Photo: Sabelnikova Olga (Shutterstock)
Buying a new phone is exciting. It’s shiny, scratch-free, and comes with new features your old phone doesn’t have. It’s all fun and games until you realize something’s missing: Your text messages aren’t popping up on your new phone, and instead, they’re going to your old one. What gives?
In the past, this wasn’t an issue. When you moved from one phone to another, your texts came with you. You didn’t have to worry about your old, SIM-less phone intercepting messages from your new device. But now, moving the SIM over isn’t enough—because it isn’t really the SIM’s fault in the first place. Rather, it’s the internet.
Your phone deals with two different types of messages these days. There’s SMS (the dreaded “green bubbles” on iPhone), which rely on standard cell networks to send basic messages; but then there are the internet-based messages, which come through as iMessage on iPhone and RCS on Android. Unlike the past, these services aren’t necessarily tied to your SIM, but to the account signed into the device. If you still have your phone number registered with your old phone, that can lead to message interference.
How to stop messages from going to your old iPhone or Android
If you have your old phone on hand, it’s an easy fix. If your old phone is an iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Tap your Apple ID at the bottom, then choose “Sign Out.” You can do the same from Settings > FaceTime, as well. If you don’t have the old phone, that’s OK: Just change your Apple ID password from Settings > [Your Name] > Password & Security. By setting up a new password, any existing phone numbers will be removed from all connected Apple devices.
If your old phone is an Android, like a Google Pixel, you’ll likely want to disable Chat Features on that device. On the old phone, open Messages, tap the three dots, then choose Settings > Chat Features. From here, you can disable “Chat Features” with a tap.