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Phone Number Not Registered With iMessage? The Fixes!

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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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 you’re sending a message to another Apple device, then iMessage should be able to register the sender and recipients’ numbers. 

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. There 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

The simplest and surprisingly effective solution to many errors is the “turn it off, then on again” approach.

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

To toggle the enabled state of iMessage, you will simply need to:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Find iMessage and disable it.
  4. Wait approximately one minute.
  5. 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. Simply power it down, wait for a complete shutdown, and then turn it back on.

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
Check 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:

  1. Enter the phone Settings with your device’s Apple ID and phone number selected.
  2. Click on the Messages section.
  3. Enter the Send & Receive section.
  4. If you see the “Use your Apple ID for iMessage” option, select it if that is not the case yet.
  5. Look for the “YOU CAN RECEIVE IMESSAGES 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 ensure that you’re logged in with your Apple ID across all the Apple devices you use. 

If only some of your devices are experiencing the “phone number not registered with iMessage” error, ensure that you’re logged in with the same Apple ID across all your Apple devices.

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 texts that come to your iPhone will also appear on any other registered device. 

To set up text forwarding, follow these steps:

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

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.

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

So, by ensuring 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:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Next, tap on Software Update.
  4. The next screen will let you know whether an update is available.
  5. If there’s one, tap Install Now to install the new update.
  6. 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 Thoughts

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!

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

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12 thoughts on “Phone Number Not Registered With iMessage? The Fixes!”

  1. Good job. I had changed my Apple ID password. After I signed out of iMessage on my MAC and signed with a new password the problem went away.

  2. This isn’t precell phone days so why does Apple have to be such a stick in the mud and so worried about whether messages sent won’t go through to an android device! Talk about being stingy and proprietorial. Come on Apple, share and share alike!

    • Hey Larrylongbeach, we all know how Apple is proprietary about everything. There isn’t much we can do. At least for now.

    • I agree. My son has an android phone and he cannot be added to his baseball team friends text messages because they have iphones. So he is excluded from socializing with his baseball team friends because of the kind of phone I bought him! Should be a workaround for this situation.

  3. I have been using an iPad Air2 and could send Messages to my friend who uses a Droid. I upgraded to an iPad Air 5th generation and cannot do it from it. Can you tell me why.

    • Hi Sue, Go to settings and then, move to the “Messages” section. Here, make sure that “Send as SMS” is enabled. The switch next to it is green when it’s enabled. Let me know if this helps.


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