If you've succumbed to the temptations of Android, or even Windows Phone or BlackBerry, and are leaving your iPhone behind, there are some steps you need to take to make sure iMessage stops intercepting your text messages. If you don't deactivate it before you go, other iPhone users won't know to send you regular, rather than iMessages, at least for a couple weeks, and that can be beyond frustrating. Luckily, deactivation is easy. Here's how!
How to deactivate iMessage and before switching from iPhone to Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone
Complete these steps from your iPhone before starting to use your new smartphone:
Launch Settings from the Home screen of your iPhone.
Scroll down and tap on Messages.
At the top, turn iMessage to Off.
Now hop into the Messages app and send some messages to people you know have iPhones to make sure they can message you back. You want green messages bubbles for everything.
That's all there is to it. Once you've done this, iMessage should hopefully deactivate from Apple's servers and you shouldn't have any issues, nor should you have to go any further into this guide. As a side note, the sooner you do this, the better off you are. If you know you're going out to purchase an Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone in 3 days, do this process right now. That way you have turned off iMessage and it gives the servers a few days to actually process the request completely and boot you off.
Once you've switched to your new smartphone, verify you can send and receive text messages to someone else using an iPhone. If you aren't receiving anything back, continue on to remedy the problem...
How to fully deactivate iMessage from Apple's servers
Unfortunately, there isn't a list of steps you can perform on your own. Instead, you need to call 1-800-MY-APPLE in order to have Apple manually de-register your phone number from the Apple servers. In order to do this, make sure you have your Apple ID on hand as well as the phone number in question.
To expedite the process of your call, be sure to ask for technical support when calling in. Then just tell them you're switching to a smartphone that isn't an iPhone and you can't receive messages so you need them to manually unregister you from the iMessage servers.
Still having issues?
If you're still having issues with iMessage deactivating after completing both of the following, let us know what they are in the comments. Our iMore forums are also a great place to get help since many of our members have run into similar issues. So check them out and let us know if you found a different solution we haven't covered.