How to Fix “Number changed to Primary” on DUAL/NANO SIM iPhones

You’d feel ghost bomb when incoming and outgoing iMessage or SMS/MMS are returning “Number changed to Primary” on your iPhone and iPad which could lead to an error sending or receiving the text.

The error is not a forever message that won’t disappear. It’s just that some precautional measure must be taken to resolve the issue. The new iPhone products such as Phone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR etc support DUAL and NANO SIM.

However, the number changed error on iPhone are caused by this new invention. But, before Apple issued a direct way to fix the number changed error on the concerned iPhone, our walk around in this guide will fix it for you.

Number Changed to Primary

Fix Number Changed to Primary on iPhone

We have heard several methods to fix this number changed message on iPhone. They are all trial and error approach. Make sure you tired all until the message disappears.

Update iOS Version to the Latest

If you are running an outdated version of your device iOS a lot of bugs will be disturbing your phone performance. Therefore, the first approach to update the iOS to the latest version.

  • Go to your phone settings.
  • Tap on “General”.
  • Click “Update Software”.
  • Done.

If this is the reason why you are unable to receive and send SMS/MMS or iMessage on your device it’s advisable to set the iOS update to automatic.

Disable Primary Line

If your iPhone is a dual SIM phone you could disable the primary line to save yourself from this headache.

  • Go to your iOS phone settings.
  • Click on “Cellular”.
  • Tap “Cellular Plans”.
  • Click on “Primary”.
  • Turn “OFF” the “ON” to the line.
  • Open the iMessage app on your device.
  • Go to the message the error with “primary number changed”.
  • Re-send another message from the bottom of the page.
  • “Number changed to secondary” notification will pop up.
  • Go to “Settings >> Cellular >> Cellular Plans >> Primary >> Enable.
  • Disable the “Secondary Line” according to the notification that says number changed to secondary.
  • Go back to the message that refuses to send due to number changed.
  • Re-send the reply or compose and send another reply.
  • Another popup will appear saying “Number changed to Primary”.
  • Enable “Secondary Line” afterwards.
  • Done.

This approach should work as it refreshen both the primary and secondary line.

Turn Off/On iMessage

If the iMessage app is the problem that is causing the SMS/MMS to crash then you should consider refreshing the app.

  • On your iPhone, go to settings.
  • Click on “Messages”.
  • Go to “Send and Receive” option.
  • Enable only your phone number.
  • Go back to the settings.
  • Click on “Message”.
  • Turn “OFF” iMessage.
  • After a few minutes “Turn On” iMessage again.
  • Restart the iPhone.
  • Done.

Once your phone has restarted go back to the conversation with the error message and re-send it or reply to the conversation.

Sign Out Apple ID, Facetime App and iMessage

Don’t just go ahead to delete every conversation with the “number changed” to the primary. While you will still do that make sure you perform this task first.

  • Go to your iPhone settings.
  • Go to Messages and iMessage.
  • Remove your phone number.
  • Go to settings >> Messages >> Send & Receive.
  • Click on “Apple ID“.
  • Tap on “Sign Out” on your iMessage account.
  • Go to Facetime app in your phone settings.
  • Tap on the “Sign Out” tab.
  • Restart your phone
  • Done.

Now, go to the conversation with the error “Number changed to Primary” and delete them all. Now, to start using the apps make sure you log into your account again.

Remove Country Code 

Proceed to remove country codes from your phone contacts if the error message isn’t cleared.

  • Go to your iPhone settings.
  • Click on “Phone”.
  • Tap on “My Number” to edit it.
  • Remove the “country code” e.g, +234.
  • Click”Save”.
  • Done.

Find out whether it fixes the problem with the phone number returning the error code otherwise follow the procedure to re-add the country code.

Set Time to Automatic Update

Some of the apps on your iDevice will malfunction with the wrong time and date. As such, I always recommend an automatic time update.

  • Go to your iPhone settings.
  • Click on “General”.
  • Tap “Date & Time”.
  • Enable “Set Automatically”.
  • Done.

While the date and time automatic set will take effect but might not clear the error message. However, restarting your iPhone can go a long way to reset the error with the automatic time update.

Clear iMessage Caches

You can generally clear your iPhone caches. But, since the error comes from the iMessage app you can consider clearing the app caches alone.

  • Go to your iPhone settings.
  • Navigate to “General” and click on it.
  • Click on “Storage & iCloud Usage”.
  • Click on “Manage storage” to the top side.
  • Select the “iMessage” app from the list.
  • Delete the app and restart the phone.
  • Head back to Apple store to download iMessage.
  • Done.

This could be what you need to do to save yourself from the stresses.

Hard Reset your iPhone

This is not recommended if you do not have a backup file. With your latest backup file on iCloud or iTunes, you can take the time to hard reset your iPhone to fix the message number changed error.

  • Press and release the “Volume” up key.
  • Press and release the “Volume” down key.
  • Press and hold the iPhone side button called the “sleep/wake” button until the Apple logo appears.
  • Keep your fingers cross as your phone undergo formatting.

Your phone will come fresh after the hard reset. Now, head to either iCloud or iTunes to restore the backup file.

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