Switching from iPhone? Don’t Expect Your Text Messages to Follow You

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If you switched from an iPhone to an Android smartphone and stopped receiving text messages from your iPhone-toting friends, you aren't alone. Even worse, Apple is aware of the problem, but apparently has no idea how to fix it.

iMessage bug may eat text messages after you switch from iPhone to a different smartphoneiMessage bug may eat text messages after you switch from iPhone to a different smartphone

The problem crops up after switching from an iPhone to an Android phone if you also used Apple's iMessage service. Your phone number apparently doesn't unlink from iMessage, so texts from your iPhone using friends simply disappear into the ether, but appear to them as if they were delivered.

Adam Pash, formerly from Lifehacker, detailed his frustration from trying to resolve the problem with Apple tech support saying, "The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it."

There are several suggested fixes for the issue, but none seem to be sure-fire solutions to the problem. In Mr. Pash's case, none have been effective.

He said,
In the meantime, Apple has completely hijacked my text messaging and my phone number portability (portability between devices, not networks). No one can fix this but Apple because it's a problem at the device level, which means people in my position have no recourse but to wait for Apple to figure out what the problem is. 

Since the messages appear to have been delivered, senders don't have the option of resending as SMS. That means once a message is sent, there isn't any way to try again.

This isn't a problem if you're changing phone numbers along with smartphone platforms because iMessage is linked to you specific number. The upside is that you can see your iMessage conversations across all of your iOS devices and your Mac, and presumably those lost texts will still show up on other devices that are still linked to your number even if your smartphone isn't on the list.

For now, it seems switchers are at the mercy of Apple awaiting a solution to their lost text message problems, and there isn't any hint that a fix is coming soon.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]

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I know a couple people who switched to Android, then told me they weren't getting my text messages. I assumed it was user error. Guess I better text them an apology.

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Brady Allmon

I had the same problem when I was trying an HTC One last year. My solution was to turn off iMessage prior to switching SIM card to the Android phone. Never lost a message after I did that!

John Dingler, artist

Hi Jeff,
Well, an eminent solution is obvious.

Lee Dronick

John, apostates are always welcome to return. smile


Had the problem initially, but also turned off iMessage and told contacts to text me using SMS.  All was fine after that. 

It is clear that at this point that both companies have no interest in making the two systems talk to or work with each other.  The only thing they both seem to be doing is making the lawyers rich.


It’s not just iMessage, though. I have the same Problem with FaceTime - and quite unrelated to Android.

I switched to a new iPhone and very shortly afterward a relative inherited one but the plan had been cancelled. So I gave him my micro-SIM (my new one uses nano-SIM). Unfortunately, he gets my FaceTime calls as he has my old phone number. We have tried all the sign-out/sign-in voodoo on both phones, and his phone has a different iCloud account. Nothing works - Apple’s “presence” system just has it borked.


The solution should be as simple as this. You log in to your Apple ID management page which has the ability to remove your phone number from iMessage. If it’s more complicated than this, Apple screwed something up.


@jbruni: it should be but it isn’t. The phone number for the AppleID is (and was) correct.

You’re right - Apple has screwed something up.


So the complaint is, you’re using Apple’s free service to chat with your friends. They all use the free service too. Then you leave and use a paid service (SMS) and your friends still think you’re on the free service?

Get smarter friends.

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