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Question: How to retired phone numbers but retain Messages history?

I'm curious what people's solutions are for retiring phone numbers when friends change their number? I tend to keep their old number using a custom label "phone_old" under their contact name, but Messages has a TON of bugs that make this a problem. I want to keep the Message history properly categorized with that contact's name in perpetuity... how do I accomplish this?


Bug: Messages aggressively tries to add old numbers to existing threads, specifically from Desktop (I've never seen the problem on Mobile). Imagine three friends: A, B, I'm C, plus a random fourth person Z.


Original phone numbers:

A = (757) 555-0000

B = (213) 555-2222

C = (213) 555-3333

Z = n/a (doesn't have a phone yet).


A, B, and C routinely chat together. Messages continues a thread for months/years between them. Then one day A get's a new number and Z picks up the old number so now:


A = (213) 555-1111

B = (213) 555-2222

C = (213) 555-3333

Z = (757) 555-0000


One day B sends a message on the existing thread with A, B, C. Person C receives this on their Desktop and replies. Somehow in the background the computer adds an extra person Z to the thread. This is weird because it's literally adding a 4th member to the group.


Has anyone else had this problem? It only seems to be an issue for those, like me, who want to maintain their message history (deleting the number from the contact in question seems to solve the problem).


I've had this problem for YEARS across at least 3 major macOS versions (currently I'm on Sierra). Please don't reply with (1) reset your message DB or (2) update your OS. Those are not solutions, those are workarounds.

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User profile for user: dsuchter

Question: How to retired phone numbers but retain Messages history?