Apple has just introduced a new tool for deregistering phone numbers from iMessage, thereby helping users avoid the so-called “iMessage purgatory.”
The condition first came to light back in May, when it was found to occur as an effect of switching from an iPhone to a non-Apple phone such as an Android, Windows or BlackBerry phone. As a result, with the phone number still registered to iMessage even following the switch, a text message sent from an iPhone to the number would get stuck in “iMessage purgatory.”
Shortly after the issue was publicized, Apple was sued over undelivered text messages to Android phones used by former iMessage users.
And now, as noted by The Verge, Apple has launched a Web tool for deregistering phone numbers from its iMessage system.
“You might need to deregister iMessage if you have a non-Apple phone and can’t get SMS or text messages someone sends you from an iPhone,” Apple explains on the webpage for the new tool. “This can happen if you used iMessage on your iPhone and then transferred your SIM card or phone number to a non-Apple phone (such as Android, Windows, or BlackBerry).”
The page offers instructions on how to deregister your phone number from iMessage in two cases: if you still have your iPhone and if you no longer have it.
If you still have the iPhone you were using iMessage on before you switched to a non-Apple phone, you have to put your SIM card back to the iPhone and turn iMessage off in the Settings app.
If the iPhone is no longer in your possession, you have to enter the phone number you want to deregister in the Web tool along with the six-digit confirmation code that you’ll receive.
And that’s it. Your erstwhile iMessage-enabled phone number is pulled out of “iMessage purgatory” and into regular text messaging bliss on your non-Apple phone.