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macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 3, 2011
I sold my iPhone 4 last week and the buyer received it today. I just received notification on my Macbook and iPhone 5 that the old device has just been activated on iMessage and can send/receive iMessages using the two email addresses that I have linked to iMessage. I've attached a picture of the notification. The person changed the name of the iPhone to "Cierra's Lifeline." I restored the phone's content and settings before shipping.

I have an AppleCare support call scheduled for 5pm. Has anyone dealt with this problem or have any idea of how to fix it?


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macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2011
anytime, hope it helped/worked, cause it did for my friend.

also, this happened because you didn't disable iMessage before wiping the rare cases when re-activated, it goes to the account before the wipe....always disable iMessage on any iPhone before selling it, disable then wipe. Then as a precaution, make sure the phone is deleted off your support profile as a final step to check.


macrumors newbie
Apr 26, 2011
Out of interest, is there a way to view what devices are associated with your iMessage account? This seems reasonable now that Apple notifies you that a device is using your iMessage account.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 3, 2011
I spent about 20 minutes being transferred around on the phone with AppleCare. One guy told me that he couldn't check to see devices associated with iMessage/FaceTime. I finally talked to someone in account security who seemed able to check this info, but it sounded like he couldn't actually disassociate an active device on the system. He helped me change my Apple ID password and unregister the device from My Support Profile.

These two changes seem to have worked. I turned iMessage/FaceTime off on all of my devices and then tried to iMessage and FaceTime my addresses listed above from a different Apple ID. No call nor iMessage was successful or answered.


macrumors 65816
Apr 1, 2012
Under settings I saw the iMessage information is it worthy Having it? I think that iMessage allowed me to view all my messages on all my device? A my confuse!!!


macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2009
I just sold my iPhone 5, and suddenly I got the same message as you pop up on my computer and iPhone (with my email address). I'm so annoyed as I did a 'erase all content and settings' and also a computer restore, but didn't turn iMessage off prior.

I changed my iCloud password, and it kicked my computer and iPhone offline, so I'm hoping that has removed the other device from my account?

I've tried iMessaging myself and there is no response (apart from my own responses lol), so hopefully that's fixed it and he isn't creeping around reading my stuff?


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Mr Hill

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2012
Charlotte, NC
It's best to factory restore through iTunes prior to selling rather than using the "erase all content and settings" from the menu. I've noticed that sometimes it leaves some things on the phone.

Example: I bought a 4S from a girl a few weeks ago and she did the "erase all contents and settings" after showing me that everything was working. Once I got home and activated it I noticed some of her pictures and email accounts were still on the phone.


macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2010
Man the same thing happened to me too, i wish i saw this thread before selling my phone :( is there anyway to make sure my buyer isnt getting my imessages? I've changed my password AND unregistered my device, but im still paranoid, i've disabled imessage on all my devices in the mean time. Luckily it was a sale on craigslist and the buyer is nice enough to meet me so i can check, but thats not until next week unfortunately.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
Thank you for the info. I went to the website and found out that I had devices that I sold/gave away for the last two years. I unregistered five devices and added on two devices that I just brought.

I also want to say thanks! I looked at that web site and saw a couple of devices that I haven't had in years, also.
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