Imagine this: I exchanged my phone number with a nice lady on the street. I have iMessage activated, so does she (when I text her, I see the "iMessage" text).

An hour later she sends me an email. The email I used as an username when I activated my phone.


  1. How did she extract my email from my phone?
  2. Is there a service that I can use to extract email from a phone?
  3. Why can't I extract her email?

BTW, googling the subject gave me nothing - not even another person asking the same question.

  • 1
    Doesn't iMessage use email addresses to identify users (which isn't the same thing as using email to transfer data — it doesn't, or at least not only email)? This sounds like a question on iMessage works, not a security question. May 29, 2013 at 22:31
  • It's a security question - can I query iMessage's database without the proper authentication.
    – mist
    May 30, 2013 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


I see the mostly likely cause of this being the possibility that your default sending address is set to your email address. I say this because it appears that you initiated the conversation.

You can check (and change) this by going to Settings.app -> Messages -> Send & Receive. Under "Start new conversations from:", observe whether your email address or phone number is selected.

If your email address is selected, this would be an easy explanation as to why this happened.

Otherwise, as far as I know, (and I have just went over this to verify), it is impossible to extract the email address that is associated with an iMessage phone number from just a regular iMessage "text".

  • my default "Start new conversations from" is the email that was extracted from the "girl". So this is how my email ended up in her hands. Which actually means that she didn't "query" a database, but most likely I sent my email.
    – mist
    May 30, 2013 at 15:50
  • So yes, that would make sense. May 30, 2013 at 18:28

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