How to sign out of iMessage on Mac

iMessage is a great tool for keeping in touch with friends, family members and work colleagues. One of its most useful features is that you can sync messages and attachments across all your Apple devices. So, any messages you get on your iPhone, you can reply to from your Mac. However, you may not want to be interrupted by messages on your Mac, or just not need to use it on your Mac. If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do. In this article, we’ll show you how to sign out of iMessage on your Mac.

What is iMessage?

iMessage is the name of the proprietary messaging system that is used on Apple devices. When you send a text message from the Messages app on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch to someone with an Apple device, it is sent via iMessage and you will see the message in a blue bubble. If the other person is not using an Apple device, the message is sent by SMS from your iPhone phone number and the message appears in a green bubble.

Tip: How to maintain your privacy on your Mac

If the reason you want to sign out of iMessage on your Mac is to protect your privacy, perhaps because you share the Mac with other users, there are several other things you should consider doing. These include:

  • Clearing out your Recent Items list
  • Clearing cache, cookies, search history and download history in web browsers
  • Remove auto-fill information
  • Delete the list of wifi networks to which your Mac has connected
CleanMyMac X - Safari in Privacy module

Doing all that manually is time consuming and laborious. But you don’t need to do it manually, CleanMyMac X’s Privacy module can do all of that with a few clicks. You can also use it to review and revoke permissions for applications to access parts of your Mac. You can download CleanMyMac X for free here and try it for yourself.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, launch it, choose Privacy, click Scan and when it’s done, choose what you want to delete and click Remove.

    How to sign out of iMessage on your Mac

    There are a couple of different ways to sign out of iMessage on your Mac. One is quick and easy and allows you to stop syncing Messages on your Mac with iCloud. The other takes a little longer and signs you out of your Apple ID in Messages. We’ll show you how to do both.

    Disable Messages in iCloud

    1. Launch the Messages app on your Mac.
    2. Click Messages in the menu bar and choose Settings.
    3. Select iMessage at the top of the window.
    4. Uncheck Enable Messages in iCloud.

    Sign out of your Apple ID

    1. Launch the Messages app on your Mac.
    2. Go to Messages > Settings > iMessage.
    3. Click Sign Out.
    4. You will see a message telling you that you will no longer be able to receive iMessages on. your Mac. Click Sign Out.

    You can re-enable Messages or sign back into Apple ID by repeating the steps above and choosing Enable Messages in iCloud or click Sign In.

    What to do if you can’t sign out of iMessage

    In most cases, that’s all you will have to do to sign out of iMessage, but there may be rare occasions when it won’t work. Here’s what to do if that happens.

    System Preferences - Software Update
    1. Restart your Mac. Sometimes this is all you need to do to fix a problem. Restarting your Mac clears out temporary files, frees up RAM, and performs checks on your Mac’s startup disk.
    2. Check for an OS update. If you still can’t sign out of iMessage. Go to System Settings > General > Software Update. If there is an update available, follow the instructions on screen to install it.
    3. Sign out of your Apple ID then sign back in again. Go to System Settings > your name. Scroll to the bottom of the window. Click Sign Out. Confirm you want to sign out. Once you have signed out, sign back in again. Now try and sign out of iMessage.

    iMessage is a very useful service but many of us only use it on our iPhones and don’t need it on our Mac. If you like to use it on your Mac occasionally, one option is to go to System Settings > Notifications and turn off all Messages notifications so it never intrudes. But if you want to stop using it completely, say for privacy reasons, follow the steps above to sign out of iMessage on your Mac.

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