I received a new iPhone with a new number so I wanted to cancel my previous iPhone and number. I wanted to remove this number from my Apple ID so that it was removed from being used in iMessage and Facetime on all of my devices.
After some google searching there were all kinds of “how tos” and forum posts from people who had different ways of doing it- none of which worked for me.
Finally I found this Apple KB article:
Scroll down under the section that says “How to Unlink a Phone Number“. I followed those steps and my “old” number was removed from iMessage and Facetime on all of my devices. I could now erase / factory reset the old phone and not worry that the phone number or device was still associated with my account.
Here’s the steps from the KB article above, that worked for me:
To remove a phone number from an Apple ID, sign out of FaceTime and Messages on your iPhone. Sign out in the following locations:
- Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Tap your Apple ID, then tap Sign Out.
- Settings > FaceTime. Tap your Apple ID, then tap Sign Out.
This should remove your phone number from other devices using the same Apple ID with FaceTime and Messages.
If the phone number is still available on other devices after you sign out of FaceTime and iMessage on the iPhone, you may need to sign out of iMessage and FaceTime on all your devices, then sign in to FaceTime and Messages again on devices you want to use.
Note: If you no longer have access to the iPhone that is using the number you want to remove, reset your Apple ID password.
If this article has helped you, let me (and others) know by leaving a comment!
Also, check the comments below to see what else has worked for others!
JANUARY 20th 2014 UPDATE!
A great blog post from our friends over at iMore: http://www.imore.com/text-issues-switching-iphone-android-heres-fix, copied below for reference:
If you’ve succumbed to the temptations of Android — or even Windows Phone orBlackBerry — there are some steps you need to take to make sure the iPhone friends you leave behind can still reach you. iMessage works by routing iPhone to iPhone messages through Apple’s servers instead of sending them as actual text messages. Unfortunately, unless you tell it to stop doing this, iMessage has no way of knowing you’ve left, at least until it times out after a couple weeks, and that’s beyond frustrating. Luckily, deactivating it is easy. Here’s how!
How to deactivate iMessage and before switching from iPhone to Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone
Complete these steps from your iPhone before starting to use your new smartphone:
- Launch Settings from the Home screen of your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on Messages.
- At the top, turn iMessage to Off.
- Now hop into the Messages app and send some messages to people you know have iPhones to make sure they can message you back. You want green messages bubbles for everything.
That’s all there is to it. Once you’ve done this, iMessage should hopefully deactivate from Apple’s servers and you shouldn’t have any issues, nor should you have to go any further into this guide. As a side note, the sooner you do this, the better off you are. If you know you’re going out to purchase an Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone in 3 days, do this process right now. That way you have turned off iMessage and it gives the servers a few days to actually process the request completely and boot you off.
Once you’ve switched to your new smartphone, verify you can send and receive text messages to someone else using an iPhone. If you aren’t receiving anything back, continue on to remedy the problem…
How to fully deactivate iMessage from Apple’s servers
Unfortunately, there isn’t a list of steps you can perform on your own. Instead, you need to call 1-800-MY-APPLE in order to have Apple manually de-register your phone number from the Apple servers. In order to do this, make sure you have your Apple ID on hand as well as the phone number in question.
To expedite the process of your call, be sure to ask for technical support when calling in. Then just tell them you’re switching to a smartphone that isn’t an iPhone and you can’t receive messages so you need them to manually unregister you from the iMessage servers.
Still having issues?
If you’re still having issues with iMessage deactivating after completing both of the following, let us know what they are in the comments. Our iMore forums are also a great place to get help since many of our members have run into similar issues. So check them out and let us know if you found a different solution we haven’t covered.