How to manage iMessage on multiple devices

Oooh Robert, maybe check the settings on your phone.

Image: Anderson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

We’ve seen politicians sunk by not-so-private tweets. But one of the most recent political scandals saw former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley taken down by his own texts.  

The politician, caught using public resources to cover up a torrid affair with a staffer, stepped down from office earlier this week (after the state already began impeachment hearings, mind you).  

There was plenty of evidence of the affair, including sexty iMessage exchanges between Bentley and his mistress, seen by his then-wife on her state-issued iPad, which was signed into the same Apple ID Bentley used on his state-issued iPhone. 

It’s not uncommon to have multiple devices on one Apple ID — but it’s easy to configure your gadgets to block your messages from popping up on all of them. Here’s how to keep those politically damning important personal iMessages on the DL.  

Check out where your messages might pop up

Your Apple ID has to be logged in wherever your iMessages show up. So your first move should be to check exactly which devices you’re signed into. To do that, head on over to the Apple ID page and enter your account info. 

Eliminate all unused devices!

Eliminate all unused devices!

Right away, I can see that my Apple ID is still signed into a phone I don’t have access to anymore, my old iPhone 6S. If you see anything you aren’t using, you should definitely log out.

Turn iMessage OFF everywhere other than your iPhone 

Now, if you want to stay logged into your Apple ID on a device but don’t want it to display text messages, you’ll have to get your hands on it and shut off iMessage. 

Just open up Settings, select Messages, and slide that circle next to iMessage over to the closed setting, as seen below.

In this case, green does not mean go.

In this case, green does not mean go.

On a Mac, just open Messages, select Preferences, and go to the Accounts tab. From there, just sign out.

Having texts pop up on your computer all day is annoying anyway.

Having texts pop up on your computer all day is annoying anyway.

Set up two-factor authentication

But if the someone else using your devices knows your account’s password, they can change your settings just as quickly as you set them up. That’s why you’ll need to enable two-factor authentication, so you can only sign into your account after confirming your identity from your most trusted sexting phone device. 

Just follow these steps:

Lock everyone else out of your Apple ID.

Lock everyone else out of your Apple ID.

Once two-factor authentication is in place, your account should be locked down. There, you’re free to send all the reprehensible, career-ruining iMessages you want without fear of them popping up all over the place — at least until your mistress turns them over to the authorities during your ethics investigation!

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