How to Stop iMessages From Popping up on Other Devices

Families can share an Apple ID and route messages to specific devices

What to Know

  • Control where iMessages appear by going to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Uncheck phone numbers and email addresses.
  • Add a new iMessage email by logging in to Apple ID and selecting Edit. Go to Reachable At and select Add More.
  • Remove or add phone numbers to FaceTime in the same way, but go to Settings > FaceTime instead of Messages.

iMessage lets you send and receive messages on all your iOS devices, but if family members share an Apple ID, this default feature can lead to confusion and privacy issues. This article explains how to stop iMessages from appearing on all devices connected to an Apple ID. These instructions apply to devices with iOS 8 and later.

Control Where iMessages Appear

Multiple people can share the same Apple ID and still route iMessages to specific devices.

  1. Navigate to your iPhone or iPad's Settings.

    Settings icon on an iPad
  2. Tap Messages (on the iPad's left-side menu; scroll down to find Messages in your iPhone's Settings).

    Messages heading in the Setting screen on an iPad
  3. Tap Send & Receive.

    Send & Receive heading on the Messages screen on an iPad
  4. This screen lists the phone numbers and email addresses associated with the Apple ID. Uncheck any phone numbers or email addresses that should no longer receive or send iMessages that are associated with your Apple ID.

    Choose to send and receive only to an email address and remove your actual phone number completely, if you prefer.

    Checked phone number on the iMessage screen on an iPad
  5. Select at least one phone number or email address to receive iMessages to and reply from. If you don't want to use iMessage at all, turn off the feature in the previous screen by tapping the switch next to iMessage.

    iMessages selector in the Messages screen on an iPad
  6. If you opt to use two addresses, such as your phone number and your email address, choose which one to use by default via the Start New Conversations From setting. This setting will show up only if you choose to send messages from two sources.

How to Add a New Email Address for iMessage

Add a new email address for iMessage only via Apple's website. It's not possible to do this from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Go to the Apple ID Account page using your web browser and log in to your Apple ID.

  2. To the right of the Account section, select the Edit button.

    Main Apple ID account page with Edit button
  3. Scroll down to the Reachable At section of the account settings and choose the Add More option.

    Account edit screen on the Apple ID website with the Add More option highlighted
  4. Type in the email address you want to use and click Continue.

    Adding an email to an Apple ID with Continue button is highlighted
  5. Apple will immediately prompt you for a code sent to the email address on file. Check your email for the message and enter the code into the boxes to proceed.

What About FaceTime Calls?

FaceTime works similarly to iMessage. Calls are routed to a phone number or an email address associated with the account; these addresses are turned on by default. If multiple users share an Apple ID, everyone's FaceTime calls may be sent to all devices on the account.

Disable this the same way you disabled iMessage, but instead of going into Messages in Settings, tap on FaceTime. Under You can be reached by FaceTime at, uncheck any email address or phone number whose FaceTime calls you don't want to receive.

Setting screen and Facetime screen on the iPhone

Apple advises using a separate Apple ID for each person in a family and connecting them using the Family Sharing feature. But many people still opt to share an Apple ID among family members.

  • How do I get iMessage on Android?

    To get iMessage functionality on Android, use a third-party app called weMessage on your Android and Mac. Download weMessage on the Mac and set up the program. Download the weMessage app on your Android and configure the app. weMessage on the Mac will route messages through the iMessage network to your Android.

  • How do I sync iMessage to a Mac?

    To sync iMessage to a Mac, open your iPhone and go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. On the Mac, launch Messages and select Preferences from the Messages menu. Select iMessage, confirm your Apple ID, and check all the boxes in the You can be reached for messages at section that are checked on your iPhone.

  • How do you text yourself on iMessage?

    On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages and ensure iMessage is enabled. In the Contacts app, create a contact with your name if you haven't already. Optionally, create a contact for yourself under a different name. To text yourself, create a new iMessage and enter your name as the contact.

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