When iOS 5 first came out, I added my @me address to my iPhone and iPad. People could iMessage me at my email address, and I'd see it on both devices. This wasn't always perfect, and recently I decided to forgo this, and just use my phone number on my phone and email address on the iPad.

So, I switched the caller ID on my phone to the phone number again, deleted all my text message threads that were created when I was using the email address, and started a new thread. Somebody who didn't have my email address saved in their contact asked why my text messages were coming from an email address, and another reception confirmed that when he tapped 'Contact Info' at the top of the message thread, my email address was highlight in blue, NOT my phone number - indicated that this is where the message was coming from.

Does anybody know why this is happening? Is there another setting I need to change? I'd really prefer to not have them come from my email address, because then any replies will goto both my phone and my iPad - which I don't want.

9 Answers 9


Go to settings on the iPhone. Go to the 'Messages' settings. And select Receive At.

See what it says there. It should be your phone number not Apple ID or email.

If you have a Apple email listed. You can remove it by.

Clicking the 'Apple ID [email protected]' You will get a popup which lets sign out thus removing the mac email address. enter image description here

  • Yep, it's there, greyed out. I don't believe it's possible to remove an associated phone number from an iPhone. My email address @me.com is also listed, which it won't let me remove since it's the only email address listed.
    – Gauzy
    Jan 22, 2012 at 22:33
  • Click the 'Apple ID [email protected]' You will get a popup which lets sign out thus removing the mac email address.
    – markhunte
    Jan 22, 2012 at 22:42
  • My @me is the only email address listed, so the 'Remove This Email' button is greyed out. It cannot be removed.
    – Gauzy
    Jan 22, 2012 at 23:59
  • I mean click the one at the top. That looks like a label. See update to Answer
    – markhunte
    Jan 23, 2012 at 1:41
  • Gotcha - thanks. I've done that, and the email was removed. Now, though messages between me and another iOS user show up as SMS, not iMessages. We both have iMessage turned on, but this doesn't seem to matter. Both on wifi as well, so there is a decent data connection.
    – Gauzy
    Jan 23, 2012 at 22:48

Try to see if your phone number shows up on top in the "Receive At" setting. If it doesn't, there are some reported cases where people have solved the problem by turning off iMessage, resetting Network Settings and then turn iMessage back on. I've had some difficulties in verifying my number one time I swapped the SIM card for another one and then back to the original SIM, and I managed to get it active again by doing this reset. Please note that you'll lose all the memorized Wi-Fi networks and their passwords by doing this.

Meanwhile you should also disable "Send As SMS". In case an iMessage doesn't get delivered, the only difference is that it will ask if you want to send it as a SMS.

I wouldn't worry to delete your previous message threads. Your iPhone will handle that. They will surely appear as a different thread on your friends' iOS device, because they come from a different sender.

Please let me know if this solves your problem.

  • It does show up on top - my @me.com email address is below it. I'll give the resetting network settings bit a shot. Haven't heard of disabling send as SMS - I'll try that. The reason I removed my previous message threads was really more of a test scenario, so I could see each new message as they came in to see where it was coming from/going to.
    – Gauzy
    Jan 22, 2012 at 22:34

Type in the person's entire phone number and do not select their name from the drop down list when it pops up. This will fix it. I would also delete the old thread as to prevent yourself from using it on accident again.


Just had this problem. Turned iMessages off and on again. It happened after I put a different SIM-card in my phone. Works fine now. :)


my phone number was showing greyed out with "error". When i turned iMessages off and then back on it showed back up. Looks like it fixed it.


I signed out and then signed back in. It asked me which I wanted to use. Uncheck the email. Your number will be grey but should have a check already. Hope this helps!


you can also just go to settings, messages, and then send and recieve, there should be options on how to start new conversations, you just have to click on whichever number to use!


For people looking for a 2019 answer, here is how to synchronize messages in all your messages apps across apps.

1 - on iOS

Make sure you are logged in in your iCloud account on your device.

Copy these settings in the Messages Settings page, and on the "Text Message Forwarding" and "Send & Receive" sections:

enter image description here

2 - on macOS

Open the Messages app, then go to Messages > Preferences > iMessage and set as such:

enter image description here

Once this is done, either give it some time or restart the devices.


When i deleted my apple id from the imessenger bit it added my telephone number into the box instead but it also turned imessenger off, so you will need to turn it back on in your settings.Hope this helps.

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