.
  • Then Apple would lose all the female hipster tweens business. Which is the majority of iPhone users. Posted via the Android Central App
  • When I switched to Android, it took a while, but I got my family and friends to switch to WhatsApp. Just wish it was more secure. Posted via Android Central App
  • And wish it supported SMS Posted via Android Central App
  • They need to keep fine tuning hangouts so it can be more like imessage Posted via the Android Central App
  • In due time. Posted via Android Central App
  • Except cross-platform and not crappy to deal with like iMessage is.
  • Google Hangouts.
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • Finally, I know someone switched back because they were missing text messages from alot of people.
    Surprised no one sued Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • Pretty sure this whole thing came about because of a lawsuit...? Posted via the Moto X Pure Edition on 5.0 Lollipop
  • where is the link to the webpage? thanks
  • In the article Posted from my Droid Turbo, Kelly and Ozone
  • I switch back and forth between android & WP and iPhone and have not had this issue. Posted via my OnePlus One!
  • I know. I switch platforms all the time without this issue., so I don't understand why so many are having this issue.
  • This is very un-Apple Posted via the Android Central App
  • To wait with fixing their issues until after they're losing a court case? Isn't that exactly what Apple always been like?
  • It's VERY Apple to market this as some kind of awesome new feature they're rolling out when the reality is they hijacked people's messages in an attempt to lock people in to their lousy platform. Also- It shouldn't require any action on the user's part at all- that's a LARGE and unnecessary inconvenience- it should just happen- and they're proud of imposing this on people.
  • I don't get it. If you're already on Android, you may already not be getting your texts, in which case you wouldn't get the confirmation??? Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you're registered in the iMessage system, people on iPhone have trouble texting you. Posted via the Android Central App powered by Droid Turbo
  • About damn time. Finally makes the process easier to switch from iOS to Android.
  • Here is a suggestion, why don't we just make phone calls? Just kidding. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What is the 'phone call' you speak of? Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Im 18, idk wur a phne call be, is dat frum b4 tha t9 days. Ur old m8 lolololololol /s Posted from the amazing whatever device I can afford because I'm a broke college kid.
  • What is iMessage? What is Apple? What is a lamp? I love lamp? Look!...a cat.
  • I needed this 2 weeks ago! Had to unregister my # thru a chat with an Apple rep even though I had turned iMessage off before switching to Android. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Finally! When I switched from my last iPhone it took 40 days to remove my number from the imessage database. I went through all the suggested tips like resetting my apple Id pw or removing device from account, didn't help. This is great, good job apple. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think what's app is the best app for chatting. Works on all OS devices
  • As an AT&T Sales rep, this is a godsend. Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • What no love for Fb messenger? /ducks Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Apple needs to stop being so anal.
  • But then Apple would no longer be Apple.
  • My wife just switched to Android. All we did was shut off iMessage in the iPhone settings. Now she only gets SMS from iPhone users. Not sure why you need the tool. Posted via Android Central App
  • Good, how about ditching the fruit company all together as well? For all of those out there so invested in IOS.....ok, I'm not much of a fan of apple. Android kit kat/ lollipop > ios 7/8
  • I don't get the need for all of these different texting programs. What is wrong with standard MMS and SMS? They work just fine without all of this nonsense. Posted via Android Central App
  • Except when don't have a solid signal from your carrier in your apartment, Hangouts and Google Voice over my Wi-Fi have become my only means of communication from the comfort of my home. Posted via Android Central App
  • I see your point there, but I think in your situation I'd change carriers. Posted via Android Central App
  • T-Mobile wifi calling.
  • Finally. On day 72 of the 45 day wait Apple tech support insisted I had to endure. Never turn on an iPhone with a SIM card in it. Ever.
  • This is a good reason to use What's App on iPhone Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hi, can someone help me, more than an year since I have moved to android, I turned off the imessage and deleted the phone number from apple id before I changed to android and I still cant receive SMSes, I'm from India and there's no option to deregister from India.
  • I'm still waiting for the day when you can register for hangouts using a phone number vs. Email/google plus. Half my android contacts still don't even know what google hangouts is. I'm constantly having to teach people. Luckily my inner circle uses it for all our group messaging needs. (i borderline had to give a presentation on all its benefits and why it's better than standard text, whatsapp and groupme). I have a strong dislike for facebook messenger so they knew any messages sent there would be ignored for months.
  • This story is factually inaccurate. If a user was using iMessage to send/receive their text messages, they could deregister their number from iMessage at any time as long as they still had their iPhone. This tool is for people that didn't deregister before the user got rid of the iPhone. The story makes it sound like there was no way to do that which is false. Still Apple should have come up with a solution sooner.
  • Try telling that to the long list of people who tried it, and it did not work. I'm one of them. My iPhone is sitting on my desk, and I (and apple support) tried many, many times to fix things. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Except.. it propably wont work that good... ... ( 0ppo F5) ...
  • So what happens if you get a new phone number, and the previous person to have that number used an iPhone with iMessage? I would hope once a number is thrown back in to the pool this is somehow reset so it is not a problem for the next person considering you would have no way to even know. Posted via Android Central App
  • you obviously didn't go to the website. go to it, type in the number, and bam. done.
  • This will actually be helpful to me.
    My mother switched to a Galaxy S4 from a iPhone 3GS and her old iphone still gets text messages when on wifi.
  • Why couldn't they just allow you to go to their website and turn off iMessages when you want to? That would solve so many problems. It's also a very simple fix.
  • only took 4 years! i had to change my number to get away from those dicks.