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

Hi, I have a question that's been bugging me for a while now. I go over to my bfs house often and we've taken pictures with his ipad, I have asked him to send me the pictures to my phone and he's tried via imessage but the pictures never went thru. I have even tried myself from his ipad and it doesn't work. I have also tried texting my phone from his ipad and it won't work. Last time, I was over at his house and when I went thru his ipad I found a conversation between two people. When I confronted him about it he said he didn't know how that got there. Is it really possible that he could've received a conversation between two random strangers?

[quote=Anonymous Visitor] I found a conversation between two people. When I confronted him about it he said he didn't know how that got there. Is it really possible that he could've received a conversation between two random strangers?[/quote]

he doesn't know how it got there.. and he never thought to delete it?

I have never heard of this happening. Look in the Messages settings and see if it is turned on (and not turned off so you don't see anything)..

I did do my own research on Google and I did find several people saying they received other people's conversations but most of them where back in 2011/2012. I will check the settings on his ipad though. Thanks

Yes, that was an issue a few years ago that (if i recall) had iPhones, and had recently changed/switched SIM cards.. either way as far as i remember, that was cleared up long, long ago.

I'm not going to sit here and lie but me and my husband decided to share I cloud accounts I don't mind were sharing his but how do I get his messages and make sure he doesn't know that I'm getting them? And same with pictures? He's a pipeliner works out of town a lot and and is always saying how his buddy's are always hiring gn escorts and going out to meet women I got on my internet the other day and saw that I had a page open to escorts in Bismarck nd I'm in Houston tx and he's in watford city nd how do I make sure to get all these things without him noticing?

if you are sharing icloud accounts, then assuming you have turned on and activated everything on both devices (mail, iMessage, etc) then you should already be getting these things sync'd on your device.
Just bear in mind, as posted here many times, sharing icloud accounts between two different people is usually a very confusing and un-workable way to do things, as it is not intended to be used this way.

So can he see my pictures or messages? Like if I sign in on his I cloud account?

If both devices are properly configured, and if the iMessage option and photostream option is turned on, then you would see iMessages and new pictures.
Note that it's imessages.. not "messages" or "text messages"..There is a big difference.

Me and my mum share an Apple ID and today she began receiving my iMessages on her iPad. I was wondering is it still possible for her not to see my iMessages even though I use iMessage on the same Apple ID as she uses ? Or will she always sync my iMessages regardless?

Either she can go into her Messages settings and turn off iMessages (I bet she doesnt need it) or you can create your own iCloud ID, and configure your imessages to use it while still using the shared Apple ID for App Store purchases.

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