Apple Rolls Out Lost iMessage Repair Tool

Much to Apple's surprise, not everyone that buys an iPhone sticks with the platform, and that led to a problem where switchers never saw text messages from their friends who stayed with iOS. Apple has finally addressed the problem with a new Web-based utility that unlinks phone numbers from iMessage so you'll still see texts when switching to an Android or Windows smartphone.

Apple's iMessage reregistration tool fixes lost SMS problems for former iPhone usersApple's iMessage reregistration tool fixes lost SMS problems for former iPhone users

The lost SMS problem starts when a former iPhone user gets their new non-iOS smartphone. Their iPhone-toting friends send texts via the Messages app, but they never arrive even though it appears to the sender as if they have. As far as Messages is concerned, the recipient's phone number is still going to an iPhone, and it thinks your texts have been delivered.

The company said earlier this year it fixed a bug on its end that was preventing phone numbers from breaking free from Apple accounts, but it seems there was more to the issue because now we have iMessage deregistration website.

To unlink your phone number from Messages, just head on over to Apple's deregistration Web page. The site says you need to turn off Messages before ditching your iPhone. Here's how:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Messages
  • Set iMessage to Off

If you don't have your iPhone any more, the deregistration tool comes in especially handy. You give Apple your phone number, the company sends a confirmation code you enter into the tool, and your missing SMS problem is gone.

It's great that Apple now has its Messages deregistration utility available, but it sure was a long time coming. Plus, it shouldn't have ever been necessary at all.