Your Apple ID and Phone Number are Now Being Used, What Does This Mean?

Sometimes you may see a pop-up message on your Apple device (iPhone, iPad or Mac) saying that your Apple ID and/or phone number is being used for an Apple service, like iMessage or FaceTime, on a new device by someone. There are a few variations of the message. It may say only your Apple ID or both your Apple ID and phone number. It may also say FaceTime or iMessage or both of them. The message includes on what device your Apple ID is being used, such as iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch. And lastly, the message will say, “if you recently signed into ‘your device name,’ you can ignore this notification.” Here is a screenshot of the message and what it says:

Apple ID and phone number are now used message

If you see this message, you may wonder why you are getting this message. You may wonder if this is a phishing attack or if someone has hacked your Apple ID password. We have previously written about Apple ID phishing scams if you would like more information. This article explains what this message means and what you should do about it. There are two possible reasons why you would see this message.

Did you sign in to FaceTime or iMessage?

The pop-up message will include the device name, such as “Serthat’s iPhone,” etc. Do you own that device? If the answer is yes, you can ignore this message by pressing OK as one of the following has probably occurred:

  • You have one or more Apple devices already. You recently purchased a new device, and when you set up this new device, you got this message on your other Apple devices using the same Apple ID.
  • You unpaired and re-paired your Apple Watch, and after re-pairing, you got this message on your other devices.
  • If you did a Reset All Settings or an Erase All Content and Settings, FaceTime and iMessage would have been deregistered, and when you registered again, your other devices got this message.
  • Sometimes we recommend turning off and on iMessage and FaceTime to fix problems. If you turned off and on one or both of them, your other devices got this message.
  • Sometimes this message may appear if one of your devices has not been connected to the Internet for a while.

Thus, it is perfectly normal for you to receive this message if one of the scenarios applies to you. However, if none of them fit your situation, see the next section.

Did someone sign in on an unauthorized device?

It is unlikely, but it could happen. Someone may have been signed in using your Apple ID. This may mean that your Apple ID password is compromised.

You can see where your Apple ID was used to sign in. You can see the list of devices and remove devices if you need to:

  • On iPhone or iPad: Go to Settings > [your name], then scroll down.
  • On Mac: Go to Apple menu  > System Preferences > Apple ID.
  • Online: Open a web browser and visit https://appleid.apple.com/ and sign in, then select devices.

You can see the details, like device model, serial number, or OS version. If you want to remove a device from your Apple ID list, select it and then tap Remove from Account.

Here is what you can do further:

Note, before changing your Apple ID or password, I strongly suggest you read this Apple documentation explaining what to do after changing them.

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Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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