iMessage is an Apple-specific messaging protocol. It’s designed to essentially replace text messages to other Apple users. Instead of sending an SMS message, if the sender and recipient both have iMessage enabled, any texts between them will be sent as an iMessage. iMessage uses mobile data to send messages over the internet, this stops the message from eating into limited monthly texts and means that the message can be accessed on multiple platforms.
iMessage isn’t just limited to iPhone. Macs and iPads can also be connected to your iMessage account to send and receive messages. Sometimes though, if you’ve got poor network connectivity, messages can fail to send while normal SMS texts can get through. In these sorts of scenarios, it’s useful to know how to disable iMessage. This guide will walk you through the process of disabling iMessage on the iPhone.
Tip: There is a known issue where if you’ve recently switched from iOS to an Android phone that your contacts will still try to send you iMessages instead. This can cause you to miss all texts from other iPhone users. It is highly recommended that you disable iMessage before you switch to Android to prevent this scenario.
The iMessage settings can be found in the Settings app, under Settings > Messages. The top slider is a simple toggle to enable or disable iMessage. Just tap the slider to set it to the “Off” position and iMessage will be disabled. Any future incoming or outgoing messages will be SMS messages rather than iMessages.