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Why Am I Getting Other People's Texts on My iPhone?

by on December 16, 2015
in iPhone/iPad Apps, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 :: 17 comments

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iMessages are green and text messages are blue

iMessages between iPhone users show up in blue. Text messages
are green.

Back in the age before smartphones (scarily enough, it really wasn’t so long ago), if you had a cell phone, it was yours and yours alone. It didn’t need to be connected to an email account just to work, and if your kids used it, it was just to play Brick Breaker. A lot of us eventually upgraded to the iPhone, and as the kids came along, brought them into the iPhone/iPad fold by putting our Apple IDs onto their devices.

Of course, what was once the easiest solution for getting a new device up and running has now become a nightmare: you’re getting messages from your kids’ friends about Minecraft, and they’re getting messages about Mom’s wine club. Yikes.

And with Apple’s introduction of Continuity with iOS 8, which lets all of your devices work in tandem and receive notifications at the same time, the problems have gone even deeper.

It can be really annoying, but fortunately, it’s easy to stop the iMessage madness.pan

How to Choose Which Accounts Get Which Messages

Choose which accounts get iMessagesLike the majority of problems you can encounter while using your iPhone or iPad, the solution lies in Settings. While text messages are associated solely with your phone number, Apple’s iMessage ties your phone number to your email address-based Apple ID; you can then send iMessages to anyone else who has an iOS device. If you’re getting messages meant to go to another device or person in your family, it might be because your Apple ID is tied to their particular devices.  To see which accounts are associated with your Apple ID, go to Settings>iCloud>select your account at the top>Devices.

Head to Settings>Messages>Send & Receive. You’ll see your primary phone number, greyed out with a checkmark to its left. Usually, below the phone number, you’ll see email addresses that you’ve set up on your phone with checkmarks to their left, too. By tapping an email address, you can choose whether you'd like people with your email address in their contacts to be able to send you iMessages. In this same window, you can also decide which number or email address you want to start new iMessage conversations from. Simply tap on the account you prefer, and a checkmark will appear to its left.

Setting up Text Message ForwardingContinuity also made it so you can send and receive text messages on your iPads or Macs, as long as they are signed into the same iMessage account and are on the same Wi-Fi network as your phone. Go to Settings>Messages>Text Message Forwarding, then click on the devices listed to add or remove them.

The process is similar if you want to stop receiving other people’s FaceTime or phone calls. Go to Settings>Phone>Calls on Other Devices. You can then choose which devices can receive phone calls when they are on the same Wi-Fi network. You can also choose which accounts you can get FaceTime calls from by going to Settings>FaceTime, then selecting the correct accounts as you did before.

Prevent the Problem in the First Place

How to add a Family Member to Apple's Family SharingAlthough it’s tempting to skip setting up a new Apple ID for your child, for their eventual privacy (and your eventual sanity), create  an email address and set up an Apple ID for them. While it may seem like you’re giving them free reign, Apple’s Family Sharing still lets you have control over what your children can and cannot do with their devices, including parental approval for all apps, songs and videos they download from Apple's store. 

If you want to be the Family Organizer (who pays for any purchases), go to Settings>iCloud>Set Up Family Sharing. You’ll then follow the progressive steps, which will allow you to invite up to five other family members to your group.

The great thing about Family Sharing is that anyone who’s in your group has access to any music, movies, books or apps that have been purchased by anyone in your group (Don’t worry, you can also hide certain items and make it so people who want to purchase items have to get the go-ahead from you). Once you get to the last setup screen, select Add Family Member to send an invitation that will appear on each new member’s device. They will accept the invitation and you’re good to go.

You can always set up Family Sharing, even if you had previous shared your Apple ID with someone else. While one person may have to manually add contacts, calendars, etc. from the old Apple ID to the new one, you will definitely be glad to keep your messages all to yourself.

Discussion loading

Blue and green messages

From Carmar on January 28, 2017 :: 5:09 pm

Your comment about how the messages show up is not the correct information. iMessages are blue and not green. It is the regular phone text that is green.


Thanks for pointing this out!

From Suzanne Kantra on January 30, 2017 :: 3:05 pm

Thanks for pointing this out! I’ve corrected in the text above.



From olivia on May 03, 2018 :: 9:57 pm

Hi mom


troubleshoot concerns

From nickoan on October 03, 2018 :: 2:38 pm

i am curious , i was not able to find text message forwarding


Been hacked

From Courtney Lane on July 10, 2019 :: 8:57 am

Been hacked


similar problem

From Patrice on September 22, 2019 :: 2:51 pm

friend’s daughter getting my text msgs
help please. They are iOS I’m android. Make a difference?


Non-Receipt of Text Messages

From Angie on January 20, 2020 :: 11:16 am

Any text to a friend is never received and calls to him goes immediately into voicemail. We have checked his blocked number list and my mobile # is not listed.  His phone is the only one I am having this issue with.  I receive his calls or messages, but I can’t reach him.  Any ideas as to what could be the issue?


Sounds like some sort of blocking

From Josh Kirschner on January 21, 2020 :: 1:57 pm

There are a lot of ways to block numbers - on your phone’s calling app, via your carrier, through an app to stop robocalls. Plus, carriers will automatically block certain numbers they suspect are spam. So it’s possible that your number is blocked on his device (you just didn’t find out where, yet) or it could be that your number has been flagged as a spam caller by his carrier (is this a new number you recently acquired?).


If his phone is a iPhone.

From Kenny on March 13, 2021 :: 11:17 am

If it’s a iPhone check the call settings, there is a option that when enabled, the phone won’t ring unless the person whose calling, they have to be saved in the contacts of the iPhone. It’s to help avoid calls that don’t have any business calling you… ie: telemarketers, spammers



From Jason Fossee on May 17, 2020 :: 9:37 pm

Thank you so much! That was an annoying 3 days!


Sons phone

From Js on June 02, 2020 :: 9:36 am

Without checking his phone is there a way to find out if my iMessages are going to his phone. We do share apple id and I can see a few of his messages loaded through icloud, as they come through my phone when I plug it in and I am connected to Wifi. How can I find out if he gets my messages without looking at his phone?


Without accessing your son’s phone,

From Suzanne Kantra on June 02, 2020 :: 2:43 pm

Without accessing your son’s phone, the easiest way to ensure your son doesn’t receive your text messages it to turn off iMessages (Settings > Messages and toggle off iMessages). Your phone will then only send text messages, not iMessages, and everything will stay on your phone.

If you do have access to your son’s device, you’ll want to go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and uncheck your phone number and email, leaving only his email and phone number associated with iMessages for his device.
The other piece of this is that you both may be backing up your iMessages to iCloud. If you have iCloud backup turned on, all of your iMessages will be backed up. And if you move to a new device, your backed up iMessages will appear on any new Apple devices. To turn off iMessage backup to iCloud, go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud and toggle off iMessages.


Unknown people or chat group I am not aware of

From Karen on November 12, 2020 :: 1:45 pm

There are people sending me provocative photos and messages that I don’t know or aware of


My neighbors texts to me going to someone else

From Joy Wolfe on December 13, 2021 :: 4:10 pm

My neighbor and I had communicated through text occasionally until a few months ago when someone else started receiving her replies to me and sending her sleazy comments back.  The strange thing to us is that she was replying back to me from my text message but someone else was replying back and I was not getting her responses. We have checked our phone numbers and they are correct. How can a third party be intervening our text messages?


It sounds like someone signed

From Suzanne Kantra on December 23, 2021 :: 1:08 pm

It sounds like someone signed into an Apple device with her Apple ID and is able to receive the iMessages because you can receive them at the Apple ID’s phone number or email address. Your neighbor can log in to manage their Apple ID ( and select “Devices” from the menu option. On the Devices page, they will see all of the Apple products that are associated with their Apple ID. If they see a device that they don’t recognize, they can remove it. They should also set up two-factor authentication with verification codes going to their phone so the person intercepting the iMessages can’t re-add their device.

Alternatively, you can choose to send regular text messages instead of iMessages by going to Settings > Messages and toggling off iMessages. With regular text messages, the texts only go to the phone.


Iphone recieving messages that are sent to samsung phone with own number

From Di on October 22, 2022 :: 3:38 am

Hi My iphone and apple watch are getting messages that are sent to my samsung work phone with different number. How can i stop this please


Issue with Facetime

From Laura O Callaghan on November 29, 2022 :: 7:27 am

My daughter has an android phone, but I get calls from a random man supposedly from her phone.  Her friends have also had the same experience if they have tried to FaceTime her.  Her phone and Sim are both contracts. 
How do we get rid of the random man?


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