How to Delete All Attachments in the iPhone iMessage App

Key Takeaways:

  • You can easily delete individual or multiple iMessage attachments to free up storage space on your iPhone
  • There are several methods to delete attachments, including manually selecting them or setting messages to auto-delete after a certain time period
  • Regularly managing your iMessage attachments helps keep your iPhone running smoothly and prevents low storage issues

As an iPhone user and tech enthusiast, I know firsthand how quickly iMessage attachments like photos, videos, and other media can eat up valuable storage space on your device. Over time, these attachments accumulate and can slow down your iPhone’s performance or even prevent you from taking new photos or installing apps due to low storage. Fortunately, Apple provides several ways to easily delete iMessage attachments and reclaim that precious space. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the different methods for removing attachments and offer tips for managing your iMessage storage moving forward.

Manually Delete Individual Attachments

The most straightforward way to delete iMessage attachments is to do it manually within a conversation thread. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Messages app and tap on the conversation containing the attachments you want to remove
  2. Tap the contact’s name or profile picture at the top of the screen, then tap “Info”
  3. Scroll down to the Photos section and tap “See All Photos”
  4. Tap “Select” in the top right corner, then tap on each attachment you want to delete
  5. Once you’ve selected all the desired attachments, tap the trash can icon in the bottom right corner
  6. Confirm by tapping “Delete Attachments”

This method works well if you only need to remove a few specific attachments or want to keep the rest of the conversation intact. However, it can be tedious if you have a lot of attachments to sort through.

Delete Entire Conversations

If you want to delete all attachments associated with a particular contact or group conversation, you can remove the entire thread:

  1. In the Messages app, find the conversation you want to delete
  2. Swipe left on the conversation and tap “Delete”
  3. Confirm by tapping “Delete Conversation”

Keep in mind this will erase all messages and attachments in that thread, so make sure you’ve saved any important information or media elsewhere first.

Review and Delete Large Attachments

To quickly find and remove the biggest iMessage attachment culprits taking up space on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage
  2. Scroll down to the Messages app and tap on it
  3. You’ll see a list of attachment categories like Photos, Videos, GIFs and Stickers, etc. Tap on a category to view those attachments.
  4. Tap “Edit” in the top right corner, then select the attachments you want to delete
  5. Tap the trash icon, then confirm by tapping “Delete Attachments”

This method helps you zero in on the bulkiest attachments across all your conversations so you can reclaim the most space with the least effort. In my experience, videos and photos tend to be the biggest storage hogs.

Set Messages to Auto-Delete

For a more hands-off approach, you can adjust your iPhone settings to automatically delete older messages and attachments:

  1. Go to Settings > Messages
  2. Scroll down to the “Message History” section and tap “Keep Messages”
  3. Select either “30 Days” or “1 Year” – after this time period, your iPhone will automatically erase messages and their attachments

I recommend the 1 year option as a good balance between saving space and retaining meaningful messages and media. The 30 day setting is quite aggressive and will erase attachments you may still want. You can always go back and manually delete individual attachments as needed.

Automatically Delete Audio and Video Messages

Audio and video messages can also be set to delete after a short time period to prevent them from taking up long-term storage:

  1. Go to Settings > Messages
  2. Scroll down to the “Audio Messages” section
  3. Tap “Expire” and select “After 2 Minutes”
  4. Repeat these steps for the Video Messages section

Unless you choose to keep them, audio and video messages will be erased automatically after 2 minutes. This is a helpful setting if you frequently use this feature to send casual, ephemeral voice or video clips that you don’t need to keep.


By taking advantage of these iMessage attachment management options, you can keep your iPhone storage in check and running smoothly. I recommend making it a habit to periodically review and delete attachments, either manually or by leveraging the automatic deletion settings. And remember, if there are certain photos, videos, or other attachments you want to keep long-term, save them to your camera roll, computer, or cloud storage so you can safely delete them from Messages.

With these tips and tricks for deleting iMessage attachments, you’ll be able to reclaim valuable space on your iPhone and never get that dreaded “iPhone Storage Full” notification again. Stay on top of your attachment storage and enjoy all the fun features of Messages without worrying about your iPhone’s performance and capacity.