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Your Apple ID and phone number are used on another device – what to do

Did you receive an unexpected notification on your Apple device that your Apple ID and phone number are now being used for iMessage and FaceTime on a new Mac, iPhone or iPad?

If the answer is yes, there is no need to panic. The message does not necessarily mean that something harmful has happened to your Apple account. In the vast majority of cases, there is actually a simple explanation for it. Keep reading to learn more.

Why did I receive this message?

Each time you set up a new Apple device, you will be prompted to sign in with ‌Apple ID‌. ‌Apple ID‌ is the account you use to sign in to all Apple services like iCloud, iTunes Store and App Store. You can have multiple devices logged in to the same Apple ID. This ensures that ‌iCloud‌ user data, app downloads and media purchases can be synchronized between them.

If you set up a new Apple device, delete and install the operating system on a device you already own, and then log in to ‌Apple ID ‌, or just log out of iMessage or ‌FaceTime‌ on one device, all other devices logged on to the same ‌Apple ID‌ will throw up the following pop-up alert on the screen: “Your ‌Apple ID‌ and phone number will now be used for iMessage / ‌FaceTime‌ on a new [‌iPhone‌/‌iPad‌/Mac]. If you have recently logged in [device name] you can ignore this alert. “

But I did not do any of that recently!

Even if you have not done anything recently to guarantee the pop-up message and you do not recognize the default name of the device (“PiPhone‌”, for example), it does not necessarily mean that something unfortunate has happened. Sometimes it takes a while for Apple to update the list of ‌Apple ID‌ devices in its activation servers.

On other occasions, the message will appear if you turn on a device that has not been connected to the internet for a while, especially if you logged in to iMessage or ‌FaceTime‌ during the period it was disconnected. The message may also occur if the device is relying on a bad Wi-Fi connection.

In these cases, the message is only a delayed alert and not a sign of a compromised ‌ Apple ID ‌. However, if you are suspicious because the name of the device logged in to ‌Apple ID‌ is not a default name and you do not recognize it, you can investigate the cause by checking your listApple ID‌ device list with Apple. The following steps show you how.

How to check the Apple ID device list

  1. Open the Settings app on ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Tap your ‌Apple ID‌ banner at the top of the menu.
  3. Scroll down, and then tap any device name to see the information on your device, such as device model, serial number, OS version, and whether the device is trusted and can be used to receive Apple ID verification codes.

You can also view this list on a Mac by clicking Apple Menu () in the menu bar, select System selection …and click apple ID.

If you see something inappropriate or suspicious – such as a device connected to ‌Apple ID ‌ that you do not recognize – your account may have been compromised. You should remove the device from your account using the red option at the bottom of the screen for that device. Once you have done so, follow the steps below to secure your account.

How to get control of your Apple ID

  1. Log in to the ‌Apple ID‌ account page using Apple’s Apple ID website. If you are unable to log in or receive a message that your account is locked when you try to log in, you can try resetting or changing your password.
  2. Review all personal and security information in your account. Update any information that is not correct or that you do not recognize, including your name, your primary email address ‌ Apple ID altern and alternative / rescue email address, your phone numbers. Also check security questions and answers, and make sure your answers are not easy to guess.
  3. If you have not already done so, you can set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. This additional security feature is designed to prevent anyone from accessing your account, even if they know your password.

If you do not have 2FA enabled, click on these corresponding links to go to the sections that explain how to reset your Apple ID password if you use SMS-based two-factor verification, or if you have questions about email, password and security configured for your account.

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