Apple’s iMessage is one of the most popular messaging platforms around, and it’s a great way for Apple to lock people into its ecosystem. As great as iMessage is, there may still be times you need to disable or complete deactivate it.

Some of those times may be down to good old-fashioned troubleshooting (or perhaps you really did make the jump to Android) Whatever your reasons, you will not only need to turn iMessage off on your iPhone or iPad but potentially tell Apple to remove your number from iMessage on the server-side, too.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

How to Disable iMessage on Your iPhone or iPad

Disabling iMessage on your iPhone or iPad is often the first step to take if you’re having issues with sending or receiving messages. A simple toggle off and then back on can often wake iMessage up, and while we might not like to admit it, the age-old suggestion of turning something off and then back on again does work more often than not.

To disable iMessage, head into the Settings app and tap “Messages.”

Complete the process of turning iMessage off by flicking the switch. If you do need to turn it back on, here’s where you would do that too.

How to Deactivate iMessage

If you are switching away from the iPhone and want to be done with iMessage completely, deactivating your phone number and removing it from the iMessage service centrally is the way to go. To achieve that, visit and enter your telephone number after selecting your country. Press “Send Code” to initiate the process.

Apple will send you a confirmation code via SMS and once that arrives, plug it into the “Confirmation Code” box before pressing “Submit.”

Once all of these steps are completed, your phone number will no longer be associated with iMessage. SMS will be unaffected and will continue to work as usual.

Profile Photo for Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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