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

My partner has received text message conversations from an unknown number using iCloud, he claims he knows nothing about it. Can this happen or is he lying?

I keep getting my brothers texts on my mac. I have my own i cloud account that both my phone and computer are set up too. I have already gone to settings,messages,send and recieve, and I made sure that none of his information was checked. And i am still getting his messages...

are you getting his TEXT messages (green) or his iMESSAGES (blue) ?

I set up a fmily sharing from my iphone 5, in order to add my under 13 year old daughters ipod. She now receives all of my text messages and I receive hers. I need to break this tie. Her icloud account is not listed in my send/receive in imessages. On her ipod it will not allow me to add her icloud email in the imessage send and recieve, not does icloud show her ipod device. My icloud account shows the ipod under my account. I've been trying to figure this out for month. Any help is apprecaited.

Question: Are you receiving each others TEXT messages or iCloud messages? (big difference!)

I assume you mean that you setup an Apple Family Share account, and not some kind of family account with your mobile provider?
If you setup an "Apple Family Share Account" then:
On BOTH devices, check SETTINGS/ICLOUD and make sure the right iCloud account is signed in (yours on your device, hers on her device)
Then on her device check SETTINGS/MESSAGES/Text Message Forwarding and make sure your device is not listed as "on"
On BOTH devices check SETTINGS/MESSAGES/Send & Receive and make sure the proper (for that device) accounts are listed.
IF after all that, this is still happening, then something is horribly broken and you will need to go to the Apple Store and have them look at it (which they will do for free.. best to call ahead) or call Apple Support. This should not be happening if everything is configured properly.

If your "family account" is with your mobile provider, you will have to call them and ask them how to change/disable this as it's not an Apple setting.

I signed in on someone's iCloud account for just a few short minutes and then signed back into mine. Since then I haven't been able to send texts to that person but I can receive their texts to me. What's going on?

Sounds like you arent signed out. have you double checked your Messages settings?

My son has had his Ipod touch for 3 years, he is able to send text messaging (via WiFi) he has had the same number since he got the phone. Recently my mom mistakenly called my son (forgetting it was only an Ipod) and someone else answered the phone. I called him back, he stated this is his number on his iphone and has had the number for 4 years. How can this be? How do I go about getting a new number for my son's ipod. Sorry I do not know alot about apple. signed... Droid user :/

Your questions are a bit ambiguous and you are using the words iPod, phone, and iPhone interchangeably, which is confusing.

He has an iPod AND an iPhone?
How/where did he get a phone number assigned to his iPod? Is he using an app for texting?
Do you want to assign a new number to the iPod, or are you trying to obtain the current number?

So my mom, sister, and dad all share an iCloud account. They've been receiving each others texts and I'm about to fix the problem but my mom is afraid she'd lose all of her contacts. If she makes a new iCloud account will she lose all of her contacts or no? 'Cause I believe we tried this before but she lost all of her contacts.

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