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iMessage: Use Phone Number Instead of Email Address

This is a guide on how to configure iMessage to use your phone number instead of your email address when starting a new conversation. New iPhone users are often confused when using iMessage (Apple’s own texting app and protocol that is also used for SMS), because they expect the other side to see their phone number. By default, however, iMessage will use your registered email address as a means of presenting yourself to contacts, if you are logged into your Apple ID.

Some users prefer to have their phone number showed to the other side, as an email address (especially private ones) is not necessarily recognized at first sight. Maybe you also want to make sure that your counterpart is aware of your number, right from the first message.

iMessage: Display phone number to contacts instead of email address

Settings > Messages > Send & Receive > Start New Conversations From

Starting new conversations in iMessage means that your current setting will be used with respect to your identification. You may opt to use one of the connected email accounts, or one of your phone numbers that are registered with your Apple ID.

To use a phone number rather than an email address, we will need to go to our “Settings” app. From there, select “Messages” and then “Send & Receive” to configure iMessage’s defaults for starting new conversations.


Hint: If you are currently not logged into your Apple ID (seen at the top, in blue), only your phone number will show up. To sign in, select “Use your Apple ID for iMessage”.

iMessage Troubleshooting

Settings > iMessage > Apple ID

If your messages are still being sent from your email address, consider this quick troubleshooting step:

Log out of your iMessage account by going to the iMessage settings page and tapping your Apple ID (blue). Then select “Sign Out” and log back in using your Apple ID credentials. This helps fix most of the common iMessage problems that users encounter. To sign back in, tap the button labeled “Use your Apple ID for iMessage”.

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