How to Stop Sending Messages to Your Old Phone

Buying a new phone is exciting. It’s shiny, doesn’t scratch, and comes with new features that your old phone doesn’t have. It’s all fun and games until you realize something’s missing: your text messages aren’t showing up on your new phone, but instead being sent to your old one. What gives?

This wasn’t a problem before. When you switched from one phone to another, your texts came with you. You didn’t have to worry about your old SIM-free phone intercepting messages from your new device. But now moving the SIM isn’t enough, because it’s not the fault of the SIM in the first place. Rather, it is the Internet.

Your phone works with two different types of messages these days. There are SMS (horrible “green bubbles” on the iPhone) that use standard cellular networks to send basic messages; but there are also internet messages that come through iMessage on iPhone and RCS on Android. Unlike in the past, these services are not necessarily tied to your SIM card, but are tied to an account registered on the device. If you still have a phone number registered on your old phone, this may interfere with your messaging.

How to prevent messages from being sent to your old iPhone or Android

If you have an old phone on hand, this is an easy fix. If your old phone is an iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive . Tap your Apple ID at the bottom, then select Sign Out. You can also do the same in the Settings > FaceTime menu. If you don’t have an old phone, no big deal: just change your Apple ID password in Settings > [your name] > Password & Security . Setting a new password will remove all existing phone numbers from all connected Apple devices.

If your old phone is Android, such as Google Pixel, you will probably want to disable the chat features on this device. On your old phone, open Messages, tap the three dots, then choose Settings > Chat Features . From here, you can disable “Chat Features” with a single tap.


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