13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2016 8:54 AM by xotrina
jfreshley Level 1 (0 points)

My daughter just got an ipod touch for Christmas.  I looked into disabling imessage but from what I've seen there is no way t disable it so I just didn't set it up hoping she just wouldn't use it.  I think she figured out a way to set it up so now I'm looking for a way to monitor her text messages.  Is there an app that will copy me on her text messages?  I've looked around but couldn't find anything for the ipod/iphone.



iPod touch, iOS 5.0.1
  • ianmccamey Level 1 (0 points)

    iMessage is enabled by entering the password for the email account that is associated with iCloud.   Thus, the only way to prevent your daughter from using iMessage itself is to maintain control of her email account password.  In other words, if you disable the email account on her phone she could still get access to iMessage if she knows the password.  This means that the only real way to prohibit iMessage is to prohibit access to that email account itself and also prohibit her from knowing that password, which means that she can't take advantage of email in the cloud.    Sad, but true.  Thanks Apple.


    That said, even if you disable iMessage, she'll still be able to send SMS message which are tied to the phone number and not controlled by the iOS.    All SMS/text message are stored on the phone in an encrypted file that is also stored locally on your computer when you sync in iTunes (as long as you're not backing up to the Cloud).  However, the file is NOT easy to read/access.  Google:  "accessing SMS backup files on iPhone" and you'll find a variety of long winded methods for extracting the data. 


    Unless you suspect your child of something dangerous or illegal, I would go out on a limb to say that it's not worth your time to go down that route.   However, if you're just trying to limit the times and amount of text messaging that your daughter is doing then your cullular carrier probably offers a plan for restrictions.  I have verizon which allows me to restrict all phone and text messaging during school hours except to/from a list of 5 numbers (such as his mom and I) and after certain times.  You can also restrict the amount of messages, block certain numbers, etc.  It's great and well worth the extra 5-10/month that I pay for it. 


    I assume you've also explored and maximized the Enable Restrictions area on the phone itself (Settings --> General --> Restrictions)

  • ianmccamey Level 1 (0 points)

    Ha, sorry, I just realized that this is all in relation to iPod touch, so ignore all the talk about SMS texting and cellular service.  


    However, be VERY cauteous of other third party apps that allow free texting.   The best way to do that is to simply disable your daughters ability to install/change apps in the aforementiond "Enable Restrictions" area.  (You can also disable the "remember password" option when loggin into the App Store which will force her to come to you every time she wants to install something.  )


    Ahhh...digital parenthood.

  • sonofzell Level 1 (0 points)

    This may help...


    If you have your own iOS5 device, such as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can set up iMessage on your own device and have configured it to monitor any conversations.


    On your own device, enter "Settings>Messages>Recieve At".  Add the email address that is registered to your daughter's iPod in addition to (or instead of) any existing accounts you use for your own messaging.  Once verified, any messages sent to your Daughter's address using the iMessage protocol will be delvered to both devices simultanously, allowing you to monitor the conversations without physically possessing the iPod Touch.


    Note #1:  This method is not effective to monitor iMessage activity on another iPhone.  It can be done, but you will only be able to view iMessages that are sent to the users email address (NOT the SMS phone number).  Most people will use the phone number as default; since iMessage automatically changes the protocol once it recognizes that both the sender and recipient are using iOS5, there is no need for the sender to use the email address format.  Since your Daughter's iPod is not capable of using the SMS protocol, this will not be an issue for you, but I thought I'd mention it for anyone else referrencing this post...


    Note #2:  I use this method to monitor both of my Daughter's devices for unsolicited messages (with their knowledge, as they are both under 12).  I found it to work flawlessly when only one of their accounts was set up on my iPad, however having both of their iMessage accounts intermittently seems to lock out one or the other.  I imagine there's just a configuration workaround, but I haven't had the time to tinker with it quite yet.


    Hope this helps!


    @ianmccamey - So true!  Our parents never had to worry about this kind of stuff!  8-)

  • nursemusician Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried this

    On your own device, enter "Settings>Messages>Recieve At".  Add the email address that is registered to your daughter's iPod in addition to (or instead of) any existing accounts you use for your own messaging.  Once verified, any messages sent to your Daughter's address using the iMessage protocol will be delvered to both devices simultanously, allowing you to monitor the conversations without physically possessing the iPod Touch.


    But it did not work it only gave me an error message that the address was already in use and could not be verified.


    Any other ideas..... really need to monitor my daughters imessages

  • ianmccamey Level 1 (0 points)

    I recommend simply disabling the email account associated with iMessage (per my initial reply).

  • Amyfromco Level 1 (0 points)

    I am SO confused!  So I have an iPhone 4 and my husband has a 4th generation iTouch.  I am wondering if he sets up iMessage on his iPod, is he going to see all of my iMessages from my iPhone?  How do I disable that?  I complain about him a lot via iMessage- it would NOT be good if he saw that!    Any suggestions on what I can do??


    Thank you!!!

  • ianmccamey Level 1 (0 points)

    Mmm...well, that sounds like a personal issue........but....


    as long as you set up icloud and imessage with different email addresses on the separate devices you won't have a problem.

  • Amyfromco Level 1 (0 points)

    Do you mean different email addresses than my Apple ID?  Sorry, I'm lost.  This is all new to me.  I'm a new Apple girl!  So far we just have ONE Apple ID that we share to buy apps, etc.  Can I set up more than one?

  • ianmccamey Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, just use one Apple ID for iTunes and the App Store (Settings --> Store --> AppleID) and use a different one for iCloud services  (Settings --> iCloud --> Account).


    However...not to get involved in your personal affairs, but if your husband really wants to eavesdrop on your conversation and knows the email address and password of the new unique Apple ID that you create for iCloud then it's a moot point since he can simply add that email address at Settings --> Message --> Receive At.  In that case, you should just turn off iMessage and just rely on text messaging...or voice calls. 

  • Amyfromco Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, Ian- how kind of you to help me out!!!  I just made a new Apple ID and the password isn't written down.  For the iMessages, do I HAVE to have an Apple ID associated there?  Or can I delete the email address and just use the phone number?  (I may have answered my own question- just tried to send an iMessage and it went through as a text.)  This is starting to make sense...


    Thanks again, Ian. 

  • sonofzell Level 1 (0 points)

    @ jfreshly: My apologies, I assumed that the email address in question was registered to the same appleid as your own.  I agree with Ian - either change the appleid associated with iMessage to match what your daughter is using or kill her account and set one up under your own AppleID.



    @ Amy: Just FYI, even if you share an AppleID, your husband's iPod will ONLY receive messages that are sent specifically to your email address.  Anything sent to your phone number WILL NOT be delivered to his device.  By default, iOS devices will reply to the address used to send, as specified by your Caller ID settings.


    Go to "Settings > Messages > Receive At > Caller ID" and make sure it is set to your phone number and not your email address (it should be by default).  Iif so, nothing you send will be delivered to the iPod, nor will any replies to any of your messages.  The only thing that would be visible would be messages sent as NEW conversations AND specifically to your iMessage email address.  It is my experience that most people just send to your phone number out of habit since, prior to iMessage, that was the only option for texting.



  • applelaney Level 1 (0 points)

    @sonofzell, I have told my 11-year-old daughter that IF I can figure out how to monitor all of her messages, then I will CONSIDER letting her text.  As a test, I created a text address for her iPod and have my iPhone also set up to receive texts (or I guess just iMessages) sent to that address.  So I know I can receive any and all incoming texts sent to her.  But when I've tested it, I don't see her outgoing texts.  Is this how it works with your daughters or have I missed something and there is a way for me to monitor both incoming and outgoing messages (obviously without sharing an address so that she also gets all of my messages)?  Thanks!

  • xotrina Level 1 (0 points)

    This does not work.  I don't know if it worked in an earlier version of iOS but it will give you an error as of the current update.  For example, I signed into my daughter's device under iCloud and Messages and then tried to add her Apple ID email under Send&Receive.  It told me it could not add it because it was already being used by another Apple ID.  I called Apple Support after 3 days of searching for a way to do this, and they were able to replicate the error but were unable to help or offer a solution.

    This has GOT to be something Apple can do.  I am not the only parent that wants to do this.  It is my opinion that if the Apple ID email is associated with a MINOR that the parent of that minor should be able to easily set up imessage monitoring.  Come on, Apple, we shouldn't have to use a 3rd party app to monitor these things.