How To Stop Receiving iMessages That Aren't Yours

This article will explain how to stop getting iMessages not intended for you and how to stop someone else from getting your iMessages.
 
Applies to: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iCloud, iOS 6
 
With the release of iOS 6 a few weeks ago (September 19, 2012) Apple has made it possible to synchronize iMessages across all of your iDevices (and Macs using Mountain Lion) via iCloud or iPhone telephone number.  Previously in iOS 5, iMessages could only be synchronized via an iCloud account.
 

Why am I getting my (Mom, dad, brother, sister, boyfriend, husband, wife etc)'s messages?  Why are they seeing my iMessages?

iCloud is a free service from Apple that is intended to synchronize data across devices.  When two (or more) devices are using the same iCloud account, those devices will all see and have access to that shared data.  An example of this is iMessage.  If someone sends me an iMessage, I can read and reply to that iMessage regardless of if I am driving in my car with my iPhone, or sitting at my desk in front of my iMac.
 
iOS 6 took the syncing of iMessages one step further by unifying your iPhone number with your iCloud account.  Previously in iOS 5, only iMessages sent to your iCloud account email address were synchronized across devices.  This would happen if the person sending the iMessage only had your email address in their contacts list.  On iOS6, now iMessages sent to your phone number are also synchronized across all devices.
 
If you upgraded to iOS 6 and were sharing an iCloud account OR iTunes account with another person, that person may now be able to receive iMessages sent to you and send iMessages "as" you.  This behavior is by design as iTunes accounts and iCloud accounts are not intended to be shared. 
 

Are they seeing all of my TXT messages?

No - iCloud only synchronizes iCloud's iMessages, not standard SMS Text messages.  To understand the differences between iMessages and SMS Text Messages, see this page: Difference between txt messages and iMessages
 

How stop getting iMessages:

To stop getting someone else's iMessages, first ensure that you have created your own iCloud account.  You can do this by signing out of whatever shared iCloud is on your iDevice by tapping Settings and then tapping 'iCloud'.  Scroll down, and select Delete Account.  Be sure to read and understand the messages and warnings that appear.  This should delete the iCloud account and all of the local data from your device - it does not delete the iCloud account from "the iCloud".  Once signed out of iCloud you can tap Settings and then iCloud again, and choose the option to create a new iCloud account and follow the instructions and prompts.
 
Now that you have your own iCloud account, check your iMessage settings to ensure that only your iCloud information and your iPhone number is being used.  Tap Settings, then Messages, then "Send & Receive".  Ensure that at the top, next to "Apple ID", your ID information is displayed.  If it is still showing someone else's Apple ID, tap it, and choose Sign Out.  Then tap it again to sign in with your Apple ID/iCloud account.  
Below "You can be reached by iMessage at:" ensure that only your associated email address and iPhone number is listed.  To remove an email, tap it and select "remove this email".  To remove an iPhone number that is not yours, tap it to remove the checkmark.
Scroll down and do the same for "Start new conversations from:" - this is your 'caller ID' for iMessages that you send.
** It is important to do the steps above on ALL devices that were sending or receiving your iMessages **
 
Another way to stop getting (or sending) iMessages would be to deactivate iMessage completely. To disable iMessages, tap Settings, then Messages, and next to 'iMessage' tap the "on" to switch it to "off".  With iMessage deactivated all text messages will be sent as standard (paid) SMS/TXT messages, and no messages will be shared via iCloud on this device.  
 

How to use your own iCloud account and share an iTunes account:

Most people began receiving shared messages because they were sharing an iTunes account for App or music purchases.  You can still use your own iCloud account for iMessages, email, FaceTime, etc, and use a shared iTunes account for music and App purchases.
 
After you have followed the steps above to create and sign into iMessage with your own iCloud account, tap SETTINGS, then iTunes & App Stores.  Next to Apple ID, make sure the shared account you wish to use is listed.  To change it, tap it, then choose sign-out, then sign in using the shared iTunes or Apple ID you wish to use.  Changing or signing in to this setting will not affect the iMessage settings listed above.
 
 
The steps above can get confusing!  If you have questions or if we missed anything please post your question below.
 

   

   

Comments

How can I keep my calendar synced but exclude imessaging from being activated by someone else? Thanks.

not sure what you mean by "being activated by someone else" ..
Can you elaborate on the problem or what you are trying to avoid?

My mother has a track phone or something like that (it's just your ordinary flip phone) and she has been receiving texts from my aunt's and uncle. I know at least one of them has an iphone, but why is my mother receiving their texts? They definitely are not meant to go to her.

Your aunt and uncle have probably entered the wrong phone number for your mother in their contacts, or they are fatfingering it..
Either way, I would be 99.999999% certain that it's user-error on their part.

Everyone in my household has an Iphone... we all have seperate Icloud accounts but share an Itunes account. I have the ability to get everyone Imessages on my device or turn each off by unchecking in the settings. Is there a way to remove each others numbers off the device with out needing to rely that they uncheck receiving messages to a specific phone #?

I think if you change your password it will break that connection. Otherwise it has to be disabled on each device as far as I know.

My iphone was getting my moms contacts, how do I erase those contacts that she has so I only have the contacts I used to have that are mine?

This is caused by one of three things:
1) using hers/the same iCloud account
2) syncing through iTunes under the same Mac account
3) Syncing through iTunes under the same Windows account

To fix if it's from #1: In on the iPhone, in Settings|Mail, Contacts & Calendars, look at the accounts that are setup for "contacts" and remove/change
To fix if it's from #2: Either configure iCloud for your contacts (see #1), or create a new account on the computer and use that account to store you contacts in the Contacts app and sync with iTunes
To fix if it's from #3: Probably do something similar to #2, but I dont know how it all works in Windows

Hello, my ipad at home has been showing message conversations that arn't mine but indicate being sent from my phone. I contacted o2 who said there was an issue with my number not being re-entered when I upgraded to the latest IOS, and that is why I've been receiving these messages and conversations from others. That seems fair enough, but why would they be indicating on my imessage, and as being from my number? Any thoughts?

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