How to Unlink iPad and iPhone Text Messages | Easily Stop Sharing Messages

Charlotte Smith
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Have you ever been puzzled by the unexpected appearance of your text messages on your iPad? While the seamless integration of Apple devices is one of their key selling points, it can result to confusion and repetition at times, especially when messages meant for your iPhone start popping up on your iPad as well. ??If so, do you know how to unlink iPad and iPhone text messages? Relax, though, as there are straightforward solutions to regain control over your message privacy and ensure that your conversations stay where they belong.

how to unlink ipad and iphone for text messages

Part 1: Why Are My Text Messages Going to My iPad Too?

For continuity, Apple allows users to receive the same messages on their iPhone and iPad so that users can deal with the messages no matter which device they are using.

But why do the iPhone messages appear on the iPad? Your iPhone and iPad are likely linked through the same Apple ID, and they're both using iMessage, Apple's messaging service. When iMessage is enabled on both devices with the same Apple ID, messages can sync across them. This feature allows you to start a conversation on one device and continue it seamlessly on another.

Part 2: How to Unlink iPad and iPhone for Text Messages [4 Methods]

If you've found yourself in a situation where your text messages are unexpectedly syncing between your iPhone and iPad, it's time to take action to regain control over your message. Luckily, Apple provides straightforward ways to unlink your iPad from your iPhone for text messages, ensuring that your conversations stay confined to the intended device. In this part, we'll explore step-by-step instructions on how to disconnect an iPad from iPhone messages with 4 methods.

2.1 Disable iMessage

One of the primary reasons behind the cross-device syncing of text messages is Apple's iMessage service, designed to seamlessly integrate messaging across all your Apple devices. However, if you prefer to keep your text messages confined to your iPhone, disabling iMessage on your iPad can help achieve this.

Here's how to turn off iMessage on iPad but not iPhone:

Step 1: Unlock your iPad and open the Settings app.

Step 2: Choose "Messages", and turn off the "iMessage" switch. Once done, you won't receive your iPhone messages on the iPad again.

turn off imessage on ipad to unsync the iphone messages to ipad

Learn more: It's easy to export music from an iPhone to a computer. Here are different methods for your reference.

2.2 Switch Off Text Message Forwarding

Text message forwarding is another feature that can lead to your messages appearing on multiple devices. By disabling text message forwarding, you can ensure that your text messages remain exclusive to your iPhone.

Here's how to stop texts from going to iPad:

Step 1: Open Settings on your iPhone, and then go to "Messages".

Step 2: Scroll down the screen and click "Text Message Forwarding".

Step 3: Toggle off the icon next to your iPad's name.

switch off the text message forwarding on iphone

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2.3 Turn Off Message Syncing in iCloud

iCloud syncing offers seamless data synchronization across all your Apple devices, including messages. While this feature can be convenient, it may not always align with your preferences for message privacy. If you wish to stop messages from syncing between your iPhone and iPad via iCloud, follow the instructions in this subsection to turn off message syncing.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Launch the Settings app on your iPad, and go to your Apple ID.

Step 2: Choose "iCloud" and turn off the option of "Messages". Once done, your iPhone text messages will not be synced to this iPad.

disable messages syncing to stop the messages from showing on ipad

2.4 Toggle Off Handoff

Handoff is a feature designed to enhance continuity between your Apple devices by allowing you to seamlessly transition tasks from one device to another. However, if you find that your text messages are inadvertently being shared between your iPhone and iPad due to Handoff, disabling this feature can help mitigate the issue.

Here's how to unsync messages from iPhone to iPad via Handoff:

Step 1: Click the Settings app on your iPhone, and choose "General".

Step 2: Tap "AirPlay & Handoff", and disable the "Handoff" feature on your iPhone. After that, your iPhone messages will not appear on another iOS device.

disable handoff to stop sharing iphone messages from ipad

Read also: How Do I Sync My iPhone to My iPad? 5 Approaches

Part 3: FAQs on Stoping Sharing Messages on iOS Devices

Q1: Can I stop sharing text messages from my iPhone to my MacBook and Apple Watch?

Yes, you can stop sharing text messages from your iPhone to your MacBook and Apple Watch. Here's how to do it:


  • Open the Messages app on your MacBook.
  • In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on "Messages" and then select "Preferences".
  • Go to the "iMessage" tab. Under the "You can be reached for messages at" section, uncheck the phone number associated with your iPhone. This will prevent your iPhone's messages from being forwarded to your MacBook.

Apple Watch:

  • On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  • Tap on the "My Watch" tab at the bottom of the watch screen, and scroll down and tap on "Messages".
  • Toggle off the option for "Show Notifications" or "Mirror iPhone". This will stop forwarding text messages from your iPhone to your Apple Watch.

Q2: Will stopping message sharing affect my ability to send regular text messages?

No, stopping message sharing only disables the feature that allows your device to share its location with others through messages. It doesn't affect your ability to send regular text messages.

Q3: Will stopping message sharing affect other forms of communication between my iPhone and iPad?

Disabling text message forwarding specifically affects the sharing of SMS and MMS messages between your iPhone and iPad. Other forms of communication, such as iMessage, AirDrop, and Handoff, remain unaffected.

Q4: If I stop sharing messages, will my previously forwarded messages still be visible on my iPad?

Yes, previously forwarded messages will still be visible on your iPad even after you stop sharing messages. Disabling text message forwarding only prevents new messages from being forwarded to your iPad.

Extra Tip: Back Up Your iPhone Messages Without Syncing to iOS Device

While maintaining privacy is important, preserving your message history is also crucial for many users. If you don't want to keep your messages on your iPad, fortunately, there's a way to back up your iPhone messages without syncing them to your iOS device by using iPhone Backup software. This software can transfer your SMS from iPhone to your computer with a readable format. Thus, you can access your iPhone messages after backup on your computer at any time.

Main features of this iPhone backup software:

- Back up messages from an iOS device to a computer via USB.

- Allow you to view and select your iPhone messages on the interface.

- Support the backup of iPhone photos, contacts, videos, music, and more.

- Help you manage your iPhone data on your computer with practical features, including exporting, deleting, importing, editing, etc.

- Work for iOS 5.0 and higher.

Download the iOS backup software.

download windows version of ios data backupdownload mac version of ios data backup

Back up your iPhone messages to your computer without syncing to iPad:

Step 1: Install the iPhone backup program on your computer, and link your iPhone and the PC using USB.

Step 2: Click "Trust" on your iOS device, and then the connection will be done. Now, click "Messages" on the left.

back up your iphone messages to a computer

Step 3: The app will start to scan your iPhone messages. If prompted, please enter your screen passcode for the confirmation. Next, select the messages you want to back up, and hit "Export" and pick a file format to save the data on your computer.

export messages from iphone to computer without syncing to ipad


The interconnected nature of Apple's ecosystem offers unparalleled convenience, but it's essential to understand how to manage the sharing of messages across your devices. By following the steps mentioned in this guide, you can easily unlink your iPad from your iPhone for text messages, preventing any unintended message sharing. Additionally, backing up your messages from an iPhone to a computer using iPhone Backup helps you protect your messages without synchronizing the texts on your iPad, which kills two birds with one stone.

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Charlotte Smith Senior Editor

Charlotte Smith, an accomplished editor in the dynamic landscape of mobile technology, has distinguished herself with her abundant experience and skills for iPhone, OnePlus, Sony, Vivo, Motorola, ZTE, Huawei, etc. Help readers and users solve the problems in iPhone Transfer and Mobile Data Management. Her proficiency extends beyond mere functionality, delving into the nuances of each brand with precision and clarity.