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How to Fix Phone Number Not Registered With iMessage

phone number is not registered with iMessage

The “phone number is not registered with iMessage” error is one of the most common iMessage problems you may experience while using Apple’s message app.

If you see this error saying “phone number is not registered with iMessage” when you try to send text messages on iMessage, this guide explains why this is happening and how you can troubleshoot it.

What Does Phone Number Not Registered With iMessage Mean?

iMessage is a service exclusive to Apple device users, meaning that it works for communication only between that brand’s devices.

While an iMessage, when the functionality is activated, can be sent from and to a MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and iPad touch, it cannot be sent to an Android device. So those require only standard text messages. 

If you’re communicating from an Apple device, and you know that you’re sending a message to another Apple device, then iMessage should be able to register the sender and recipients’ number. 

However, an error may occasionally show up when an Apple device is trying to contact a fellow Apple device, leaving users frustrated as they would like to send an iMessage to another person. 

Fixing The “Number Not Registered With iMessage” Error

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fixing the “Number not registered with iMessage” error. It can be lots of things that cause this issue. So you’re going to try each step until you find the one that works for you. Let’s get right to it.

Disable and Re-enable iMessage

Disable an enable iMessage on iPhone
Disable an enable iMessage on iPhone. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

The simplest and surprisingly effective solution to many errors is the “turn it off, then on again” approach. To toggle the enabled state of iMessages you will simply need to:

  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Select Messages.
  • Find iMessage and disable it.
  • Wait approximately one minute.
  • Re-enable iMessage and wait for it to reactivate

To go a step further, since you’re refreshing the iMessage function, it makes sense to also restart your device with a simple reboot. You can do this by simply powering it down, allowing it to fully turn off, then restarting it.

Check Apple ID on Your Device

Sometimes it’s the Apple registration that is the problem. You’ve triggered something that disconnected your Apple ID login, which would have certain downstream effects.

iMessage Send & Receive options
Checking if the right phone number is registered with iMessage. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

You may also find that some of your Apple devices do not get this error, while others do. This is even more of an indicator that Apple ID-based settings need attention.

To perform the Apple ID based checks:

  • Enter the phone Settings with your device’s Apple ID and phone number selected.
  • Click on the Messages section.
  • Enter the Send & Receive section.
  • If you see the “Use your Apple ID for iMessage” option and select it if that is not the case yet.
  • Look for the “YOU CAN RECEIVE IMEESAGES TO AND REPLY FROM” section and make sure that your phone number is selected there.

You will also want to make sure the Apple ID is both registered and verified. You can do this by entering the Preferences section from the Messages section.

Enable Text Forwarding

If the problem is that only some of your devices are encountering the “phone number not registered with iMessage” error, you should make sure that you’re logged in with your Apple ID across all of the Apple devices you use. 

iMessage Text Message Forwarding option
Allowing a Mac to send and receive text messages from an iPhone. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

If your iMessages are working fine on your iPhone device but not on some other Apple product, you can set up text forwarding. This will ensure that any texts that come to your iPhone, will also appear on any other registered device. To set up text forwarding you will need to:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select Messages.
  • Select that Text Message Forwarding section.
  • Make sure that every other device tied to your Apple ID on the list you wish to receive iMessages on is selected. 
  • If you use two-factor authentication, you will be prompted with some further instructions.

Create New Conversation

If the error has recently started appearing, try deleting a conversation with a fellow Apple device user with whom iMessages previously worked. Then create a new chat instance and try to send a message to see if it comes up blue. This will confirm that iMessage is working and no error is showing up.

Update iOS on Your iPhone

Updating an iPhone
Manually updating an iPhone. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

It’s possible that the error occurs due to a problem with the currently installed version of your iOS. It might very well be something that has been corrected in the subsequent and newest operating system. So by ensuring that you’re updated to the latest iOS, the likelihood of the problem being addressed is greater.

Here’s how to check for and install iOS updates:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap on General.
  • Next, tap on Software Update.
  • The next screen will let you know whether an update is available.
  • If there’s one, tap Install Now to install the new update.
  • If there’s no update, you may have to contact Apple

Contact Apple

If all else fails, you can always log on to Apple’s forums and search for the error message by name. You can also connect with an Apple representative and discuss the message appearing. They will likely have some more specific advice to help you address the particular reason for you experiencing this error. Follow the steps in this guide to make a Genius Bar reservation.

Final Thought

Every error has a solution, and this one is no exception. If none of the methods above seem to get rid of this error, an Apple representative will surely help you get around it. Do you have any additional methods that we did not suggest? Please comment and let us know!