This number cannot be used by Imessage and Facetime

  • 21 January 2024
  • 12 replies

Userlevel 1


Yesterday I removed my monthly rolling sim from an iPhone 12 to a new iPhone 14. Everything was working perfectly fine on the iPhone 12.

I am now having problems enabling iMessage and Facetime on the new handset. I have a message which says “

This phone number cannot be used by iMessage and Facetime, you must have a sim associated with an apple device to be used for iMessage and Facetime”

I have spent 2 hours with apple trying to resolve the issue. Nothing has worked.I have gone through just about every troubleshoot and YouTube video to resolve the issue.

If this is a network issue how is this fixed? Has anyone else experienced this issue who can provide some feedback  or resolution 


many thanks




Best answer by andewhite 22 January 2024, 21:10

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12 replies

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

Hey @Paul1919, have Apple still got your mobile number linked with your old iPhone 12, instead of your iPhone 14? 

Assuming you’re using iOS 17 or later, with your iPhone 14, do you see the correct number in the following options:

  • Settings > AppleID > [Your iPhone 14 device name]
    Check the Phone Number shown in DEVICE INFO section
  • Settings > Phone > My Number
  • Settings > Messages > Send & Receive
  • Settings > FaceTime


Userlevel 1

Hi, I spent 2 hours with apple support . Everything that could be checked their end was to the point they actually run out of ideas. 

They even got me to try a different sim card from another network and it worked fine so there was nothing wrong with the new phone.

This makes me think the issue is at Id's end.  I just don't know how to proceed without moving networks or changing to a new number which I really don't want to do.

It's really unhelpful not being able to speak to a real customer support person about this.

Since my original post a quick Google search and I can see this is a known problem with ID but there's no real resolution. 

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

Okay @Paul1919, your iPhone 12, iPhone 14, along with the iMessage and FaceTime services are 100% Apple - it seems odd Apple support couldn’t advise how to resolve the issue. 

Have you tried this

Sounds like Apple might be linking your mobile number to your old iPhone 12 device, instead of your new iPhone 14, for their iMessage and FaceTime services. 



Userlevel 1

Thanks for your reply.

I had already seen and been through most of the help given on the apple forums.

Someone suggested usually a background SMS is sent between ID and Apple to link the new phone to the phone number. This process for whatever reason may have not happened hence no Imessenger or Facetime.......and it can take upto 48 hours so I'm hoping this may be the case.

Either way there still seems no real explanation or immediate fix for this problem.

I am confident apple did as much as they could. As I previously said other sims work fine on the phone which makes me think this is a network issue.

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

I think each time iMessage is toggled ON on your iPhone 14, the Apple activation process is reset. Perhaps turning your iPhone 14 off overnight might help, as Apple advise activation can sometimes take up to 24-hours to complete. 

  • Did the Apple support team decode the “This phone number cannot be used by iMessage and Facetime, you must have a sim associated with an apple device to be used for iMessage and Facetime” message into plain English? 
  • The message seems to suggest your new iPhone 14 doesn’t have an active SIM card present, which I assume is untrue? 
  • Is your iD SIM card selected as the primary SIM for calls, texts and data? 
  • Is the date/time setting automatic from the mobile network?
  • Is the location setting localised to UK?
  • Are iMessage & FaceTime turned OFF on your iPhone 12?


Userlevel 1

Thanks for your replies.

The iphone 12 was removed from the Icloud account and factory reset as per apples guidelines. If I log into my icloud from a PC the iPhone 12 does not show on the account. Only the new phone.

As far as I am aware the sim is fully active, I can make calls, send sms and use 5g perfectly fine and is set to the primary sim.

The date and time all appear to be correct and set to the right timezone. The localisation is set to the UK.

Apple have been really good, tried multiple solutions , even took over the phone remotely to reset and try different settings. Unfortunately nothing has worked.

The phone number appears but you can't select it.



Userlevel 8
Badge +9

Does the number you wanted to keep, appear in Settings > Phone > My Number@Paul1919


Userlevel 1

Yes it appears bit you cant select it or set it to a blue tick . The blue tick stays on the email address. 

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

Okay @Paul1919, sounds like you’re referring to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive?

Within this section, you’ve got options for: 


Have you tried the following: 

  1. Turn OFF iMessage
  2. Turn OFF FaceTime 
  3. Turn OFF your iPhone
  4. Remove your SIM card and check it’s clean from smudges and undamaged
  5. Leave your iPhone OFF overnight
  6. Insert your iD SIM card and turn ON your iPhone
  7. Turn ON iMessage
  8. Turn ON FaceTime

It also helps to try this in an area with good signal reception.



Userlevel 1

OK, update......   

I turned the phone off and took the sim out. Left it for a couple of hours. I put the sim back in checked the settings and everything is now working!!!!!!

Imessage and facetime working 👌 

Thanks for all your help and suggestions. Seems like it needs 48 hours to sort itself. Not an ideal process but we got there.

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

That’s good news @Paul1919 - these steps often seem to do the trick. 

Somewhere online I think Apple advise the activation process starts again, every time iMessage is toggled. Apple also advise activation can take up to 24-hours.

Perhaps whenever the iMessage service is toggled on/off too often, within a short timeframe, a side-effect might be problems with activation.


Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Hi @Paul1919,

Welcome to the Community!

Glad to hear that the issue is resolved and thanks for sharing your experience.

If you require further assistance, please let us know.