Recently canceled cell service for iPhone 3GS (iOS 6) but have still been using it to iMessage. Today I got a message from someone I didn't know apparently AT&T reassigned my phone number to someone else and both my phone and hers were receiving the messages. How do I have others iMessage me to my email address instead of phone number?

  • Did you disable iMessage on the current phone to be sure you didn't just receive a plain old SMS? Since iMessage is tied to AppleID - it's very hard for someone else to guess your password and get your messages since it's addressed to a cryptographic key instead of the actual phone number or email address. Also - did you see the message on both devices or was that an educated guess?
    – bmike
    Mar 15, 2013 at 2:37
  • Do you see your old phone number (probably greyed out) in Settings > Messages > Send & Recieve?
    – Josh Hunt
    Mar 15, 2013 at 3:41
  • If the iPhone Number has become removed as iMessages on that iPhone was Off for a long period then your Apple ID may be the only contact details that are valid at the moment. If you then send iMessages they will be From your Apple ID and people will reply to the Apple ID. Even if you remove that conversation they may still list it an use it to start an "new" conversation with you which will still be with or to your Apple ID
    – BDRSuite
    May 6, 2015 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Go to the deregister page at:

You can also change the send as "caller ID" portion for sending new messages in the Settings App -> Messages -> Send & Receive -> Start new conversations from:

You might have some old conversations that end since you are now using your email for iMessage so send a new message to your friends if they won't know to try your email instead of your SMS going forward.


If you see your old phone number in Settings > Messages > Send & Recieve, you can reset this by turning iMessage off and on again

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