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Can someone else in your family see your texts? Here's the fix

Messages on iPhone
Messages on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

iMessage is an excellent way to keep in touch with anyone and everyone else using an Apple product, be it an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. However, it can be a complicated beast at times, especially if family members are using the same Apple ID on different devices. If someone in your family is getting text messages meant for you, or vice-versa, it's probably because those devices are sharing the same Apple ID.

This typically happens because, at some point, you all wanted to share content you bought from the iTunes store, including apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, and more. Unfortunately, if you don't set it up carefully, iCloud, FaceTime, and iMessage can all come along for the ride.

But there's a fix! Log into iCloud and iTunes separately on each device and set up Family Sharing. First, you'll need to make sure everyone has their own, unique iCloud account.

Once that's done, you can start to separate everything out and make sure everyone is only getting the iMessages they're meant to.

How to change which Apple ID iMessage uses on iPhone

Once you have a separate Apple ID for each person's device, you can fix the problem with others seeing messages meant for you.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Select Send & Receive.

Change iMessage Apple ID, showing how to open Settings, then tap Messages, then tap Send & Receive (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap the Apple ID at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Sign Out.

Change iMessage Apple ID, showing how to tap the Apple ID at the top of the screen, then tap Sign Out (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage.
  2. Log in with your Apple ID and Password.
  3. Tap Sign In.

Change iMessage Apple ID, showing how to tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage, then tap Sign In after entering your Apple ID credentials (Image credit: iMore)

Make sure everyone in your family that was previously using the same Apple ID follows these steps.

How to disable an email that you can be reached at in iMessage

If there are any contacts associated with iMessages that you don't want to appear in your Messages app, you can disable it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Messages.

Remove email address from iMessage, showing how to open Settings, then tap Messages (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select Send & Receive.
  2. Tap the email address that you would like to disable from your device. The check mark next to it will disappear.

Remove email address from iMessage, showing how to tap Send & Receive, then tap the email address you want to disable for iMessage so that the check mark disappears (Image credit: iMore)

Other devices will still be able to receive iMessages at that email address. Make sure everyone in the family that was previously using the same Apple ID does the same.

Any questions?

Having any other problems relating to iMessages going to the wrong recipient? Let us know in the comments.

Updated May 2020: Updated for iOS 13.

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).