How to turn iPhone iMessage OFF and the surprising reason you might want to

IT'S one of the world's biggest messaging apps, boasting 1.3 billion active users across the globe.

But while Apple's iMessage is beloved by iPhone users everywhere, there's a reason you might want to turn it off.

If you're switching from iOS to Android, for instance, switching off the instant messaging service can save your important texts.

That's because a common side effect of jumping from one to the other is that your new device is unable to receive texts.

Here's how to switch off iMessage, which is loaded into Apple's Messages app.

How to turn off iMessage on your iPhone

You can switch off iMessage with just a few taps. Before you begin, make sure your iPhone has your SIM card in it.

Go to the Settings app, scroll down and tap on Messages.

Under iMessage, tap on the slider so it goes from green to grey. You have now turned off iMessage.

You can still receive SMS messages from Android devices, but you will not receive iMessages sent by iPhone users.

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How to turn off iMessage online

If you no longer have your iPhone, you can deregister iMessage at

This is good to do if you switched to a non-Apple phone and aren't getting SMS/MMS messages.

You'll need to enter your phone number. Apple will then send you a confirmation code that you'll need to enter into the site.

"After you complete deregistration, your phone number is removed from iMessage services," Apple says on its website.

"You should be able to receive text messages straight away but it might take a few hours for some Apple devices to recognise that you're not using iMessage when they send you a message."

When should you turn it off?

Turning off iMessage isn't recommended unless something has gone wrong.

If your iPhone isn't receiving messages, for instance, you may want to switch iMessage off and on again in order to fix the issue.

If you're switching from an iPhone to an Android device, you may find that texts aren't coming through to your new mobile.

This could be because your mates' iPhones are still trying to send you texts as iMessages, instead of SMS messages.

Deactivating iMessage – be that using your iPhone or PC – is one way to ensure that all messages are sent to your Android device in SMS format.

In other news, personalised smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers this year.

Scientists are embarking on a mission to unravel the mystery behind dozens of grisly child mummies buried in an underground tomb in Sicily.

Police have caught an Italian mafia henchman who'd be on the run for 20 years after spotting the fugitive on Google Maps.

And, one of the best-preserved fossils ever found has confirmed that young dinosaurs burst from their shells just like baby birds.

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